What I Learned About Healing From Our Fixer-Upper


My husband and I recently bought a fixer-upper. An old place we got at a bargain price because it’s a little rough around the edges. Being rough around the edges myself, the place didn’t scare me off. Maybe the fact that it was less than perfect even made me more comfortable with it.  From the minute we walked in the door it felt like home.

Yesterday my husband started work  on a big project. There was water damage on the wall beneath a window in the guest bedroom. I stood in the doorway watching him work. He had a crowbar and a sledgehammer. He would hit the wall with the hammer then use the crowbar to pry away the paneling. Some pieces came off in big chunks. Others were just little slivers. Bit by bit he peeled the wall away until there was no trace of it left, and the rot underneath of it was revealed. It wasn’t just in the spot we knew about, either. It had crept into other areas that were nearby.

After my husband studied the rot and assessed the damage he began to look for the source. He peeled away the thick layer of insulation that had been there for many years. Once he removed the insulation he found the source of the problem. Two little screw holes that were made in the wall years ago to hold up a shutter outside the window. Every time it rained, water had poured into the wall through the holes and caused the rot inside.

Once the source was revealed my husband began to clean up the mess. He knew what had to be done to fix it now, but it wasn’t going to happen right then. It was late in the evening, and it wasn’t the right time to start a project so big. He made a list of supplies he needed and made a plan to get started today.

As I sit here writing this post I’m listening to the sounds of my husband working in the guest bedroom. Hammers pounding, saws sawing, heavy objects being moved about– the sounds of an expert craftsman at work, carefully and individually fixing each broken part to restore it to its original beauty. In fact, to make it even more beautiful than it ever was.  Even though the house is old, it’s not too late. It has a firm foundation. There’s plenty of life left in it.

Then it hit me– this remodeling project is the perfect analogy of my healing process. If you replace my husband in this story with God, and replace the guest bedroom with myself, what remains is the story of my healing. Old wounds buried deep, beneath layers of protective insulation and covered by walls I put up to hide the rot that’s really in there. Walls that God is chipping away at, carefully and slowly in his perfect timing,  with the perfect tools, to deal with the rot at it’s source and the rot that has spread to other areas of my soul.

Yes, I am the ultimate fixer-upper. A big remodeling project that’s going to take some time. Thankfully, I have the perfect Carpenter on the job.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. -Psalm 147:3


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