Journal Two: Thoughts and Writing

I'm Building a House



It was the year that began with the greatest adventure of my life and ended with quieter days back in the little city I once desperately wanted to leave. The year I lived in a van on the west coast and then in an old heritage home on the east coast. The year I had to run away just so I could return. The year I had to throw my hands over my head and say "I'm done" only to realize that I never actually want to be. The year I learned to love people better out of loving people poorly. The year that left me humbled and hidden. 

But for all it is worth, I'll remember this year for its mirror. This year, in ways I hadn't before, I faced myself.  I didn't really have a choice. I found myself in situations that didn't give an escape route. I fell face first and found my reflection in muddy water. I wrestled with doubt. I fought with my insecurities. My weaknesses became so blatantly exposed seeping through my relationships and crippling me in my own skin. This wasn't the kind of facing myself that felt empowered. This was the kind of facing myself that left me feeling powerless, with the bitter unveiling that the walls supporting the structure of my being had fractures. The facing myself that left me scared I wouldn't be able to stand firmly and tall for much longer. And with each layer I drew back, I became more frightened for what I would discover to be stirring at the very core of me. 

But beneath it all, in the most hidden places of my heart, I didn't find the shame I expected. I found grace. Where I expected to find hopelessness, I found hope. Where I expected to find nothing but ashes of a flame that once burned fiercely, I found the smallest glimmer of light that would make the greatest difference. I found His grace. His redeeming love. Once again. It's the substance, the fabric, the foundation of hope in Jesus Christ that has lifted my head in my weakest, most truly vulnerable moments. And the lie taunting me that the chains that bound me in my past are still gripping me, falls powerless to the love which now inhabits my heart. At the core of myself, I found Jesus holding me together. And it's on the foundation of His grace, love, justice, and truth, I have chosen and will always choose to stand, until my very last breath.

There are flaws in my structure. There are leaks in my ceiling. Some of my bricks crumble, year after year. But my foundation is strong enough. My foundation is hope that can't be threatened. A testimony that no one could ever steal from me. A past, present, and future that I don't carry alone.

As silly as it may sound, I have begun to see my little life as building a house. It's a slow and steady, ever-changing, difficult, and hope-filled process. I find a rotting wall, so I begin to rebuild it. I hope to become a safe place and a shelter for people, my closest friendships and strangers alike. To be a door that stays open, regardless of who I find at my doorstep. To be a candle burning at the window in the harshest storm.  To be a place that welcomes both dancing and laughter, tears and honesty. I'll spend my life cultivating and growing this garden until I see the richest harvest spring up from the soil.  As I grow older and seasons pass me by, the walls will take new shades, the floors will show their character, but my foundation will stand firm and unchanged. 

All good things take time. This good thing will take a lifetime. 

I'm learning to not depsise the process so much. 




sarah kierstead