Four months ago, my husband bought a dirt cheap rusty old car in Chiang Mai (well over 1,000 kilometers north of where we live) and drove it “home” with plans to restore it himself. He had a few breakdowns along the way, but the fact that it made it all the way here was already nothing short of a miracle.
To be honest, it looked like a piece of junk hauled from the junkyard. I was a bit skeptical about the whole idea – not that I know anything about cars. It just didn’t look like a feasible investment from my perspective. However, I decided to trust my husband’s judgment, and obviously, he must have seen potential in it and believed he had the skills to transform it. So, I tried not to be too negative and gave him the freedom to work on his project.
Secretly, I also hoped that it would turn out well, because it would be nice to be able to go to Big C supermarket or the beach as a family – something we have not been able to do since the little one was born eight months ago. In the meantime, I’ve had a lot of time to observe this transformation: from the stripping down to bare metal to be built up again, layer by layer. Can you admire someone’s patience and endurance for finishing what they start and still feel jealous at the same time?
Knowing that you have a lot more in common with an old car than you would like to admit:
– The need to be restored.
– The hope that no matter what you look like on the outside, someone will see your potential and make an effort to bring out the best in you.
– The desire to be used for something despite your cracks and leaks and everything else that seems to be wrong with you.
– The need for the Master’s love, patience and skill to turn you into something beautiful for His use.
A car might have character, but lacks a soul. However, in the same way I looked at that old car, I’m quick to repeat one of the biggest mistakes we all make by looking for my worth in someone else’s eyes. Likewise, I define myself by my reflection in the mirror, I measure my success in terms of affection and appreciation from others, and I compare the close up view of a rusty life with the seemingly shiny lives of others.
It’s no wonder I fall short….Every….Single….Time.
And in the meantime, I miss out on the beauty of being called His beloved. I’m wasting energy that could have been used for good. Even if all I see are my imperfections and flaws, it doesn’t change the fact that I am created for a specific purpose. For there is a promise written over my life of not just being restored but being made new.
I’m learning to pray that God will continue to patiently restore my rusty soul hidden beneath layers and layers of “paint” and years of pretense and that unresolved feelings and hurt will not slowly eat away parts of who I am created to be, but that it will be dealt with and covered in love and forgiveness instead.
I’m learning to trust that God knows what He is doing, even if the process hurts and doesn’t seem to make sense from my perspective. I pray that I will not be discouraged by negative feelings and emotions but instead hold on to what I know: “God is always good”.
Despite my doubts the car is up and running and I have a feeling there will still be a few lessons on this journey – I look forward to sharing them with you.