Oh what a day, the day I said, “Yes!” to remodeling my relationships with God, myself, and others.
Remodeling and tearing down walls is the fastest way to open up and let the light into any relationship. But, before you start remodeling your relationships, there’s some important things to know. Demolishing the walls that divide can be dangerous. Usually, there is a foundational issue needing repair. Getting to the root of the issue can be problematic. Generally speaking, asking for permission helps make the process less painful.
Learning to identify when you need to remodel is essential to maintaining good relationships.
We met for lunch. Unfortunately, I walked away lonelier than when I first sat down.
After meeting a friend from Bible study for lunch one day, I heard God’s voice loud and clear. He spoke right into the longing of my heart. “There’s a better way. You don‘t have to pretend any more.” There I was, the leader of our group for goodness sake, and I was the one pretending. Supposedly, we met so I could minister to her, yet I walked away needing ministry myself. Something wasn’t right and I knew it….I’d always known it.
Often, it was like this for me. Almost unbelievable, but I could be in charge of an event and end up standing in a crowd of women feeling all alone. It seemed as if I had it all together. But, in truth, I didn’t. On the outside, I looked like every other girl in the room, but on the inside I was dying…dying for one good friend.
Lovingly, the Holy Spirit continued to press in on me. If our hearts are His home, mine was desperately in need of repair and reconstruction. Finally, He took aim, piercing my heart with these words:
“The walls you’ve built for your protection have long since stopped working on your behalf. Now, they are working against you. No longer do they serve a purpose; now, they are a hindrance to your growth. They are keeping you from developing the relationships I have designed for you. They are keeping you isolated and away from the community I long to build around you.
Ultimately, these walls are keeping you from fulfilling your destiny and the call on your life. You’ve spent so much time and attention building them; now they must come down.
There is much work to be done here; tear down all you’ve worked so hard to build up. This foundation will not hold. If you don’t repair the walls, they will come crashing down upon you with a crushing weight, taking down both the bad and the good.” ~ God
What a warning! Months passed and yet, I still hadn’t begun the work. I was still feeling isolated and alone, left out and forgotten. I was excellent at keeping to myself, not letting anyone in…and now, I was alone. Wasn’t this where I wanted to be?
After years of unsuccessful friendships, I was scared to get involved again. Wasn’t it easier to have surface conversations? To mix and mingle only when necessary, but not get too close to anyone? In truth, no it wasn’t, not at all. Oh, I longed for community and friends, but didn’t know how to make any lasting connections. Building a fortress around my heart each time someone tried to enter, I quickly latched all the shutters down tight.
5 Ways to Know When You Need to Remodel Your Relationships
- Pretending to be something you’re not, trying to feel something that just isn’t there.
- Feeling alone in a crowd.
- Isolating yourself. That is the oldest trick in the enemy’s bag.
- Feeling forgotten. Being offended easily.
- Surface conversations begin to be your go-to conversation…it seems easier, but it’s not.
These are telltale signs that something is really wrong on the inside. This is when we know our relationships need remodeling. If we allow Him to, God uses these indicators to help us know when we need to remodel, rebuild, and renew our hearts.
On the outside, I looked like every other girl. One would have thought I had a mass of friends with endless phone calls, coffee dates, and deep conversations throughout my week, only that wasn’t the truth.
Once hurt, but now I was hungry.
Hungry for girlfriends to feed my soul and fill my calendar. It was time for some relationship remodeling.
How to begin?
Clearly, those walls had to come down.
Like Joshua marching around the walls of Jericho in Joshua 6, I’d have to listen to the Lord and do it His way. I would have to work hard to achieve the desired results. Often, remodeling looks like crumbled walls and a renewed sense of community.
Looking at Joshua’s success, we learn several things about how to defeat our enemy. We have to overcome the king and his warriors, encircle our problem, and participate in the process. Victory won’t be immediate. Continuing to work the battle plan and praising God while we work brings the walls down. Without a doubt, the hardest part is gathering people around us because we can’t do it alone.
LIE: “But, I’m good at alone.”
TRUTH: Of course, this was going to be much harder than I imagined.
Let the remodeling begin.
