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When my husband and I began looking for a home years ago we decided on a fixer upper due the limited funds we had at that time.  Excitedly we started the hunt.

I quickly realized that my husband and I had very different ideas of what this home should be. I wanted to make an offer on a nice little house in town, one that needed a bit of TLC, but was pretty move in ready.

Ryan chose other styles of houses.  fixer upper

His conversations always started with “Now Nick, you’re going to need vision for this one”…  Ummm, I’m not a “vision” kind of girl.

I remember one particular house that he showed me.  He said it needed a dab of extra vision and even some imagination.

He didn’t disappoint.

This house had the ugliest curb appeal I have yet to see. To make matters worse, you had to walk outside and down a hill to get to the first floor, and once there you needed a shovel to clear out the debris left by a previous tenant.

No exaggeration, a shovel. shovel

I struggled with the vision needed for this gem. He persisted.  In the end we bought the house. (Photo Via Pixabay)

I think sometimes we treat our lives this way. We meet people with hard exteriors and we often judge them, categorize them, and put them in this box that we’ve created for them.  We never look past the exterior to see the gem within.

Can I admit something to you today?  The house my husband picked out ended up being one of my favorites.

Once we cleaned out the debris, painted a few walls, and knocked down a few others- that house became amazing. Now, please don’t get me wrong here- this house took a ton of our time, and about as much of our money to make it happen. But, in the end it was completely worth it.

Finally, I could see the vision. It was just hidden in the dirt and unsightly edges.

Thank goodness my husband was willing to put the time in. He didn’t get discouraged when things didn’t turn out perfect, he didn’t quit because the job was too overwhelming or because mistakes happened along the way. No, instead he kept at it- one shovel full at a time.

Our lives with Jesus are much the same as that old house. Jesus can see the gem within each of us. He looks past the piles of garbage we have built around ourselves and is willing to work in us and for us, no matter how long it takes.

Where others judge us Jesus delivers us. Where others see harsh edges, Jesus sees potential.Most importantly, where others give up on us- He is in for the long haul.

The bible says in Isaiah 61:3 that God will give us “a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” I don’t’ know about you but that sounds a whole lot better than the life I’ve made for myself. Isaiah 61

As for the house- we did eventually have to move and we sold that old house- but out of all the places I’ve lived, I still miss that one.

I think when you uncover something so special in the middle of a mess, when you work so hard for so long for something, you cherish it more.

I want you to know today that – that’s how God feels about you.

He is willing to take you where you’re at. No cleanup necessary, no need to change first. He is willing and able to do the work in you to uncover your beauty too. He doesn’t care how long it takes, or how much work is needed.  You are so worth it to Him.

So, today, won’t you let Him give you beauty for your ashes?