Feel like your life is falling apart? The Truth Behind God’s Restoration Plan

There are 4 steps to God’s biblical restoration process when you’re walking through hard times.

It can be tempting to believe that your life is falling apart because God has simply forgotten about you, or that he just doesn’t care, but this is not the truth. God is often closest to us when we suffer. The reason you might struggle to notice that is because your focus is on the wrong thing.

When it comes to trusting God during hard times, it helps to understand something about the way he works and about what restoration looks like in the Bible and your life.

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My 2023 Word of the Year: Restoration

My word for 2023 was restoration. I wasn’t planning on having a word for the year but God gave this one to me. The first time I felt it in my spirit, I thought that was exactly what I needed! This was my year for restoration.

Things had been so hard for so long and this was the year all of that would end. I just knew that everything was going to be better and everything was going to improve. I was so wrong because none of that happened. 2023 was the year that every single aspect of my life was wrecked to the ground.

My life right now looks nothing like it looked this time last year. Every single area of my life was stripped bare and I ended last year feeling raw, exposed, and vulnerable. It was such an unpleasant experience for me that when it got to the end of the year and people started announcing their word for 2024, I was like nope, I’m not playing.

I’m not doing a word for the year. I don’t want to do that. I did that last year and I didn’t like how it went. God has a sense of humor and knows how to deal with this stubborn daughter of his. There was this word that started stalking me in the fall and did finally surrender to it for this year.

I’ll probably share more about it in the future, but today I want to share with you what I learned about restoration as I went through last year, which was hard in every way imaginable for me. 

When you think of restoration I bet the image in your mind is HGTV, right?  A team takes a rundown, sad-looking house the moves towards the end goal where it’s beautiful.  It’s completely redone and wonderful. You can hardly tell that there was ever a problem.

I’ve learned that’s not exactly how God works when it comes to his process of restoration. The example in the bible that always comes to my mind when I think about the restoration process is Joseph. When we meet Joseph at the beginning of his story in Genesis he’s this young boy home with his family.

His father has given him this special coat and the Lord has given him dreams about his future. He’s to be a leader and do great things. But most of his life doesn’t look like that: he gets sold as a slave, loses his family, gets accused of certain things, and is thrown in jail.

All of these things go on in Joseph’s life that don’t look anything like the plan that God showed him in the beginning. Eventually, we see at the end that he does live out the vision that God gave him. The process of being restored to that original vision was not fun or easy. 

The same thing goes for us. When I told God I wanted him to restore my life, my circumstances, my hopes, and my dreams my mind went to that finished product when everything was new, shiny, beautiful, and “perfect”. That’s all I wanted and I do believe that restoration is a promise from God.

He wants to restore us but, like a lot of things, it’s not going to look the way we think it looks because he’s God and his ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts. He knows everything and he knows exactly what he’s doing. We have to learn to be okay with that. 

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Biblical Restoration Process Step 1: Gutting

This past year, what I learned is that there are four different stages to this restoration process. It’s very much like when you restore a house or a piece of furniture. The first thing that happens in any kind of restoration process that I’ve ever seen is gutting or leveling everything to the ground. 

If you’re going to restore a piece of furniture, you have to take off all the fabric and covers. You have to take everything off and sand all the old stuff off. This process is not fun but I think it’s where a lot of us are right now. Seeing so many things not go the way we want or get more difficult.

We’re losing things that we have held precious to us. It is so hard. I cried so much last year and I’m not a crier. I grieved so much last year because I felt like everything was being stripped away and taken away from me.

Now that the year is over, I’ve learned that God has a purpose in that. I’ll say more about that in step 3. Step 1 is where everything has to be stripped bare, everything has to be knocked down for God to restore you.

Biblical Restoration Process Step 2: Planning

The second stage in this restoration process is planning. God is a master architect. He has the blueprint and knows exactly what needs to go where, what needs to be fixed, what needs to stay, and what needs to be replaced.

He has the plan. Your job in this planning stage is to learn to trust God. To grow your faith and to grow your relationship with God so that you can trust the process. This is often very difficult to do. I was gutted last year and it did not feel good.

I did not want to play anymore. I told God I was going to take my ball and go home and maybe pick a word for 2025.  I still feel extremely raw and exposed, but I ended up 2023 in a place where I felt closer to God than I had ever felt before. My relationship with God is so different.

