I had an interesting dream, recently. In this dream, I, along with some other faceless figures (my dreams aren’t very detail-conscious), were inside this house belonging to me. Everything looked pristine. My guests were admiring everything with awe, when suddenly one of them bumped into a wall. For the longest second of my life, everything around me flickered, revealing something completely different. Gripped with curiosity, one of the faceless phantoms grabbed at the wall and began pulling.
What they found astonished us all, myself included.
The house was draped with elaborate facades, giving the illusion of having great beauty. One by one, the phantoms ripped down the illusory drapes, revealing the dark truth. My home looked like it had been abandoned, void of life or purpose. Being so completely exposed left me horrified.
I’ve had some time to think about that dream and what it means. I don’t usually look too much into dreams, but the symbolism here got me thinking about my radical transformation over the last several months. It didn’t really occur to me how much I had changed until it was mentioned to me recently while attending a revival service at my church.
I was the house in my dreams at some point in my life. While the external side of me was draped with a fake smile, inside I was void of purpose and joy. I had abandoned all hope that I could become anything other than what I was. I was stained with years of neglect, the windows to my heart boarded up to keep away prying eyes. Goes to show that growing up in church and attending a private Christian school can never replace having an authentic, genuine relationship with Almighty God.
So, what exactly sparked this turnaround? While it’s hard to pinpoint one or two specific moments in time, I think I can say with some certainty that it began when I started talking to God again. Mind you, these weren’t “pretty prayers” by any means. I was honest with Him, about everything. He already knows of course, but it wasn’t for His benefit. I needed to open everything up to God, including the horrid parts I kept from everyone else.
He wants all those things. Jesus isn’t looking for scripted prayers sprinkled with insincerity. We have to come to Him with everything we’re carrying, all the baggage, the chains, the scars, and bruised egos we’ve accumulated. When we reach out to Jesus with our whole hearts, He will always respond.
When I invited God back into my life, He “cleaned up house” in a big way. Years of bitterness, depression, and crippling hopelessness were swept away. I’ve learned some things about myself along the way, too. I was completely at the mercy of anxiety and depression; they dictated every part of my life. Now, I’ve learned to give God my highest praise despite my fickle feelings. There’s a song by MercyMe with a line that says, “…but even if you don’t, my hope is you alone.” Those lyrics have become my heart’s cry. I no longer care about getting what I ask for. I only desire to give Jesus nothing less than my life.
I wonder how many reading this would say they can relate? It’s really hard to see past your struggles and the many lies the enemy has convinced you to be true. I always thought because I messed up so many times that God would have no use for someone like me. Then, speaking through a friend at church, God told me He will always come back for me when I stumble. He also said I didn’t have to be this perfect version of myself to be used for the Kingdom. It was in that moment I felt the great weight of those burdens lift off of my heart and mind.
God cannot take what we will not give Him. Whether it’s past trauma, church hurts, crippling anxiety and depression, addiction, alcoholism, or any other myriad of burdens, Christ wants it all. His yolk is easy, and His burden is light. It’s time to drop the facades, get real with God about it all, and see what He can do with your broken house.