Almost two years ago, my husband, Zack, and I embarked on a HUGE renovation project – probably caused by one too many Fixer Upper episodes. We took on this project with the dream to do it ourselves. We had no previous experience with a project this size, and when we found our house, I seriously wondered if my husband was playing a joke on me. But as I sat in what is now our dining room, I slowly began to visually strip the “ugly” parts of the house and started to see what it could be.
When thinking about a renovation or “fixer upper,” I’m reminded how we, as children of God, are changed one little piece at a time.
Webster’s Dictionary defines renovate as “to restore to a former better state as by cleaning, repairing, or rebuilding; to restore to life, vigor, or activity; to revive.”
Isn’t this what we are doing daily as we walk in a relationship with the Lord? He takes us just as we are…broken. He sees the ugly pieces and cleans, repairs, and restores them. He can heal all our wrongs and all our wounds.
“He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds,” Psalms 147:3.
Just like our home, a place that had been covered in layers of old paint, battered paneling, and worn linoleum flooring, God sees all our layers and starts to slowly peel away the past hurts, past mistakes, and past messes, and He reveals something beautiful. He doesn’t just cover us up or repaint us; instead, He transforms us from the inside out.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will,” Romans 12:2-3.
When we first entered our home and began mapping out the design, we wanted to take down some walls, however, we couldn’t simply come in swinging sledge hammers. We first needed to take steps to ensure we had a solid foundation, including beams that would support and hold up our home. God is doing just that with us. He gives us strength when we think we have nothing left. He holds us up when we feel we could fall, and He gives us the support we need to stand.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak,” Isaiah 40:29.
We were washed clean, forgiven, and restored to life by the cross. We are not just “fixed” or “looking new” – we are brand new, completely restored in the eyes of our God. He saved us not because of anything we’ve earned or done, but His beautiful mercy covers our sin and gives us a new life.
“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:5.
Just like our “fixer upper,” which is far from complete and will always be a work in progress, the same is to be said of us. No matter where we are in our lives or what may be in our pasts, we are all in need of repairs and some restoration. We simply need to look to the only One who forgives sins and can give life. All we must to do is offer our full surrender. He can create beautiful.
So the question remains, in the words of one of my favorite designers: “Do you have the guts to take on a Fixer Upper?” Will you let God work to build something beautiful out of your story?
Kristine is the Assistant Director of Children's Ministry at Life Church, and loves teaching kiddos about the love of Jesus. She also loves being able to cook in her kitchen again after a long renovation project. Email her at