By: Heather M. Norten

As I have journeyed through my first acknowledged Lenten season, I’ve not sacrificed a thing.  Instead, I have chosen to actively lean in and seek. I’ve chosen to be fully present in His word through daily reading of not only the Bible, but also various Christian devotionals.  I am ashamed to tell you that this type of behavior is out-of-the-norm for me. I struggle to be “in the word” daily.  My life gets ahead of me.  My priorities get out-of-whack.  I forget.  The excuses are endless.  So, I am making a purposeful change this season.  To be With Him.  For Him.  And, for me. 

I struggle during this time of the year.  Two years ago my mom died and a couple of weeks later my grandmother died.  This time of year, brings me to my knees.  Here’s the thing…this year, God gave me a word.  Restoration.  I heard it, loud and clear.  Restoration.  He loves me enough to give me this word.  He knows that I “get” this word.  I know and find peace in the word restoration.

I am familiar with the process of restoring.  I am currently in the throes of restoring my health through truly renovating my diet and my lifestyle.  My husband and I have done a complete restoration of our home.  To make something old…new, I get it.  To bring back to life something neglected…count me in. I can completely envision myself as a pro on an HGTV series…seriously.  I so get it.  We (as humans) can do this restoration thing.  Restoring resonates with me. 

But Jesus…He creates Beauty from ashes.  Through Him, we are made whole.  When we enter His kingdom, we are completely restored.  Can you imagine?  I love to let my mind wander in this direction.  My heart overflows with joy as I picture my mom in heaven.  No longer is she a ventilator-dependent, quadriplegic, who suffers every day.  She is running through fields of flowers with smells and colors we cannot even fathom.  She is laughing.  I’m fairly certain that she has become the second messiah to all things covered in fur.  She is most certainly eating anything and everything that has sugar as an ingredient.  But most importantly…she is restored.  Completely.  She is perfect. 

Complete restoration.  Perfection.  These images are almost too much for me to comprehend.  Restoration fills my “hope cup” to the brim.  The Grace.  The Mercy.  The Love.  He gives us all of these undeserved blessings every single day.  And as an added bonus…we get to be restored in eternity. 

Can. You. Imagine?