This week in class, our teacher led us in guided time with the Lord. We were told to draw a picture of a house that represented our heart. Then we were supposed to write or draw picture showing God what we wanted Him to know about our heart and the hidden places of our heart.

I did not like this exercise at first. How does one draw your heart to look like a house? I sat with my eyes closed and asked God to show me what my heart looks like and He showed me an African mud hut! Then, the words starting pouring out onto my paper. I couldn’t stop writing to God, and this is what I wrote:

My heart is pretty simple, but full. Just like a Nigerian mud hut. There are not a lot of rooms or hidden places, but so many people places and things take up room in my heart, just like every hut I have ever seen in Nigeria. So man people and things fill my heart that sometimes I feel overwhelmed and tired.

I worry about those who take up space in my hut. Have I protected them and cared for them well? Will I protect them and care for them well tomorrow? I like to open my hut up to others. I like to see and be seen. I like to know and be known. It is very easy to come into my hut, the door is usually wide open and welcoming. I try to keep the hut warm and full of love.
During my last year in Nigeria, I was deeply hurt by people who resided deep in this hut. They walked out of the hut and took pieces of the hut with them when they left. I wanted to knock this silly hut down and I wanted to build a fortress. I wanted to live with very few people in a large fortress that was well protected, but you Lord, would not allow me to. You asked me to bring more people into my broken hut and allow them to sit with me in the pain of a broken hut. You told me to sit in silence and allow you to work to fix my home. While I wanted stronger walls and a better, stronger door, you gave me beautiful walls with a wider door. As you comforted me, my hut became more comfortable, not only for me but for those around who You allowed in.

As you continued to work, I noticed that the most beautiful places in my hut were the places that you had to work hardest. The places that had once been ripped out are now filled with beautiful gold.

My house is more beautiful than it has ever been, but I look around and I know that you have allowed others into my full hut who will hurt me. They will one day rip away more bricks when they leave. But, I am at peace with that. They cannot rip away the gold, only the clay. I am at peace because I know You are faithful to continue replace the broken with gold until my hut is completely gold and reflecting Your image from every angle.

motherI know You have called me to live in an African hut in the middle of the African landscape; completely open and vulnerable. It is
a fearful place to be when I look around me. But, when I look at Your face, and Your works of gold, I feel at peace. I feel precious and I know there is no better place to be than where You have called me to be. To build stronger walls would distance me from the people who hurt me, but they would also distance me from You and Your will. Nothing, not even security is worth that. To suffer with the eyes of God upon you is more beautiful and wonderful than any pleasure in Godless solitude!