How badly did I want these walls to come down? Ultimately, enough to do the work and watch them fall. Unfortunately, my enemy had helped me build these impenetrable walls. Now, he wasn’t about to sit idle and watch me tear them down. No doubt, he put up a big fight. Mocking me for trying, screaming at my persistence, and whispering all the lies in an attempt to slow my progress, he was relentless. Yet, with some help, I learned to listen to the Lover of my soul. Cheering me on, Jesus encouraged me all along the way as I prayed,
Pour into me the brightness of Your daybreak! Psalm 43:3
Mustering the courage to tear down the walls, clean up the mess, and unlock those shutters, let in some light. With a fistful of faith, I climbed the remaining rubble and stuck my white flag in the ruins of what once surrounded my heart.
In complete surrender, I gave Him all the rights to remodel and rebuild on a firm foundation.Click To Tweet
Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of His love will become the very source and root of your life, providing you with a secure foundation that grows and grows. Ephesians 3:17
Finally, the Light dispelled the darkness, reconstructing a lonely house. In the breaking, my heart was again, His home.
“Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.” ~Charles Spurgeon
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.
Over the next few years, I began to trust God. Eventually, I learned to trust others. Gathering around the table of friendship, I became filled.
Three Ways to Start Remodeling Your Relationships
- Tear down the walls…let your guard down
- Pull back the drapes; unlock the windows….be authentic and let the Light in
- Open the doors to your past…share your story and how God showed up in your life
Although difficult, letting my guard down, being authentic, and sharing my story, I began to feed the hunger of my soul. God restored my heart through some amazing, loving girlfriends. Renewing our broken hearts and homes, remodeling our relationships to make them new again is what God longs to do. Surprisingly, no matter the mess, He is able. Yes, He did it for David and He’ll do it for you.
I will restore David’s house that has fallen to pieces. I’ll repair the holes in the roof, replace the broken windows, fix it up like new. ~ Amos 9:11-12
Remodeling and restoration never looks like we planned nor does it follow our well-thought-out designs.
However, when we do the work of tearing down the walls, unlocking the windows, and opening the doors, God creates something beautiful. Standing right where we always wanted to be, surrounded by people who love us, we feel right at home. Because that’s where we’ll be.
As a matter of fact, our heart is His home.
We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand ~ out in the wide open spaces of grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. Romans 5:1-2
Moreover, to God be the glory for the great things He has done. In His redeeming love, He remodels, rebuilds, He restores, He renews. Truly, God is the greatest designer. In fact, He builds masterpieces. May we never doubt Him.
Then as your spiritual strength increases, you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences~ the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is His love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding~ this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!
Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! Ephesians 3:20
Sweet friend, do your relationships need remodeling? If God’s speaking to your heart today, lean in and listen.
Fortunately, while being in ministry, I’ve learned that absolutely no one knows what someone else is going through. In reality, many look like they have it all together, but no one does. Sadly, even without any physical scars, each and every one of us has hurts and wounds you can‘t readily see.
However, let’s try something new this week. Take a chance and reach out to someone. As the Lord leads, make that call, send an encouraging note, be the new friend, or say ‘hello’ first. Releasing God’s love, dispels the darkness someone else is living in today. You never know if your smile is the one that will change a person’s day; perhaps their life. Y’all, we have the love of Jesus in our hearts. We live in the overflow of God’s love for us. Be an atmosphere changer; let your Holy Ghost Girl out and watch how He shows up!
Please, send me your stories, I’d love to know how you let your Light shine this week. You can send me your stories here.
PRAYER: Shine the Light of love in our hearts today, Lord. Make our hearts Your home. Meet us at the door of our hearts as we open up our lives to You. With joy, we give you thanks for restoration, renewal, and when needed, reconstruction. In spite of ourselves, help us to take courage, be brave, and step out in faith! You love us so well, may we love others well in return.
Walking in wholeness, living in victory ~
Don’t miss our most recent post about Motherhood. Hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend. And, if you want to spend a few minutes thinking about remodeling your heart…listen to this beautiful song, Open Up Let the Light In by Steffany Gretzinger from her album, The Undoing on YouTube. It might just undo you!
© Amy Elaine Martinez and AmyElaine.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Elaine Martinez and AmyElaine.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.