IS IT IS OR IS IT AIN’T
I am writing this blog post from my office. The room formerly known as the junk room. This room also enjoyed a small stint as our guest room. For 5 years before that it was known as our 2nd oldest child’s bedroom. Before that, a blank canvas in our newly built home. It took 8 and ½ years but with each new iteration the room became more and more what we envisioned when we signed the contract.
Jonathan and I built this house with the end in mind: retirement. We were looking for an “our” home but knew all of our children, 2 of whom lived with us full-time at the time we started on this adventure, would fly out the nest within 10 years. We had questions to answer. Did we want to move again? Did we want to have a mortgage in retirement? Could we find something big enough for all the children yet small enough to not overwhelm us when they were on their own? It took 3 years of looking. I mean looking every week for 3 years. 3 YEARS! At one point I told my real estate agent, “We need to break up. It’s me, not you. I just don’t want to see you this summer!” 3 years. Only to come back to the very first subdivision we looked at, to build, not buy. Sorry, post-home search stress disorder. I digress.
Each of the 3 youngest children picked out the room they wanted while we were building, painted their rooms multiple colors, decorated their rooms, and became responsible for the upkeep of their rooms. When Kayla moved out after college, her room became the guest room. When Briana moved out after college, her room became the official and permanent guest room, Kayla’s room became the staging area for “we don’t know what to do with this stuff yet.” Our youngest has recently moved out. His room is now the staging area and will eventually become our exercise room. Kay’s old room is now my office. But Kay’s room was always my office. We just had to get there.
FROM THERE TO HERE
Transformation is a complete metamorphosis. And the in between is messy. Rough. It’s not a simple process. I remember once speaking to someone about transformation. I waxed poetic about the grand process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Then I found out what actually happens to the caterpillar in the cocoon. First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissue. The infrastructure for transformation, called imaginal discs, survives the process during the digestive process. Once the caterpillar has disintegrated all of its tissue except the imaginal discs, those discs use the protein in the caterpillar soup to fuel the rapid cell division needed to form their adult features. Everything the caterpillar needs to become a butterfly is in the caterpillar but what was has to first die.
The space was in disarray before becoming my office. Completely dismantled and stripped from every former version of itself. Disorganized, littered with junk, most of which was thrown away. Still, I always saw my office even as I dealt with the mess. Throughout the disassembling, the infrastructure for my office remained intact and because it did, my vision for the space remained intact.
GOD’S VISION FOR US
The bible tells us in 2nd Corinthians 3:18
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit”
God had something in mind when He drew us to Him. And it was more than to move our citizenship from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God. He wants to know us and wants us to know Him. He desires a free-flow, heart to heart, face to face connection with His daughters. That connection will result in transformation. We become who He sees as we look at Him. To behold means to contemplate, discern, consider. To spend time turning over and examine. As we look deeply, contemplating His image as revealed in Christ, we are being changed by the encounter. To look more like Him. Think more like Him. Know and reflect Him to the people around us. And the transformation happens one degree at a time. Over time. The old is gone and there is a step by step dissolution of the old to make way for the new which is and is to come. It took 8 ½ years for the vision of my office to be fulfilled. According to John, it will take our lifetime for the fulfillment of God’s vision for us to be realized. He tells us in 1 John 3:2
Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
Mind blowing. We are already now what we shall be but it is not fully appeared because we will fully be like Him only when He appears and we see Him as He is. That’s not metaphorical speech either. We are and we are becoming at the same time. Just like the caterpillar already is a butterfly but it won’t appear until it dissolves. And my office was always my office, we purchased the home with that intent, but it didn’t appear until later.
What in the world does any of this have to do with parenting a child not biologically your own? You have a vision for your family. A God-given vision of legacy, unity, belonging, following and worshiping Christ together, sitting around the table without tension, conflict, or feeling a sense of otherness. That’s a transformation on a much larger scale than changing a kid’s room to an office. Or even a caterpillar doing what it was created to do and changing into a butterfly. But it is not too hard for God. The same God who changes us, sinners and enemies of His, to friends and daughters who reflect His image and glory.
A change is going to come, Sis. Hold on. It will take time. It will take patience. It will take prayer and contemplation. It will get messy and you may have to sit with the mess for years. But, keep the vision before you. Every time you look at the mess, remember the promise of what is coming. The infrastructure is there and God is building upon it. Trust Him to complete the work He has begun in your family.