I think it must be the case that there are things that happen to us in life, whether we may be at fault or otherwise, that bring changes in us. Difficult ones. I wonder, too, whether we might face changes so drastic that it changes the our very person. And … try as we might, we can never be the person that we once were.
I used to live in Tulsa. Our home was, like most of the other homes in Tulsa, on a slab foundation. I always remembering hear that the water table was too high or something like that. I know nothing about that sort of thing so just take my word for it when I tell you that almost no one in the Tulsa, OK area has a basement. If they do… its a very basic storm shelter and not essentially a two story house with an underground floor. The foundation of the home we purchased had been peered. Meaning that a portion of the foundation had broken away from the rest of the foundation and was essentially moving. I don’t know if it was moving right or left or down or what, but it was moving. Some foundation experts had come in some years before we bought the house and drilled down to the bedrock way beneath the home, and fastened steel rods from the foundation down to the bedrock. The end result is that the house was more stable, having been peered than it was before.
Knowing that the house had already been peered, my wife and I bought the house with the full understanding that the foundation, though cracked was solid! And during the years we lived in the home… the house had no movement. The foundation was solid.
Then we decided to move.
What we didn’t know is that people, in their ignorance, don’t understand that a peered house is actually more solid than an unpeered home. People hear that the foundation has been cracked and don’t want to buy. We had a difficult time selling the house for that very reason. The cosmetic appearance of the home was only slightly marred by the previous damage. There had been nothing done in the breaking of the foundation that had made the house unliveable, but people were still frightened at the concept of buying a home with a flawed foundation.
Something happened to that house that changed it. It would never be the same again. On the surface… it looked very much the same. Even the places that were cracked on the inside had only suffered slight damage, but had been repaired. Even though it was stronger than when it was first made, it was still seen as undesirable.
I think this same kind of thing can happen to people. I think it does happen to people. I think I’ve seen it. I think I’ve experienced it.
Consider the kinds of events that change the very foundation on which we live. Murder. Rape. Abandonment. Violence. Spiritual warfare that causes us to question the reality by which we are surrounded.
All of these things can crack our foundations. Through much spiritual healing and work, however, we find that we can by God’s grace dig deeper and find something beneath us that is more solid and more “unmoving” then anything we had imagined before. Getting to that place takes a lot of work… a LOT of work. It isn’t easy and the cosmeting or superficial damage done to our lives may be mild, or maybe even severe.
But the damage done to the surface of our lives isn’t nearly as significant as the way that the world perceives us. Life is different when we’ve been broken. We can no longer see ourselves as we once did, and the world will no longer see us as it once did. However, if we are careful to seek the direction of God, we can, I believe, have faith that he will bring us to a renewed strength that surpasses the capacity of our original position or situation.
I pray that if you find yourself in a situation where life has become broken, that you would take heart. The work is difficult, and the perceptions of the world around us may be that we are weaker and somehow less desirable. However, what you and I know, as does our God, that it is his strength that undergirds our very spirit, making us strong for his own purposes.