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Demo, Deep Clean, Decorate

Before I moved this last February, the Holy Spirit had been doing some deep cleaning in my temple. This deep cleaning started last year in April 2018 after a Power and Love conference.


Jesus bought my ticket.


For real, He did. Have you ever heard of anyone declaring checks in the mail? Well, I got one... from the DMV. The day after the Holy Spirit told me to buy my ticket. It covered the entire amount of my conference ticket plus $10! That perk made the thought of this long awaited vacation even better. This was a trip I was taking on my own, no husband, no kids, no friends, just me for 4 days. There were a few things I had asked from the Lord- I didn't actually ask out loud I just thought them. My first "thought request" was not to pay more than $60 per night wherever I stayed. The second, was that I really wanted a pool or a hot tub. Sometimes the best reward is when you don't have to ask for something out-loud and someone just does it for you because they know you and love you.




Ticket purchased, check received, full of faith, I started looking for someone to share a room with. I looked on the Power and Love conference Facebook page and a young woman posted that she had 1 space in her room. I reached out to this sweet stranger from Las Vegas and asked if she'd consider me. It was already a part of God's plan. A few days later this wonderful woman of God told me that God put it on her heart to get a bigger place. He told her there was one more person He wanted to be there- so she stepped out in faith and put the offer up for a space before she had the place reserved.


Later on, this divine connection ushered incredible breakthrough and started the process of God doing some much needed surgery on my heart. After the first night of the Power and Love conference, I met my 3 roommates, 3 incredible women on fire for Jesus. God even worked out my transportation situation, since I took the train. Thank you Jesus! We pulled up to the place- a brand new condo complex. The condo was beautifully furnished, it had a pool and a spa, and my portion was $50 per night. God is good! The young woman I coordinated with said they had even saved a specific room for me, as led by the Holy Spirit.



I walked in and on the left hand side there was a giant teddy bear. Above the queen size bed, a night time picture of Paris with the Eiffel Tower lit up in gold sparkles. Beside the bed on the nightstand, a ukulele. I stood in awe with tears rolling down my face. The sermon I listened to that first night when I arrived was about how we have to receive and know the Father's love for us before we are able to minister appropriately to others in love. Here in this moment I felt like God reached down, picked me up and held me. The bear on the side of the room was a replica of a bear I had when I was 5 years old. A bear that I ran after and bargained for with tears when my grandma and mom tried to sell it at a garage sale. Paris, a place I lived for a year while in college. A child-hood dream realized and a goal achieved. Even though I did not make the best decisions living there, He was still there loving and protecting me. The ukulele, representing the guitar He had me bring on the trip as an act of faith. He was creating the worshipper He always intended me to be. In this incredible moment, I felt the Father's love in an entirely different and tangible way. He showed me in this moment that He cared about every single detail of my life. He can even use interior design to show His love for us-- because He wants to be in everything we do.


 

"And all the craftsmen among the workmen made the tabernacle with ten curtains. They were made of fine twined linen and blue and purple and scarlet yarns, with cherubim skillfully worked. The length of each curtain was twenty-eight cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits. All the curtains were the same size." Exodus 36:8-9


 


If we let God into the midst of every process, He will inspire us to be the creative person He made us to be. Before we can truly decorate our lives with fun, cool, gorgeous things or walk fully and freely in our spiritual gifts... there are a few things that need to be done. There is a process. Any other HGTV lovers out there? The two channels I watch are the Food Network and HGTV. My two favorite shows on HGTV are Property Brothers and Chip and Joanna on Fixer Upper (who will one day decorate my house in Jesus name). Before you take an old, run-down, ugly, dirty house and make it into something beautiful, you have to demolish it. The contractor has to take out the old beams, the uneven foundation, all the horrible flooring, the disgusting wallpaper, and the hidden broken leaking pipes- everything that is old and broken must come out. Most of the time you need some specialized tools to get the job done. While the demo process is being done, all the hidden secret problems are revealed. And it costs, ALOT. It can be scary and cause anxiety for the people in the process since it wasn't a problem they were expecting. Even though we might not know what to do in the moment or even how to fix it, Jesus loves us right in the middle of our mess and corrects us because He loves us even more. Just like on every house flipping show, the once horrible house is transformed into the most wonderful home.



This demo process is a good description of what I experienced spiritually. I have experienced many types of emotional demolition in my life, however not with anyone who was planning on genuinely building me back up. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit is not one who uses a sledgehammer to crush us. Our Savior has a much gentler approach in taking our our broken and even shattered pieces and building us back into His blueprint. As the Holy Spirit moved me to worship, read my Bible, and listen to what He was saying to me, old thought patterns and reactions started to fade away. As He started to transform my mind, I was able to start lifting up the painful experiences of my past up to Him. Every single event in my life that was brought back to my mind, I repented of the sin I had committed, forgave the people involved, and lifted up the emotions to the Lord. I didn't think of this process on my own. He led me to reach out to a woman I didn't know from Las Vegas and ask to stay in her room. That same woman prayed with me the last night of the conference using a prayer process called "Set Free" developed by Jim Gardner. I highly recommend his book, "Trading Pain for Peace." The Lord gave me the strategy He wanted me to use, the strategy He knew would work for me. And I was obedient to follow it. As the Holy Spirit deep cleaned my heart, I started to deep clean my house.


In the past I had heard that Jesus cleans from the inside out. I wasn't sure what that actually meant when I was younger or even a few years ago, but now I can say I am more familiar with His cleaning approach. From the outside, we can look like we have it all together. We can even feel like we have it all together. Yet no matter how much we look or feel like we are doing just fine without anyone's help, we cannot hide from God. He knows everything. He knows the secret thoughts in our minds that we try not to have, but somehow they sneak in. He even knows the thoughts that we are being rebellious about and don't care how bad they are, we are going to justify them anyway. He knows every time we shoved the guilt and shame we felt about something deep down in our heart--instead of the joy that is supposed to be there. He knows the tears we cry in secret. He also knows exactly how many layers of thick skin we grew as we tried to not let toxic words, dirty looks, pain, loss, or tragedy bring us down.


