What We Can Learn From HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”: Part 1

“Forget the former things. Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” Isaiah 43:9

HGTV’s show Fixer Upper has my husband and my undivided attention. We usually don’t watch tv except for sports and sometimes The Voice but we stumbled upon an episode of Fixer Upper not too long ago. We absolutely loved it! During the show, we laughed, shared glances, talked about what “we would do”, and just had a great time together. Since then, I have started recording them so we can watch together when we have a free hour.

The stars of the show, Chip and Joanna Gaines, make it the show we crave to see. They are married, have four children, and personalities that are thoughtful, fun and contagious. The premise of the show is this: Chip and Joanna are going to help a family purchase a home. Their goal is to find the worst home in the best neighborhood to renovate for the purchasers. They show them 3 houses and discuss with them the possibilities and financial overview of each. Then the family gets to decide which one they want to choose. Chip and Joanna start the renovation and by the end of the show, they reveal to the owners what they accomplished.

I think we can learn a great deal of wisdom from this couple. Over the next few blogs, I am going to write about what God has shown me through this show. There are several things that pop out to me but I’m going to write about the most important first.

This sweet Texas couple have me thinking about how my life has been like those seemingly nasty houses they find. Sometimes the exterior can look okay but when they enter through the door, there is not much that seems good. Occasionally, the purchasers will see one or two features they like, but for the most part, there doesn’t seem like much hope at all for this house.

Chip and Joanna see something completely different. They have visions of this house, with the right tools and touch, being completely transformed. They can see how beautiful, despite years of wear and tear, it can become. They see the beauty through the brokenness. They know the tools and work it will take to transform ugliness into magnificent. And by the end of the show, they can prove to everyone else what was there all along.

This is so much like Jesus. He sees inside of us to the mess that is there but He sees past the mess to the beauty. He can envision what we could look like and even has all of the tools and touch to get us there. Like these purchasers, we just have to trust Him. We have to hand our houses over to Him for a complete remodel. Even though we don’t know how it can happen, we have to hand over our life to the Saviour and leave it there for Him to work on and make beautiful once again. He wants us to forget the past and look toward the future, allowing Him to do a mighty work in us.

How does this look? We confess our ugliness. We turn our lives over to Him. We let Him work while we worship, show our devotion, pray, and study the Bible. We stop ignoring what is broken and we turn to Him for healing. We stop trying to fix our lives and instead lean in close to our Father and let Him fix it. We acknowledge the ugliness but we also see the beauty through God’s eyes in who He created us to be. We let Him restore us. We find a group of people who love Jesus to encourage us on our journey and we reach out to them when we need guidance and encouragement. We see the qualities God has given us that are good and beautiful and focus on those. We leave the past ugliness behind and look towards Jesus and our future with Him.

Chip and Joanna can make houses look new again. But God can make lives new again. Embrace His vision for your life and start letting Him remodel those ugly things that have taken over you. It just takes one step at a time. Take a step in the right direction, then repeat… then repeat again.

And in the words of Joanna Gaines, “Focus on the things in front of you and all around you. Enjoy and rest in today and embrace all that is good, lovely, and pure. Allow yourself a fresh start today …”

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