By Tina Johnson on @deenamadams
Thanks for reading! May God inspire you through Tina’s story and instill hope in your heart when hard times come.
If you missed part one, read it here.
If you haven’t read part two, find it here.
So. Our house burned down. Well, not down. We just had to gut the house and start again.
The renovation team said in some ways it would have been easier to knock it down and re-build the house from scratch than to match what was already in the house.
You see, my Grandpa built this house more than 50 years ago.
Our farm has been here for over 100 years; started by my great-grandfather and now run by my father. When Grandpa built this house, he used the trees that grew behind where the house stands.
When the restorers looked at the inside of the roof from the attic, it flummoxed them. They had never seen a roof built with rough cut lumber in planks. They left as much as they could alone, but they had to use plywood in the places they couldn’t save.
Once they tore down the walls and ceiling, they began spraying everything with what is basically a sealant.
There was a lot of work to do. During that time, people from our community, friends and family, and church family showed up. They brought food, clothes (oh my, so many clothes!!), money; you name it.
We were blessed by so much that summer.
We made decision after decision. From flooring to counter tops, lighting to appliances, Mom and I were busy those months.
We did have fun going to the stores and spending someone else’s (insurance company) money, though! You can see from the picture below we bought everything AND the kitchen sink!
We found furniture on Craig’s List for good prices, and thanks to so many generous donations, we had enough money put away to get all the furniture we needed.
New Dining Room Cabinets New Kitchen Floor Restored Hallway where the fire started
The beginning of October, four and a half months after the fire, we finally moved back into our house.
I learned a lot that summer.
One, stuff is just that: stuff.
We call it “kindling” now, actually. I know, it’s a terrible joke. To us, though, it really is.
We think twice about what we buy now. Do we really need it, or do we just want it? (Sometimes, it’s fine to buy something you want, I’m not saying you should never treat yourself!)
Another thing I learned is who my real friends are.
I was quite surprised by some that “showed up,” and let down by some who didn’t bother. That made me stronger, though.
I am comfortable in my own skin, and the only One I need to answer to is God.
Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments (or days, weeks or… er… um… well, you get the idea!) where I feel less than, unworthy, and all that. In the grand scheme of things, though…
“For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12
Basically, God’s got this.
I’ve learned that sometimes the best thing to do is just sit back and watch.
Join the conversation. What aspect of Tina’s story inspired you most? What lessons have you learned from a trial in your life?
Tina and her family have been active members of Sonlight Church since 2008. She is a member of the church praise team, and her husband serves on the greeter team and tech team. She’s also a homeschool mom to her three boys.