 

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:1-10

 

As He pulled out the nettles and carefully plucked out the thorns in my heart, I started to go through the things in my house that I had kept to remind me who I was. I kept every single report card I had ever received from elementary through college. I succeeded in academics, it was the area I received the most praise. I had collections of foreign coins, French books, trinkets from around the world- I was a traveler. I was also a collector of free and cheap furniture. I prided myself in never buying anything new for myself- I was frugal. I had boxes full of false identities, unknown hidden idols, and the decorations I adorned my temple with were only what other people had given me. I had developed an identity attached to meaningless things, completely outside God's will for my life. He sent His Son to die on the cross, so I could discover my unique identity. He wanted me to know that I am His daughter. The more I felt His love for me, the more I threw away the idols of my past. What is even more beautiful about this process is that God didn't want me to do it alone. He sent me someone who had already been through the process to help me. He sent me a sweet friend who spoke God's truth, even when it stung and who gave me encouragement, when I needed it most. After almost an entire year of deep cleaning my soul and my house, God told me it was time to move.

In Matthew 10:10, The Passion Translation reads,"Travel light, and don't even pack an extra change of clothes in your backpack. Trust God for everything, because the one who works for Him deserves to be provided for." Though I had more than a couple tunics, it felt odd moving with only our mattresses, our clothes and shoes, some pots and pans, and General's medical equipment. I gave, sold, or threw away everything else. And God provided. He led us to a newly remodeled apartment with a brand new washer and dryer! Oh the Lord Jesus Christ knows the desires of my heart! Even the sidewalk and the landscape was completely redone and brand new before we moved in. I had never purchased a piece of brand new furniture for the exception of my son's mini crib when he came home from the hospital. In March, I was able to buy all new furniture, a trundle bed frame for my girls, and a brand new couch. Jehovah Jireh provided the finances at the perfect time and provided everything we needed, after I was obedient to give away what He asked me to.


The Holy Spirit is continuing to rebuild the rooms that were torn down in my temple. He is doing something so new in me, I have no idea what it looks like. So much so that I have to come before the Lord in His presence each day and pray, "God, give me Your perspective on my day, give me Your thoughts, and help me not fall back into old ways." When I don't know what to do, I have to ask the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I have to wait to hear the answer, and in the waiting He said, "Be strong, and let your heart take courage; and wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14). He also taught me to clean my actual house, so I have plenty to do in the waiting. When we let God create in us a clean heart and we let Him take us through our own unique process of continual surrender to His will, He starts to decorate us with His glory. He shows us the beautiful, incredible spiritual gifts He already put inside of us and then shows us how to bless those around us. He made you magnificent so that you could tell others about Him and what He did for you.



Decorating with Jesus

The Holy Spirit has been leading me to the most amazing art pieces to decorate my actual home and I wanted to take a moment in this blog to share. Each piece has been a scavenger hunt in itself. The painting on the top left was painted by Deborah Cole. I met Deborah at the Power and Love conference in a wonderful way. She is an amazing warrior and a prophetic artist, all while fighting cancer. A couple weeks after I left the conference I visited my family on the Central Coast and I had a vision during a church service. My vision was of a bright white light with an aura of gold and the colors of the rainbow were radiating around it. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and He said the fulfillment of His promise is for us to radiate His perfect light. Deborah had posted this beautiful painting a couple weeks after that. When I saw it I was in complete awe, it was my vision translated into a piece of art. The art piece on the right was drawn by Donloyn LeDuff Gadson. In the midst of many spiritual battles, I was connected to this artist on Facebook by my sweet friend, whom I mentioned above. She tagged me in the discussion of this piece of art, titled "Within the Selfie". When I saw it, I reached out to Donloyn due to the personal connection I had to it and the specific images she had drawn. God then used her and her book, "Belief in Wings, Evolving from Self-doubt to Personal Power" to continue my healing process. On the bottom left is my most recent purchase, painted by a mother and daughter artist team. Their prophetic art business is named Paint and Worship. This last month I had a vision of deep blues and reds, purple, and orange flowing together after worshipping with praise flags in my living room. At the same time I was studying Leviticus and God was teaching me about sacrifice and His tabernacle. These colors are similar to the ones described in the Bible in Exodus. About week ago, I attended an Open Heaven service in Orange County and I had the honor of meeting Julyza, one of the co-owners of Paint and Worship. She had a few pieces of art displayed on the front table. When I saw the piece pictured above, I knew it in my spirit it was my vision. I had to buy it. Each of these amazing women love Jesus and they are building His Kingdom by using the gifts God gave them and inspiring those around them to be creative and let the Holy Spirit flow freely in them.


There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. Proverbs 20:15



As I continue to let the Lord decorate me in His priceless jewels from heaven, the precious gifts from the Bridegroom to His bride, I walk joyfully in His presence. I can walk through any valley, I can hike up any mountain with Jesus by my side. He is my Jehovah Jireh showing me His incredible Agape love and I'm overflowing. I am so excited for the next scavenger hunt He has planned. He has inspired me to write this blog to share my testimonies, because I let Him into the dark places in my life. He has inspired me to sing songs from heaven, because I gave Him the complaints I used to repeat day in and day out. He inspires me to dance, because He broke the chains off my feet. Each person's walk with the Lord is unique and different. Your journey with the Holy Spirit will not only be different than mine, it will be so much better because He designed it for you. Jesus loves YOU!

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