June 16, 2014

Building the Right Foundation

There's a construction site outside my window. As I type these words, the shrill beep of a truck backing up rings over and over (and over). I got spoiled for the few years when the outpatient surgery center next door to my home sat empty. No sounds could be heard, no people seen milling about.

Then, one day I saw a handful of people walking around over there. They looked so official in their hard hats with their clipboards, nodding and taking notes as they scrutinized the property. 

As if overnight, it became a sea of activity. Dump trucks, backhoes, and all sorts of heavy machinery working nearly round the clock to get the building revamped and rebuilt so it can become something brand new. 

Now, there's a huge dirt trench that runs along the other side of my fence. Any shred of privacy I got from the rambling weeds and brush between us was carefully ripped out with a backhoe. 

It's not a pretty sight. But I'm hopeful that whatever they are building over there will end up making the property look better in the long run. 

Building anything is never easy. Whether you are starting from scratch or taking something that's already there and tearing part of it away so you can rebuild something better. 

But there's something oddly comforting about this process. In many ways, it's all we know. Our lives are constantly being molded and changed. Our relationships are built and from there they grow and develop. 

Who we are is fundamentally the same until one day, there's a tiny shift and we see everything differently. 

I have a dear, dear friend who has recently lost a significant amount of weight. Someone made a comment to her that when she was 80 pounds heavier, she was surely enslaved to food and that now she's lost the weight, doesn't she feel so much freer? 

She is definitely freer, but her response was profound to me. She said she was never enslaved to food. She was enslaved to a wrong belief that there was something inherently wrong with her and that food would in some way mask or fix that. The narrative she hears on the inside has changed and that's what is allowing her physical body to change. 

I have had wrong beliefs for much of my life too. Beliefs that I wasn't good enough, that I had to prove myself by working hard, by showing people what I could achieve. Nothing good can be supported on a foundation of wrong beliefs.

It's only when we have a foundation of grace that we can allow good things to be built in our lives. A foundation of being loved, of feeling like we are enough, of knowing that we are accepted and that we have value.

In case nobody's told you lately: You are loved. You are enough. You are accepted. You have value.