It was Spring 2012 when a message was received that a family in a neighboring town had an old barn that had been torn down, but most of the wood and randomness inside had been left behind. If we came, we could have what we wanted for free. No need to twist an arm, people. Let’s do this. So, we loaded up and headed 30-ish minutes down the highway. We got there and the story was true, only it got better. Yes, there was a pile of torn-down debris on the back of the property, but it wasn’t just wood, it was the most beautiful turquoise barnwood before my eyes. Have you ever seen a turquoise barn? Now you have, child. The owners later sent this picture to us, which shows the barn when it was still erect, in all its glory.
So, we dig and dig…and dig some more. I may have forgotten to mention that we were standing in ankle-deep mud, but I wasn’t leaving until we uncovered every piece of bright blue beauty.
As we finished loading, the sweet owners informed us that there was yet another structure on their property that was a bit wobbly, but housed a few doors and windows. Again, free for the taking, so we managed to find the time. In the do-I need-a-helmet barn we found a few old windows with the sashes still intact, a couple of old interior doors, a few barn doors and one stunning, under-loved exterior door. The top half of this exterior door was glass and the bottom half was solid wood. One side, including the glass, was painted bright blue and the other side was painted a cream color. Most of the paint was chipping off, but I saw perfection. We were told that it was used as a part of an old general store that was once on the family property. It was indeed a keeper. We got home and immediately sprayed all the wood with a termite treatment – no one around here is looking to learn the hard way. While the wood was drying, I began soaping up and scrubbing down the doors and then set them out to dry. A bit later, Brandon waltzed in (not really, but the image makes me laugh) with an amazed look. “How did you do that?” “Do what?” “How did you get the door to look like that??” “Um, it’s soap. It’s pretty cool…suds up and everything.” “No, really, you pressure washed it?” “Yeah…” “Come out here.” So I walk out to the garage and stood there. Dumbfounded.
There’s really no way to help you understand our amazement, but evidently when I was spraying the glass most of the paint chipped off and left a remarkable image of a perfect sun.
Then, in the smallest whisper, I hear the Lord say, “I am the Son.” I’m going to give you a moment because I needed a few myself. This was the day we found the logo for Restoring Piece. The above is an unedited picture that I took in our garage, with my phone, of the sunshine that appeared on the old door. The photo below is the enhanced version that is now on all of our marketing materials.
Now, let’s be honest. When we hear of things like this happening we react in one of two ways:
A. “Oh, God is so good. I love it when He reveals Himself in such amazing ways.”
B. “That freak has lost her mind. Somebody needs to introduce her to a padded room. She probably handles snakes.”
I mean, we all know the story of the Virgin Mary’s face in the toast, right? Oh, you missed that one? Well, it sold on ebay for $28,000 and it even had a bite missing. True story. So, when the sunshine appeared on our door and Jesus said, “I am the Son”, I wasn’t sure how to share such a beautiful story. I tucked it away with a sticky note that metaphorically read “Someday.” Until ten weeks ago when I dreamed all night of Francesca Battistelli’s song “Write Your Story.” All night, y’all. It played over and over in my mind and then when I got in the car to take Jada to school, well, it was on the radio. Kid you NOT. I get it, God. Literally, loud and clear. I began asking God what story He wanted me to tell. The one about my imaginary childhood friends, Soap and Carey? About the wedding where Brandon and I met? Raising our niece, Jada? Our 5 moves in 9 years? Stitches after getting my head stuck in my bike basket on my way home from 3rd grade? Yeah, I realize how that sounds. He began to share things with me. He began to lay things on my protected heart that needed to be voiced. Frightening, I tell ya. It can be so frightening to open up about things that are personal and private. Things that have been held close because of fear and vulnerability. Things that are so sore and sensitive to my very soul. Secrets that need to be shared in order to shed the shame. It was too much for me, so I closed the door. I put up my hand and told God, “It’s too much. You’re asking too much.” And time moved on. He didn’t. As many of you know, God doesn’t forget. Instead, over the next few weeks He began teaching me to trust Him deeper. Taking me by the hand and guiding me to find Peace in what He has called me to do and to realize that everything He has allowed me to experience in life has been for a reason. Attached to those experiences is an assignment for someone else. If I’m too afraid to share what He’s done and continues to do in my life, then it has been in vain. Not sure about how you feel, but I don’t want all of this to be in vain. Be patient with me, please. Over the next few weeks I’m going to share some of me with you because I know it’s for a someone or two out there. We all have a story. How does God want to use yours? As for the turquoise barnwood....
It has a new story. :)