So for years I was pining and dreaming and planing about starting life anew somewhere, anywhere, besides Norfolk,Va. We had finished that chapter of our life living there. I didn't think I could stand another day or second there. I was grateful to God for all we had gone through and learned while we were there. Having been a Christian my whole life but never really getting to know the depth of God until I was stuck. Stuck in a home that was never quite right, stuck in a community that was never quite right, stuck in a school system that was never quite right. I mean even the weather was depressing. I often refer to that time as my "Babylon". God had me there for a reason and protected me and nurtured me through it but I always knew it was temporary. Or so I prayed that it was. Always wanting the easy road to travel, He taught me some of the hardest and most precious life lessons ever in that house. Lessons that shaped me, molded me, and changed me (for the better I believe) forever. I'll never forget the day I was upstairs, in the middle of resurfacing every single wall with plaster, and I heard in my spirit a word from Him. As I smeared layer after layer of plaster and then came back to sand every single imperfection, He shed light on my future. You see, if you angle the light just right on a plaster wall it can look beautiful, seamless, and without imperfection. But change the angle and intensity of the light and all the imperfections become just too obvious. And isn't that how we are? If we angle the light just right in our lives and minds and manipulate our surroundings, everything can look pretty good. But turn up the brightness and change our direction towards God and allow Him to shed His light on us and you will soon discover every scar, crack, unfinished seem and places of emptiness. So, the sanding (which we all hate if we are honest) began, and as I took my light and placed it close to every flawed area, I was able to re-patch it , smooth it out, and sand down the lumps and bumps. He whispered ever so softly, in that way that He only can, that while I am in the process of patching up these walls and my life there are areas that He still needed to work on, smooth over, and unfortunately sand . And so He did. Some of the most painful and joy-filled years of my life, my husbands life, and my children's life happened under that little roofed house. The one with only 1 bathroom for 7 people. The one that was always freezing in the cold Virginia winters and sweltering in the muggy, humid, dog days of summer. The one that never seemed to allow for a beautiful yard because of the awful condition of the soil. The one with the smallest kitchen and bathroom ever put into a home. The one with awful floors that never looked fresh and new. Then, as if by a miracle, all that changed. As I began to change , my family began to change, and our little home with all its imperfections began to change. And one by one and day by day our plans and dreams fell into place. All our hard work was was producing fruit. Never underestimate the power of healing and progression that God can produce in your life. Even when you think you are a finished work, He can take you places you only dared to dream about. Allow Him to shed His light on you.