my father-in-law, steve olin, has an amazing gift. he can take something old, repurpose it and make it new again. i walk into a thrift store and see junk, he walks in and sees potential.
and not only does he see what it can be, but he also has the talent to get it to that point where his vision becomes a reality. he can build or rebuild anything. he’s not intimidated by something that is missing or something that is broken. he simply does what needs to be done to let that item become what it can be.
my father-in-law knows something deep in his being that is a foundational truth—one that i cling to dearly. he believes in restoration.
regardless of how perfect your life seems, whether you have an intact family, a big house, a dream job or a thin waist, every one of us goes through life broken in some way.
and we all have some broken place or places that spills out a variety of emotions and dysfunction.
sometimes things that were a part of our lives are no longer there.
and to be restored, we sometimes have to be dismantled.
in the past few years, i feel like a lot of things have been broken and dismantled in my life.
i’ve felt discarded, unusable at times. there are moments when i’ve felt like my “glory days” have come and gone. there are times when i’ve felt like i don’t have anything to offer anymore, and i wonder if the rest of my professional life will just be a job. there’s nothing wrong with that. but it’s just not been my experience up until now.
i would imagine that a lot of this has to do with being in my mid-40s.
i’m no longer the passionate twenty-something trying to change the world.
i’m no longer in my 30s—which for me, were the highlight of my creativity with editing a magazine, writing a book and other numerous incredible opportunities.
i’m in between.
and i’m just experienced and jaded enough to wonder “what’s next?”
but i have a history. my story didn’t just begin. because all those great moments were preceeded by a “what’s next?” as well, wondering when those dreams would become a reality.
and in some way, i feel like i’m being repurposed. what God used before is changing to serve a different role, a different function. i’m being restored but into something only He envisions.
i have such a limited perspective.
and He has taken so many broken pieces of my life and told a story of restoration, that i have no reason to believe that He is finished with me, that He will leave me discarded.
my story is a story of restoration. your story is one of restoration. the Gospel story, the story of us and God, is one of restoration.
and it’s one that is continually being written. because i’m a broken man. the depth of that brokenness is something only God can see. it goes beyond career or dreams to the core of who i am. He gently restores me.
sometimes He strips away the old. sometimes He pulls back something that is rotten. and He fixes it and makes it new.
there are times when i’m not much to look at. but this restoration project will go on for years. and when He’s done, it will be an amazing testament to His love, patience and the ability to see in me something that no one else can or could see.
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