Meet Crystal. She is RESTORED! This beautiful woman of faith is a mom of three, a pastor’s wife, a writer. She’s a creative and her work is beautiful. This is her #livefreestory.
I’m not a “new” type of girl. I swoon over all things vintage or retro. An appropriate license plate would read “I stop for junk.” I like old things. I adore taking something old, tattered, worn, and giving it new life.
I call it upcycling. Maybe I’ll give it an entirely new purpose, or not. Maybe I’ll pick a piece for it’s solid bones and completely change it’s facade. Or maybe I’ll take an old school approach and simply clean it up, allowing it’s original beauty to shine. Either way, I’m a sucker for this art.
My home is one big eclectic restoration project; including the people who inhabit it.
Thankfully, my God is into restoration, too. Heaven only knows the trash pile I’d be under right now if He weren’t. I see myself in every piece that I’ve painstakingly restored, and I realize just how tired He must be. An unstable-nomad of a daddy who dragged us to every next stop. A too-young grieving momma held captive by his hand. Constant head games. Uncertainty. Fear. My granddaddy was a preacher. He and my grandma lived the Love of Jesus, but never lived close enough to us.
This child? A people pleaser. A far-too-responsible Fixer. A mother duckling. Perfectionist. Dreamer. A glimpse of Jesus here and there. A skewed vision of a vengeful God. Splashes of beautiful memories. Grace? What’s that?
I was the good girl. I didn’t know how to be any other way. Until I was tired. Tired of being hurt, of faking happy. Soon after marrying young, I realized that many of my dreams would be tossed away. And BAM! Walls that had begun to form years before, grew taller, in every direction of my being. They went up fast, and each day, I painted over them for fear of being found out.
Eventually I was so lost that I couldn’t even remember which wall had gone up first and why.
My masks were many. I was a liar. A fake. My family: a mess. My marriage: in shambles. I was a terrible stay-at-home mom. I had no joy. I was confused. Emotional. Broken. Called into ministry? Pshhh! Go find another trash pile, okay God?
But He didn’t. After s.l.o.w.l.y surrendering my entire being to Christ (again), He began to peel away layers. I was (am) a progressive project. Restoration = blood, sweat and tears. It was (is) hard. And painful. I had to forgive. I had to allow myself to be forgiven (hard). I’ve had to overcome fears… many. And Grace. Oh, beautiful Grace. His mercy I still don’t deserve. Today, I am a pastor’s wife. A happy momma. God gave me new dreams… His… and assured me that I’d been in the right pile all along. Every bang and knick will always be a part of me. They give me beautiful, cherished character.
He restored my soul.
Upcycled my heart.
I’m so grateful that Jesus stops for junk (treasure), too.
Visit Crystal on her blog. While you are there, check out her fabulous restoration projects, recipes, and her Etsy creations. She’s also a pretty terrific writer!
Oh Crystal, treasure indeed! Love the up cycle… Redeemed for His glory! Susan
Thank you, Susan! You are precious!
Beautiful, Crystal! We’re all treasures in the Redeemer’s hands: “upcycled” and “restored.”
Thank you, friend! I’m so grateful for this truth!
Suzie, thank you for this opportunity. You are an incredible mentor and I am honored to call you friend!
I adore this Crystal!
Thank you, friend!
Not sure why I was anonymous there, sorry!
Crystal, it felt like you were sharing my story. I got so buried I couldn’t find me, God or anything else. What grace He blessed me with by un-burying me & leading me to embrace the woman He created me to be. It is a monumental & on going restoration project.
Indeed it is, Pam! I just told someone earlier that I am a wrk in progress… aren’t we all?! Thank you for sharing!
Beautiful picture of restoration in motion. Loce it Crystal!!!
Thank you, friend!
Love this! Love you! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!
Aww, love you too, friend!! Thank you 🙂
Great testimony! Thanks for sharing and encouraging me today, Crystal!
Thank you, Tayrina! Grateful to serve an amazing God! Blessings!
Yes you are! Thank you for sharing your story with us and for being such an inspiration. Your love, support, and encouragement are such a blessing to those of us on the receiving end!
So sweet, thank you, Jen! You are an inspiration to me… blessings!
Crystal, thank you for partially writing my life story. Hope you don’t mind if I’ll borrow many sentences that fits mine.
…”A people pleaser. A far-too- responsible fixer. A mother duck. A glimpse of Jesus here & there. I was a good girl. I didn’t know how to be in any other way. Until I was tired.Tired of being hurt…My family: a mess/ dysfunctional (a more accurate term I guess). My marriage: in shambles.” All the while I thought if only I could just be a stay -at-home mom then I could focus on rearing my 4 kids to the ways of the Lord. But it didn’t worked out that way. In fact the opposite is true to my 2 grown up sons & teenager twin daughters– living as they pleased- with no fear in God. I was (am) a terrible stay-at-home mom. I had no joy( although I was at first, in the first 3 years of being a stay-at-home mom). I was confused. Emotional: hurt, angry, lonely. Broken. Helpless.
So overwhelmed that one day I cried out to God: Lord you know how much I love You. My family. Whatever it takes, I want to do Your will. After surrendering my entire being to Christ, little by little… slowly He began to peel away layers as I allow Him. And here I am now, my heart is still on the mending process. Hoping one day to be. Totally healed. Restored.
Suzie, thanks for your prayers! I need them badly! Blessings & hugs!
Oh Irene! You’re in good company, honey! I’m in tears reading your story. You know what? We’re in progress. All of us. I believe that God has you right where He needs you to be; surrender. It’s exactly that, a process, and as long as you keep moving forward, then healing will come! Prayers for you, sweet friend! Thank you for your transparency. Bless you!
Oh Crystal! I loved this! Who of us couldn’t identify?! My favorite line? “I’d been in the right pile all along. Every bang and knick will always be a part of me. They give me beautiful, cherished character.” Thank you friend. Just beautiful.
Thank you, friend! *smooch*
I love this, It reminded me of a book I am waiting for, Tattered and Mended by Cynthia Ruchti… also Breaking up with Perfect, because she writes about the “good” girl and “never enough girl”. I recommend them both, for they are helping me in my restoration process!
Thanks for the book recommendations, Mary! I’ll check them out. Blessings!
I could not get a connection to Crystal’s blog. Could you send it again please? thank you
Such a fantastic post! Restoration – it has been on my heart big time these last few weeks. I’m actually working on a piece for next week’s blog about it. A God thing for sure – He’s carving some stuff into my soul so I won’t keep going back there and- you reinspired me to finish that post I was working on! It has been a joy getting to experience your joy and encouragement through Suzie’s #livefree group! I see now that I love you writing as well! Thanks for the blessing!!
Blessings and smiles,
Oh Lori, you are so sweet! I’m so glad that you found encouragement in this. I can’t wait to read what you’re working on!! I’m just a work in progress, and grateful for a restoring God!