Ever wonder if God can "reclaim" your life for his purposes? Your messy, broken, needy jumble of days? Sweet friend, Michele Cushatt, reveals that God does, indeed, do just that. Read on and be held in his care.
The Beauty of a Reclaimed Life
By Michele Cushatt
I stood next to my husband as we stared at the flooring samples spread across the floor. Like a deer paralyzed by oncoming traffic, we couldn't make a move. Which one to choose? This one? Or that one? Have mercy. Somebody save me.
For the record, I wouldn't recommend a remodeling project during the months of November and December. Apparently we crave chaos, because that's precisely how Troy and I are spending this 2015 holiday season. So while the rest of the world sips apple cider and sings Christmas carols, the Cushatts are agonizing over flooring samples.
Joy to the world.
After much deliberation, we finally settled on a reclaimed-wood look. Wide slats, mottled brown, with color and texture inconsistencies. It appears worn and well loved, you could say. Like my six children and black lab decided to throw a party on the floor. Which will be exactly what the floor will look like one way or another.
According to my contractor husband, it's one of the hottest things in the remodel market. Old, sliding barn doors. Distressed furniture. Reclaimed wood floors. It seems "worn and well-used" is now chic.
Honestly, I like it. I'm tired of glossy finishes and pristine shine. It's too much pressure, too hard to maintain. A well-used look fits my large and complicated family much better.
Not to mention my story.
One year ago, twelve short months before this dive into a holiday remodel, I spent part of the holidays in a Denver hospital. It would be the first of two extended hospital stays over the following months, not to mention a brutal regimen of chemotherapy and radiation that would very nearly take my life.
In some ways, it did.
This was my third bout with cancer. Cancer of the Tongue. A rare form of squamous cell carcinoma that wouldn't go away and no one could explain. No matter, the surgeries and treatment resulted in the removal of two-thirds of my tongue, the loss of most my taste, and a body peppered with disability and scars. Simply, I no longer look or sound like the same woman I did a year ago.
This hasn't been easy for a girl who wants to feel young and capable and beautiful. A look in the mirror confirms I'm anything but.
And yet, like well-used wood floor, perhaps my scars don't make me less attractive but more so. Perhaps all the wounds give evidence to what's been endured and overcome, not diminishing value but adding to it. After all, Someone decided I was worth the reclaiming.
The same is true for you too, you know.
I still have moments when a glance in the mirror makes me want to cry. And I have zero desire to back and repeat the pain of the past twelve months. Regardless of the source of your wounds, my guess is neither do you. But we dare not negate the worth of them, either. For the wounds that make us cringe with regret and grief are often the gifts that give us character and depth. The bitter and the sweet coming together, to create the beauty of a reclaimed life.
A storyteller at heart, Michele Cushatt has spoken nationwide with Women of Faith and Compassion International, and is cohost of the popular leadership podcast This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt. She has written for Today's Christian Woman, InCourage, and MOPS International, and her first book, Undone: A Story of Making Peace With An Unexpected Life, released with Zondervan in March 2015. Michele and her husband, Troy, live in Denver, Colorado with their six children. Find out more about Michele's incredible story at www.MicheleCushatt.com.