Faith, Identity, Redemption, Spiritual Life, Suffering

He Picked The Wrong House

August 19, 2015

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Ever since I was a little girl I always fantasized about one day living in a red brick house with a fireplace and a staircase. Coming from Arizona where every house was brown and stucco and the seventy degree winters made fireplaces seem irrelevant, my little heart longed for the cozy homes I saw on TV.

The day I saw the house is one I’ll never forget it. We pulled up into the driveway, a beautiful summer day, and there it was. Strong, proud, and a brilliant shade of red brick. My heart was already racing at what we would find once we opened the door and looked inside. I was overjoyed as I walked through this beauty to see a perfect staircase and a glistening fireplace. It was my dream home. It was perfect. It was mine.

After we bought the house and moved in, we were rifling through a bunch of paperwork the previous owners had left behind when we found them. Pictures.

You see, our house was built in 1938 and we were only the fourth people to ever live there. The people who we bought it from had purchased the house from a woman who had called it home for over twenty years. But when they bought it, the house was, well, let’s say, in need of a facelift.

We flipped through the pictures, seeing the house as it once was, and were overcome. We couldn’t believe that the beautiful home we were standing in had once been so hideous….so hopeless looking. But here it was today, remade and so stunning.

As I sat in my counselor Al’s office last year, tears spilling out of my eyes, I kept telling him how I felt so hopeless…so broken. I couldn’t see how the abuse I had suffered and all the horrible life events that came from that could make me anything less than a mess of a lost cause. Sure, maybe I’d find a way to cope with the pain. Maybe I’d even find a way to forgive and heal a little. But I’d always be broken. I’d always be the girl who was molested.

He told me of a book called The Prince Of Tides. The book was the story of a man who had suffered terrible abuse in his youth and how as a man he was finally able to start dealing with the pain. In one particularly graphic part of the book there is a scene where the main character is getting raped by his abusers inside of his home. As it’s happening, he looks out the window to see his older brother standing outside with their pet tiger. He goes on to say, “In that moment, I knew that they had picked the wrong house.” The older brother then proceeds to bust into the house with tiger and kill all the abusers. End scene.

Maybe like I did, you’re feeling a little bit like an old, broke-down house. Time and pain has worn you down, and you feel like merely a shell of the person you once knew. You want so badly to be remade. To feel beautiful, hope-filled, loved, and even useful again. But the scars are too deep and you cant imagine how you’d ever arrive at that place.

When heartache comes to us, the enemy, he thinks he’s won. He thinks he’s finally found the thing that beat you. But listen in real close sweet friends because I have something to tell you:

He picked the wrong house.

Hearing those words, for me, was like taking breath for the first time in forever. He picked the wrong house. I was not the defeated one, he was.

Ladies, I know the days can seem dark. I know and have felt the consuming feeling that our sin and shame and hurt can have over us. I know how it clouds everything we see, making day seem impossible and night our constant. But I also know this: you and I, we are not lost causes.

Much like my house, we are empty and broken shells in need of someone to come in, clean us up and make us beautiful again. Yes, there will be work to be done. Walls will be knocked down, things will be cut and removed, but there will also be rebuilding. Because we have Christ, and if He is with us then no amount of chaos or harm or abuse the enemy could ever throw our way will knock us down. We are a house on a firm foundation.

My lovely friends, you are not hopeless. Do you hear me? That weight you’re carrying that seems so heavy will not take you down. That light at the end of the tunnel that feels dimmer and dimmer….it WILL come. Because you, yes YOU, are a daughter of God and that means no abuser or mistake or death or break up or self-harm or addiction can ever defeat you.

THEY PICKED THE WRONG HOUSE

“Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s…You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of theLord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:16-17

My house, much like myself, was once a lost cause. A place of desolation. But today, we both stand tall, stronger than we were before. The scars of the past still remain, but only as faded remnants against a colorful canvas. Do not give up dear sister. The Lord is with you and you will overcome.

 

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  • Sarah Wojteczko August 19, 2015 at 10:47 am

    This is so beautiful!! It was like as if it was speaking directly to me and what I’ve been through. Thank you Heather!!! I loved it

  • Leah August 19, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Wow, Heather. This is so amazing, so encouraging.
    It will never cease to amaze me at how God brings redemption. Through every.single.thing.
    Thank you for this poignant and much-needed reminder, Heather.
    Every time I’m beginning to feel defeated and hopeless I’ll remind myself that I am not a lost cause by saying, “You picked the wrong house, Lucifer! If God is for me, you don’t stand a chance against me!”

  • A Worn Girl August 19, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    This is so encouraging! Thank you!!! <3

  • Gracious21 August 20, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    I have been following the blog for a while and i just have to say that week after week I find that your (and all the other wonderful ladies’) posts contain messages that fulfill a need that I have. Sometimes needs that I didn’t know I had. It’s clear that God is moving powerfully on the Internet especially through AGLM. Thanks for being so willing to serve and share your hearts like this. The impact you ladies are causing is truly amazing.

  • He Picked The Wrong House | Re. August 25, 2015 at 11:39 am

    […] He Picked The Wrong House. […]

  • Lisa September 2, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I feel like i have been devoured by the enemy. I heard a preacher say, i don’t know if its from scripture but he said “our three enemies are: the world, the flesh, and the devil” I don’t ever remember reading the flesh was my enemy. I used to read the bible constantly about five years ago, when i was 20. Then i went thru a whirlwind of a trial. I felt such condemnation over the things i had thought about and i stopped reading my bible because i felt worse if i read it. I started to go to leaders at my church to pray for me and after a year and a half, i finally stopped feeling like i was going to be condemned. I know the bible says there is no rejection if we are in Christ, yet the feelings i have felt, felt like the truth. Even tho i know God brings conviction so i repent. He never says i sinned too far. He always draws us back to Him.

    I have read the first blog posts when this AGLM started and then i stopped. and would check back whenever. Heather, i remember you posted about how you were with your ex boyfriend and how the past of that, you have regretted it and don’t want other girls to make the same mistakes. Ive never had any type of sexual experience. Until almost a year ago. I always thought that i would save my first kiss for the alter. Ive had two boyfriends prior and i told them, this is what i was going to wait for.
    Last winter, that all changed. I started talking to a guy who took me under his wing and helped me learn my new job. We talked constantly. Then we started to flirt. And that teasing game we played led to touch and then to more touch. I didn’t believe when other christian girls would say, “man i wish i didn’t do this or that, with a guy” i seriously thought they were just saying that. The guy i had a relationship with, was married. I knew this was wrong, yet sometimes it didnt feel wrong. If his wife didnt want to be close to him, but i want him, so why cant i? i knew it was wrong yet it felt so good to be desired and touched. I regret this so much now. When the bible says to flee tempation, its because were not as strong as we think we are. The compromising starts. “I dont think the line is here, I think going too far is over there.” Little by little you cross more lines, and in the end of all of that, is pain. I destroyed an entire family. My own selfish choices not only effected me but everyone else as well. I don’t know where to go from here. I wish i could take it all back.