Monday, June 5, 2017

I Painted a Door!

painted doorWhen Joel and I purchased this home last year, we began driving over on weekends to paint rooms and start prepping for our main move at the end of October. We almost finished painting the whole house before running out of time. Moving day came, followed by Thanksgiving, Christmas, January birthday mania, and then Joel’s Homegoing in February. Needless to say, everything came to a screeching halt…at least temporarily.

All I had left to paint was the half bath, laundry room, the foyer area and attached hallways. The trouble was…1) I no longer had the desire to paint, and 2) I didn’t have the tools to paint the height of our foyer. And yet…I wouldn’t hang pictures up in the hallway, because I knew it would be a waste of effort until the painting was done. That tore at my heartstrings, because I really wanted to hang the pictures…especially now that Joel was gone. It may seem silly to many, but it was a huge deal to me.

Precious people from a church we had visited a couple times sent over many people from several of their Lifegroups to tackle many things around the house…including the painting of the laundry room and half bath. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. Something as minor as a little gray paint on a wall can bring a whole lot of sunshine into this dismal home. And…it did.

It gave me the desire and motivation to go further. Joel’s death came before we were fully unpacked and organized around the house. Many of our non-urgent belongings still sat in boxes. The basement was a chaotic wreck, until my bonus son and daughter and their spouses got a hold of it. Then, our garage was tackled by a group of men from another local church. Little by little…this house started to feel like a home.

The day came when I finally found someone to paint the foyer for me. It was a “for hire” job, but it was really for very little money and gave me far more joy than the small pittance he took for the work. When the work was completed, I gave him his money, thanked him for squeezing me into their busy schedule, and sent them on their way. I admired their work…such a great job! Something wasn’t quite right though…I couldn’t put my finger on it at first. I walked around and kept starting at the paint. They did exactly what I asked them to do, so I know it wasn’t something they did. But…what was it?

The door! I never thought about the inside of the front door! Now, it obviously stood out (and not in a beautiful way). Good grief! Why didn’t I think of that before? I know they would have added that to their list if I had just asked. Well…I’ll get it to…someday…

Each time, it seemed, I walked by that door…it felt like it was mocking me.

Ha ha ha! You only thought you were finished! Now look what you did? It looks worse than before! What are you going to do now Leah?

That dumb door almost felt like the voice of the enemy. Each time I walked by, the mocking felt like the devil himself.

Ha ha ha! You only thought you were living the fairytale life. Now look! Your beloved is gone. Losing two spouses in one lifetime. How often do you hear that? Now what are you going to do Leah?

The last “taunting” came two nights ago. I’d had enough. I felt the voice of the enemy rising up against me with lies again.

So…what are you going to do? You might be making it now, but you’ve had lots of help. What happens when the people are gone? The job is gone? Life returns to normal for them. What are you going to do then?

I’m going to paint the door…NOW!

I promise you, life’s answer to all my problems is not simply in painting a door, but it was…in that moment.

I’ve felt, for quite awhile, the enemy has been trying to keep me down. My health crises following Joel’s death haven’t helped. He’s made sure I’ve felt the sting of everything I can’t do anymore…or at least, he makes me feel I can’t do anymore. I’d had enough of his lies on Saturday evening.

Just as I readied myself for bed, something rose up in me, and said…”Enough!” I went downstairs, grabbed the leftover paint and necessary supplies, climbed back up the stairs and started painting that door. I didn’t stop until it was complete! I took a step back, admired my imperfect work, and simply smirked and said “Hmmmph! I’ve got more where that came from Satan. Be gone from me! You have lost the war!”

So for one day, I felt a little freer, all because I painted a door!