Fixer Upper has taken HGTV by storm. It's the popular home design show featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines, a dynamic and totally endearing couple from Waco, Texas who are known for taking the worst house on the best street and turning it into the house everyone wants.
A video recently circulated on my Facebook news feed featuring Joanna's story of her inspiring trust in God's direction for her life purpose. Judging from the number of repeat shares, I suspect my husband and I weren't the only ones who got a bit misty-eyed after watching it.
Joanna describes her journey as an ongoing conversation with God, who she says has guided her work and success. Her story of faith helped me understand how she can repeatedly take neglected properties and revive them to become warm, inviting and beautiful spaces for individuals and families to call home. She says God has a purpose for everyone and the key is to deny the "enemy's" attempt to stop you from pursuing your passion. The lies try to say "You can't do it... You aren't good enough... You won't succeed...", but they have no power when you stand up to them.
When our family lived in Texas I started my own home design business while raising our young children, so I admire Joanna and Chip's ability to balance parenting with their thriving business. They can walk into a home that's outdated, crowded, dark and unappealing and right where most people see a dump, they see a potential palace.
There's an important spiritual lesson here in how we view ourselves and others. The recent Dove beauty campaign highlights this, asking women the question, "Are you beautiful or average?" Dove found that 96 percent of the women they interviewed don't use the word beautiful to describe themselves, whereas 80 percent of those surveyed invariably found something beautiful about other women.
We all have something about ourselves that we probably want to fix -- and that includes both men and women. But what a relief to discover that what we seek is right within us. Beauty, joy, light, harmony, balance are all qualities that can't be bought or created out of thin air. Even if we feel we don't possess them, they are, in fact, the rich inheritance we each have as God's creation.
How do we claim this inheritance? I've found that earnest prayer has a way of entering the dark, crowded, unappealing parts of our lives and hearts and transforming them into the spaces they were originally created to be. Prayer that appeals to an all-good God cancels fear with love, denies lies with the truth and decorates the walls of our consciousness with gratitude and joy. It rids us of unwanted visitors such as old resentments, barriers of defensiveness, and the grime of greed and ingratitude.
Prayer is light, the same light that Jesus brought through his healing ministry. He said, "I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won't be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path." (John 8:12) Jesus certainly had a way of looking at those he healed through this living light, whether they were sick or labeled a sinner. And he didn't spend weeks or hours fixing them. Instead, the transformation was instantaneous.
While we may not feel able to reach the high bar that he set, we all have the tools to try. A spiritual pioneer who explained Jesus' healing model and described these tools wrote that "We are all sculptors, working at various forms, moulding and chiseling thought." And "We must form perfect models in thought or we will never carve them out in grand and noble lives." (Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy). She wasn't talking about visualizing perfect human beings, but seeing their spiritual nature through the lens of prayer.
Just as the stunning transformations on HGTV's Fixer Upper begin with vision and creative ideas, we too have access to spiritually inspired views of ourselves and others. The good news is you don't have to fix anything. Simply discover what's already there.