You leave home and you move on and you do the best you can
I got lost in this old world and forgot who I am
I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me
~The House That Built Me, by Miranda Lambert, written by Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin
I still drive by from time to time. I just can’t help myself. This ramshackle old place is the “house that built me.” It was my grandmother’s house, my favorite place to be. I knew love and joy inside this old farmhouse. I was an innocent, young child surrounded by the people I loved. The world had not yet left much of a mark on me. I had joy and love. From my limited perspective, life was pretty good.
It was a simple old farmhouse. It had a nice, shady front porch that opened into a plaster walled living room with a woodstove. The kitchen was huge, outfitted with vintage cabinets (in other words, old) and lovely green colored walls. Grandma’s room was downstairs and the upstairs room fit between the attic space in a quaint, dollhouse way. The house had electricity, but no running water. The moss covered front step going up to the porch was made of limestone, cold even on the hottest day. I still love that old house.
Grandma passed away in the mid 80’s and the house was empty for a long time. I’d go visit and ramble around, just remembering. In the late 90’s, a troubled man decided it would be fun to burn down the old house. His destructive act left it’s mark on the house, but it still stands. Physical evidence of the memories of a little girl, now grown up.
The world took it’s toll on me, too. No one walks in this world for long, unaffected by sin and disease. We all have our hurts and most of us carry some battle scars. Some of our pain comes from the actions of others. Some consequences are of our own making. In any case, I lost much of the innocence, joy and unaffected love of childhood. Living in this world leaves us lost, blind and broken. I think that’s why we like to go “home.” It isn’t the place, but the memory of the person we were before that keeps us coming back.
Something amazing has been happening in my life. It’s been a slow change. Sometimes, it’s been painfully slow. Still, I can see the healing that is taking place. I’m still broken, but not lost anymore. Joy and hope are peeking from behind the clouds that once defined my life. Best of all, I have found that love that I knew as a child.
Wish I could tell you how it works in some easy three step program. I don’t think it’s quite that easy. But, there are a few things I do know.
First, if you are “lost in this old world,” He is looking for you.
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?”
Matthew 18:12 (New Living Translation)
He wants to rescue you.
If you are broken, he wants to help.
“he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.”
Titus 3:5 (New Living Translation)
I know some people who talk about being born again as if it were some kind of overnight transformation. Maybe I’m just a tough nut to crack, but it didn’t work that way for me. My Christian walk began when I was 17, took a rather dramatic detour, and then slowly strengthened over a course of years. Slowly but surely, He is picking up the shattered pieces of my brokenness and putting them back together with his love. I can’t explain it, but I can see the results.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Galatians 5:22-23 (New Living Translation)
I’m not bragging, I’m just saying these things are gradually becoming a bit easier for me. It’s God, working on my brokenness.
So if you are lost and trying to find yourself, you need to know this. No broken down old house or broken person is going to be able to find you. You can go back and walk in the memories all you want and it will never bring back the person you were before all the hurts of life took their toll. There is only one way. One Truth. One God who loves you battle scars and all, wants to find you, and wants to give you a new life and heal the brokenness.