I don’t know about you, but I love decorating my home. No matter where I’ve lived, I’ve always made it a point to make it feel warm and cozy…a place to call my own away from the rest of the world. I think a home should reflect the person (people) living there. The colours that make you want to curl up and get cozy with a good movie or a book. From the pictures you hang on the walls to the music or books you keep on the shelf to the style of furniture you choose. All of this tells a story about who you are.
My home is a very sacred space to me. It’s become a place where I can close the door behind me and leave everything that has happened that day outside. A place where I can just breathe and unwind and be at peace. And also, as an introvert by nature and because I’m not much of a social butterfly (unless I have to be) it’s my safe haven. So what I fill my home with is very important to me. A lot of the furniture i have, with a few exceptions, are thrift store/second hand pieces that I’ve accumulated over time. If you’re patient enough you can find some really great stuff! I try to carefully pick out the pieces I want for my home so if it’s not really my style etc then I’ll pass on it and wait a little longer for what I want. It’s worth the wait when you finally score that “special something” you were holding out for. This happened to me very recently.
So, I have a spare room that has been empty for a while. At first I would just keep the door closed so I wouldn’t have to look at it when walking past. That only worked for a bit. It was starting to bother me that the room wasn’t being used. It was just…there. I started to have thoughts and ideas about what the room could be if given the chance. I got so excited just thinking about taking on another project that I found myself at the local hardware store picking out paint! I spent the next few days filling in holes, sanding it down, painting (2 coats!), touching up baseboards and cleaning up the mess. Needless to say I was exhausted. Happy with the outcome, but exhausted. And sore. Painting a room is hard work!
The next step was thinking about the vision I had for the room and filling it with pieces I would absolutely LOVE. I wanted it to be a room specifically set aside for reading, writing, prayer, being creative etc. I know I can do all of those things wherever I am but I was feeling that I needed a space specifically set aside for those things that I especially love. I made a mental note of what I wanted the room to look like when it was finished and the look and feel I wanted when I walked in. I came to the conclusion that I wanted about five main pieces in the room to make it feel/look how I wanted. One of those pieces I wanted was a giant floor mirror to lean up against one of the smaller walls facing opposite the window. I knew I wanted it to be a pewter colour. Not white, black, gold or any other colour would do. It had to be pewter. It’s all in the details!
I spent an entire day going to my favourite furniture/home decor stores, looking for inspiration. Hoping to find something that would catch my eye. To be honest. I wasn’t really expecting to find anything. Especially when I looked at all the price tags. Yikes! But then, when I thought all hope was lost, there it was. As I rounded the corner walking down one of the home decor aisles and turned to my left, I beheld the most beautiful mirror mine eyes ever did see! And even more beautiful, it was in the clearance section. (Be still my heart!)
This mirror would normally be a LOT of money so the fact that it was on clearance meant that there was a flaw. I searched the mirror all over and it didn’t take me long to discover that this beautiful clearance treasure had a piece missing. There it was. In the upper left hand corner, a small piece of glass had somehow become cracked and loosened. There was most definitely a piece missing. Just slightly bigger than a two dollar coin but you could see it clear as day. I had a choice to make. It was exactly what I was looking for. Right down to the detail. But did I still want it, flaws and all? It didn’t take me long to decide that absolutely YES I did!
I very quickly (and carefully) shimmied it off the shelf it was leaning on and awkwardly bolted for the cashier as fast as I could. (It’s a rather large mirror so it was a work out just getting it down the aisle!) The cashier called for someone to help me get the mirror into my van so I could take it home. I was SO excited and giddy the entire drive back.
Once I got it home, and up the stairs, I finally got it up against the wall I had envisioned for it in my newly made up spare room, and…it was perfect! Just as I thought. I may have done a little happy dance for good measure. I never thought I would find exactly what I was looking and hoping for, flaws and all! I didn’t even care that it had the tiniest piece missing. Every time I go into that room and look at that mirror, I barely notice it’s one flaw anymore. All I care about is that it is mine and to me, it’s perfect.
