Well hey!!!!!! It's been a minute! How have yall been? I hope you have been well. Let me tell y'all how life has been for me! C H A O S wrapped in a bow! lol.
I'm glad you asked, Olivia!!! But no, I've been managing a new job, going into an actual office to work, a rambunctious gaggle of kids, rebranding Taylors World, being a wife, and finishing up my MBA. And while this has all been kicking my tail, it has proven that I am capable of more than I thought as long as I put my mind to it! But...we aren't really here for that!
Alright, so boom! The Lord randomly (random to me) gives me words. I generally jot them down or as of late I've shared them with one of my accountability partners. She has started a running list and it allows me to see my progress, but also for me it has shown me that I am able to recognize the voice of God better as I grow (we'll talk about that another time 🙄). But a few months back, I received the word restoration. Now, I know what the word means, so initially I didn't bother to look up the definition. So, in true Jamell fashion, I kept on about my life and continued to do a million other things. Then one day, that word came back around. So, I decided to look the definition up. I was a little amused and baffled when I saw the full definition.
A few different things to explain. 1: the base word restore is a transitive verb, meaning it has to be done to something or someone, meaning a change has to occur. 2: restore means to give back or return; to put or bring back into existence or use. Now, you are probably wondering "what that got to do with anything"...I was too! But, it is important to know that over the past year and a half, I made a vow to heal me. This meant that I had work to do and I was committing to that work, no matter how hard it was. The byproduct of me doing this work are the changes you are seeing in Taylors World (hope you're enjoying the new site).
But back to restoration! So, back in June, my Mom had a minor surgery and I went home to take care of her. Well, her surgery time was pushed back, so I figured I'd leave the hospital for a minute and go visit Taylor's God Mom since I was not far from her. Well, in my journey to her house, I realized I was close to the house where the fire happened. It's important to understand that in 6 years I had NO desire to go to that neighborhood or to even see the house. But this day, something told me to go and see. My mind had blocked so much out that I had to look up the news article from the fire to find the address. I found it and built up the courage to actually turn down the street.
For more context, when the fire happened, the house was condemned by the city and no one lived there because of the damage. Well, as I got closer to the house, I noticed that the memory that I had of this house was no longer the reality of that house. Someone had purchased the house, gutted it, and restored it. (I'll post pictures below) Something that was so engraved in my mind wasn't what someone with a fresh perspective saw. Where I only saw death and hurt, someone else saw potential and good bones.
The point in sharing this is in hopes that as you are reading this, you are encouraged to go back and look at areas in your life with a different lens. Think of those things like the houses we see on HGTV that on the outside are dilapidated and run down. But once the builder goes in to see the inside and they see the house has good structure/good bone, they begin to see the potential of the house. With a little love, some rehab, some cleaning, and hard work, this house can reach its full potential. We are like those houses. We have to have someone who sees the full potential in us, God does. We have to be willing to do the work to clean and gut us out; therapy, self-accountability, or whatever it is that you need to do for a better you!
Restoration can only happen when some type of action is done. It can be yours if you are willing to make the investment and do the work!
***PICTURES BELOW ARE FROM THE HOUSE FIRE***
I have never publicly shared these photos. But I have promised to be honest and transparent in this space of healing. To explain the pictures (it's a slide show), the first 3 pictures are the house the next afternoon after Taylor, her sister, and aunt passed. This was after I had just left from going to identify her body. So this was all that was in my head for over 5 years. For over 5 years, I could only associate death with this house.
This is the house has it stands today. These 2 pictures represent how someone is able to see beyond all the damage and see that structurally, this can be something much better than the current state and eye sore. This is what restoration is about. It doesn't look like the place that I associated with death. And it's all because someone saw the potential and did the work to restore.