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'God can restore what is broken and change it into something amazing. All you need is faith.' Joel 2:25

This month I found myself in Barbados! Barbados!! I almost can't believe I was lucky enough to travel to this beautiful country. Don't get crazy jealous - I wasn't at a 5 star resort with nothing to do but sip coconuts and sunbathe. I was on my church choir trip which had a vigorous schedule, and lots of early mornings.

I was looking forward to it...somewhat!

It's March already, but I somehow still feel like its the first week of 2018 - I'm still thinking about resolutions, wondering when will I get that feeling of excitement and freshness because it's a new year. I've been slightly downtrodden this season - stuck in the unknown - suffering - and wondering when the heck God is going to pluck me out of it!

I've been praying with an open heart and waiting...waiting...waiting!

'Let the lover of your soul restore it' Psalm 23:5

My mind has been occupied and the Barbados trip creeped upon me, before I knew it, I was on the plane! As we pulled up to our hotel I could see the gorgeous crystal clear blue water within walking distance, and my heart leapt because I could almost smell the restoration my heart had been craving.

He will restore you. 1 Peter 23:5

The Door

Painting and being creative have my name written all over it - if it's on a piece of wood or canvas - making photos look cool on a wooden block, playing the piano or singing a song...but REAL painting on a building with four walls definitely scared the life out of me.

On our trip we had a mission project day, the purpose was to tidy up the Salvation Army Corps building in Carlton, Barbados! I was petrified, we were singers and musicians who could read the black dots and lines of paper and somewhat make it sound good, not Jo and Chip from Fixer Upper - no where near, and all of a sudden there where paint brushes and scrapers - hammers and screwdrivers flying into our hands and we were told to get on with it!

At one point there was a hole in the side wall of the church and I had no idea if any of us where going to piece this back together! It wasn't exactly lego! You know that moment when you've pulled everything out of your closet and you have to organize it all back together, but you shut the door and pretend it didn't happen...

I felt such a deep sense of responsibility for this project - we where fixing up and supposedly making better a Holy place - a church - a place where people gather on Sunday to worship Jesus, I was concerned we where going to wreck it..BIG TIME!

I'd a scraper in my hand ripping off the old paint like there was no tomorrow, preparing the door of the Chapel to be painted. I had never done this before, but the entire time I couldn't help but think about myself, how I need to scrape away the old rotten parts of me to allow God to apply a fresh coat of paint!

It was team work, my 'sister' and I stayed at that door until it was finished. It was not an easy task - we had to paint the trims two different colors with THE BIGGEST paint brushes you've ever seen, I was secretly waiting for the film crew to jump out of the coconut tree laughing and screaming 'You've been Punked!' - but that didn't happen!!

We made so many mistakes along the way together, I painted over her flaws and she covered mine...over and over until it was complete!

I thought about how friendships are like this painting - how we cover for each other - paint over the mistakes - but work and pray together to make life the best it can be. As Margaret covered my mistakes on the door with her white paint that sometimes mixed into a beautiful shade of pink, I captured in my heart how she has covered me in prayer, covered my mistakes, and been a beautiful friend.

'Find friends who inspire growth as iron sharpens iron.' Proverbs 27:17

Finally this door was restored (as best as we could!). The leader of the church came to look at it, she spoke from her heart when she said 'I can see it was painted with love!' YES! - YES! - it was painted with love. It was painted with the people in mind who attend this church, the door is the first thing they see when they're entering their sanctuary - the open door so their hearts can seek Jesus and we restored it!

We are all like this - we need to scrape away the rotten wood and old paint from our lives to let God do His thing! We have the right tools but sometimes we make them into a mammoth paintbrush that shouldn't be able to paint the trim.

God promises restoration when we surrender to Him.

Barbados will hold an important place in my heart - It was a place I got to rest in beauty, to breathe on the beach, to smell the sea and sand, to bask in the warm sun on my face, and to feel the restoration of Gods hand on my life.

It's a place I will remember doing a lot of praying and trusting - but I do believe God placed me amongst the beauty so I could surrender to Him and wait on what He has in store for my life.

'Healing is built on the promise that God will be your strength.'

Are you ready to scrap away the old dirt and let God restore you to be clean?

Sometimes we have difficult decisions to make, sometimes life throws you a curveball, sometimes we need to get away to listen, and sometimes we are lucky enough to do all these things under the sunshine.

'After your season of suffering, God in all His grace will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.' 1 Peter 5:10

The Nook


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