Maybe I have a thing for second hand stuff. Stuff that others throw away and is seen as trash. Stuff that others scoff at or turn their nose up at just because it doesn’t perfectly reflect how they think it should. But I have found that those broken pieces we so often disregard, they still shine. When I look into my clearance mirror, even though it has a tiny piece missing, it still shows my reflection perfectly. It still does the job it was created to do. Others may have passed it by and went on to find something “better” or something that was perfectly intact. In hopes that something else would come along that wasn’t visibly beat up or had been tarnished. But what others see as used up and no good, I see as having character.
We all have our own stories that, if honestly told, would reveal our own character. Our own flaws that have made us who we are. We all have these ideas about what we want our life to be like and we start out with youthful optimism. But over time, life has a way of teaching us that we really don’t know much about anything at all and we each take turns getting dragged through the mud. We each come out the other side of life a little more tarnished and worn than what we came in as. We all have scars that we’re ashamed of. Things that we don’t want anyone to see or know because if we did, maybe we would be left on the clearance shelf, unwanted. Or looked at differently.
Maybe you’ve been through an addiction that stole years off of your life. A bad habit that you fought and clawed your way out of and today you are free. But it’s still apart of your story that is seared into your past that makes you think, “What will people think or say of me if they knew?” Maybe you’ve been through one messy, unhealthy relationship after another. Maybe you’re divorced and it’s an embarrassing chapter in your story that you wish wasn’t there because you think, “I’m all used up. No one could love me now.” Maybe you’re a single parent and you think, “Why would anyone want to be with me and sign up for this? They’d have to be crazy!” Perhaps you didn’t grow up with loving parents and had to learn to take care of yourself the hard way. Or your family life growing up was very difficult and far from ideal that makes you think if you’re even capable of having any sense of normalcy in your own life. Perhaps you had something tragic happen to you, either by your own choices or the choices of someone else and the guilt or the shame or the anger won’t seem to let go.
The answer to all of this is, yes, you are loved. Yes, you are wanted and cherished. You are not overlooked or second rate or forgotten. In Psalm 139 of the Bible it says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and that God’s thoughts towards you are precious! If you’ve never been told that before, I am telling you now. God loves you. You are so immensely loved and wanted by Him. Every day and every breathe is another chance at life. No matter what you’ve been through, there is hope. There is still a plan for your life. Regardless of what your past looks like, you can start again. And instead of your past being used against you, you can turn around and use your past as a tool and a stepping stone to share with others. Yes you’ve been through the valley’s of life, but it was in those valley’s that you learned what it means to overcome. It’s where you learned how to fight and push through. To become stronger. Wiser. More compassionate towards others. To have your eyes opened and realize it’s not all about you. That everything you’ve been through in your life that was so heart breaking and that tried to break you, can now be used to show others that they can make it and overcome what they’re going through as well. You can inspire others to keep going. You are living proof that God is merciful and gives second chances and heals even the most shattered of hearts.
I know you don’t look like you used to. I know you don’t always feel like new. You’ve been beat up, let down, dragged through the mud kicking and screaming at times. But you are still worth so much more than you think. You are priceless. Life circumstances or other people may have put you to the side. You might find yourself on the clearance shelf…for now. But that thing about yourself that you say, “No one is gonna want me because of_____”, that’s where your beauty lies. Because that’s where your strength is. Your character was shaped out of that broken piece. Where there once was fear, now there is grit. What once felt like a prison, now there is freedom.
I know I could have possibly waited for a mirror that wasn’t partially tarnished. I could have spent a lot more money and gotten one brand new. I could have by passed my mirror like all the others and taken the chance that another would come along that hadn’t been dropped or banged up. But it was everything I had wanted. And I didn’t care that it wasn’t brand new. I didn’t care that it had a small piece missing. I cared that it was exactly what I was looking for. I cared that it was put aside, not as trash, but it was put aside just for me to find. And when I finally got it home, I cared that it was mine. Flaws and all.