Who is my cute-mom/designer idol of the year? You can probably guess. Joanna Gaines. I just call her JoJo because we are close. She is on our TV, on the Magnolia magazine cover that sits on our coffee table, on a book by my nightstand, and her signature design inspiration is all over our house. Yep, closer than bark on a tree. At least from my perspective.
But why? Why do I and so many others just love Chip, Jo and their show Fixer Upper? There are many reasons (so many…) but I think the heart of it is transformation. We are suckers for a good makeover, aren’t we? We love to see old and worn transformed to new and beautiful. Our eyes fix on the story of renewal, restoration, and an amazing reveal. This is human nature. It’s why we love stories of brokenness redeemed. And Chip and Jo create this inspiring experience for in every show.
But there is a greater story of redemption that Fixer Upper always reminds me of. In our own lives, when we take that leap of faith and decide to follow God, we begin to experience our own makeover. It happens when we ask forgiveness for our sin and brokenness, and invite Jesus to walk with us in all the intricacies of our daily lives.
It is then the construction begins.
Once in our lives, we lived covered in fading wallpaper and peeling paint, our fresh foundation layered by flooring we no longer wanted, and our cracks and mismatched rooms (which we tried to hide) were not really hidden from anyone. We genuinely tried to present a better outside to the world, but if the world was to open the door and peek inside this is what it would find– shame, guilt, pride, arrogance, betrayal, greed, selfishness, idolatry. It’s an ugly list, and not a complete one, but we have all lived it in some way, shape or form.
But then, Jesus invited us into relationship with him. And we took his hand, timidly, expectantly, and accepted.
He began to rebuild a new home in us. Slowly…over time. Tearing down old patterns and thoughts, removing walls we had built, opening up space and breathing room in our souls. He peeled back the layers of protection we had covered ourselves with and like a life-giving balm, painted his word on our hearts.
This is what God does.
He is a restorer. A redeemer. A perfect designer of the life he has invited us to.
A life of confidence and peace and love and joy and grace.
And he hauls away all the old–that ugly list from before. He heals the wounds of shame, he teaches us to not listen to the voice of guilt, he changes our pride to humility and grace, our arrogance fades away as we realize our identity in Christ, he forgives us for betrayal, he replaces selfishness with generosity, he asks us to worship Him alone.
God’s process of building is more than a few months. It can take a lifetime. So before the new home in us is finished, we can place a welcome mat at our front door. It says, “Come in! I am a work in progress, but I have a master-builder crafting my soul. Come in and see what he is working on today.”
So the next time you are watching Fixer Upper, think about these things. Be reminded of how God is beautifully fixing us up! He patiently works over our broken areas, with a good plan, carefully drawn. If we let him, in his time he will do a great work in us.
And…if God created Joanna and all her talents, how much more can we trust his design work in us!
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