I can feel his presence more. I have a better understanding of who he is, which means that I have a better understanding of who I am, which gave me a different perspective on my circumstances. Yes, things are still hard. They are worse in a lot of areas than they’ve ever been before, but I have a new perspective on that and that’s because I learned how to trust God in a way that I hadn’t before.

Biblical Restoration Process Step 3: Foundation

The third stage in this restoration process is setting a foundation. That gutting process of having everything stripped away and torn down and losing so much did not feel good. Before the end of last year, around September or October,  I realized that it all had to go because my foundation was shaky. 

It was full of holes, it was uneven, and it just needed to go. God needed to strip all of everything away to give me a firm and solid foundation. When I say a foundation, I mean the very core of my faith. I had to relearn the gospel all over again. 

I had to empty my mind of everything that I thought about God, that I thought about the Bible, and that I thought about myself. I needed a blank slate to forget everything in my 40 years that I had been taught or that I thought I knew. 

I had to lay all of that aside and allow God to rebuild my foundation. I had to let God tell me who he is, tell me the gospel, and tell me who I am. At the end of the year, I realized I had this foundation now that I didn’t have before the process started. 

If you know anything about building, f your foundation is shoddy, then you might as well not build anything. It might look nice when you’re done with it, but it might have a sinkhole or slide. Eventually, it’s going to fall apart. 

This is why it’s important when you are walking through hard things, to have a firm foundation. 

My little guys liked to sing “The wise man built his house upon the rock”. Last year, I realized that my house had been built on the sand, and that is why I was struggling so much when things weren’t going the way that I thought they should. 

Because my foundation was on the sand the storms came and washed my faith all the way right out to sea. God was like great, now that it’s gone, let me give you a true foundation. Let me give you the truth, something firm and solid that’s not going to change so that you can continue to walk this thing out while you’re here on earth. 

This is where I did a lot of mindset work. Remember, things still aren’t better.  A lot of things are worse and I’m still waiting on God. I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life. Last year was this mindset journey, this process of renewing my mind about everything related to my faith. And learning how to wait well on God for whatever it is that he’s going to do. 

Biblical Restoration Process Step 4: Beautification

The final stage is the beautification process. I’m not even going to call this the final product because, truth be told, the final product (the moment when Ty shows up with his crew and yells “Move that bus!”) is Heaven. We’re not going to see that here on earth.

But we have a beautification that we can experience. What I’m learning is that it is the ability to rest in knowing that Jesus is in control, and live and enjoy your life no matter what. It’s seeing the goodness of God in the land of the living. 

The beautification process is that even when everything is awful and you’re feeling raw, vulnerable, and exposed and nothing makes sense, you can still look around and you can see beauty. You can have that beauty for ashes that’s promised in Isaiah.

You can have all of those things because you’ve allowed God to do this restoring process of removing all of the stuff that isn’t true, that isn’t from Him. That’s keeping you from being close to Him and feeling close to Him. You’ve allowed Him to remove all of that stuff, rebuilt your trust, rebuilt your relationship and now you have a foundation that you can stand on to see you through. That’s beautiful.

Final Thoughts on the Biblical Restoration Process 

I don’t know how your 2023 was, but if you are in a season of hard pain and suffering, I want to encourage you. You can experience God’s presence right in the middle of your pain and your suffering. I promise you that God is right there with you even if you don’t know it, don’t feel it, and can’t see it. 

Going through this restoration process this past year has helped me to fully embrace that. I know with all certainty that God is with me. I know that His presence is with me. I know that he’s here. I know that I’m not alone and that I’m not forgotten.

Nobody can take that away from me. Even if the worst thing imaginable happened in my life today, it wouldn’t take that from me because my foundation is so firm. I want to encourage you to surrender to the restoration process. It’s not fun, it is very hard and it doesn’t feel good. 

As I said, it still doesn’t feel good for me because it’s an ongoing process. When you can surrender to that, God will give you beauty for your ashes. He will give you so much peace, rest, and the strength to live your life.

Not only to live your life but to enjoy your life despite the circumstances.  You can have an abundant life right here and now. That doesn’t mean that things are perfect or easy. It just means that you know that God is with you.

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