by Ashley Lauren McClain
Last year, my husband and I bought an old farmhouse that was built in 1929. I fell in love with this house. It sits on a beautiful piece of land with a creek flowing through it. The driveway is lined with trees that make my heart smile every time I look at them. Our plan was to restore and remodel it. You know, Chip and Joanna style (cue all of the shiplap.)
After purchasing the house, it was funny to see the reaction of friends and family when they came to see it. They had no vision. All they could see was a dilapidated 100-year-old house. In their defense, they were correct. But in my mind, I could envision its future. I pictured us raising our family in that house. I saw our kids running in and out of the back door of the kitchen, while I watched out the window. It was my dream home.
As we began the restoration process, problems started to pop up, as you can imagine. But my husband and I had our hearts so set on that house, we continued trying to push forward and make it work. Until it just wouldn’t. Several professionals told us that it would be best to tear it down and start over. We didn’t want to hear it.
It wasn’t just a house they were talking about…it was our dream.
I decided to fast and pray over this decision. At the end of it, God had given both my husband and I both peace; tearing it down was the right thing to do. Peace doesn’t always mean happiness and joy. In my peace, I was still sad that the house had to go.
At the end of that fast, the Lord also showed me something even more important than tearing down that house. He showed me the dreams and plans in my heart that He was asking me to tear down. He showed me places that I was pushing for my plan and not listening for His.
He reminded me in His Word of these verses:
Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert (Isaiah 4:19 CSB).
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9 CSB).
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 CSB).
My mind knew all of these well, but I hadn’t yet taken them to heart. Did I really believe them?
So as I watched my dream house come down, I found the walls of my heart coming down as well. I opened myself up to what the Lord has for me. In that surrender, I found extreme kindness from the Lord and beauty in all of it. How kind of Him to give me an external example of what was happening internally for me. How kind of Him to allow me to watch the old go away and see the beauty and excitement of the new that is coming.
We all have plans and dreams for our lives. I know for me, when those things aren’t realized, I find myself easily pulled into disappointment. I want to flip that script in my life. I imagine you may want to as well. I want to trust what those verses say with all of my heart. I want to know and trust that His plan, His story for my life, is the best.
Is the Lord asking you to tear down your house? Let down those walls and surrender those dreams to Him? My prayer for us all is that we let Him in and allow Him to do what only He can do in our lives. I pray that we can open up our eyes and hearts to see the beauty of restoration. The beauty of letting go of the old and rebuilding the new. His ways are higher, His ways are better, His ways are good… all the time.
About the author: Ashley McClain is a girl with big dreams and a blog to encourage women in their journey through this life, given by the greatest Gift Giver. She loves to read, write, drink coffee, and spend time with the hubby & puppies! Connect with Ashley on her website ashleylmcclain.com. She would love to hear about your journey too!
Join the conversation: Is God asking you to tear down the walls of your dreams?