Our basement is wet and moldy, and has left no storage container untouched. Our kitchen is in the early stages of renovation, and as far as I can tell, the dust has already reached every surface between here and Canada. My winter clothes are hanging in the living room, my treasured pour-over coffee routine now requires two or three trips upstairs to the bathroom sink, and our current outlet situation demands that you choose between powering the fridge or the microwave, the kettle or the wi-fi router. Not both.

While these are overwhelmingly privileged problems, to be sure, the state of our house seems to mirror the disarray existing inside of me. In such a jarring season, it’s easy to put my hope in what’s quick. The house will be clean again. Soon, I won’t be so sad. The kitchen will be finished in three weeks –and with a dishwasher. But the house will be messy soon after it’s clean, the sadness never passes as quickly as you’d like it to, the dishwasher will need to be unloaded. There will always be plenty of reasons, big and small, to resign myself to discontentment, dissatisfaction, disappointment with the things I hoped would be different.

So much of life is constantly changing –breaking, dirtying, shifting with a propensity for disorder. It’s why my hope was never meant to hinge on such things –the clean house, the new kitchen, the zeroed inbox, the promising relationship, the right job, the right feelings, the right haircut. None of these things are permanent, and there isn’t one that hasn’t let me down. But, my hope is in this:

He will set all things right.

Job said in the midst of unthinkable suffering, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.” He will be lifted high, we who are in Christ will be made like him, and all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. This is the surest thing. We can hang all of our hope here, and it will hold.

It’s striking to me that God can use the busted mundane to remind us that our hearts hunger for something sure, and to magnify the beauty of our ‘it is finished’ future. When my hope is fixed on Jesus, the messy house, the shifting feelings, the broken relationship, and even this renovation dust that’s spreading like the plague won’t lead me to despair. Let my longing for the restoration of these things teach me to hope in the restoration of all things, I whisper. And let it be so.

The other day, I stood with my heart on my sleeve and all of my feelings on the table, completely vulnerable and completely terrified. And it wasn’t until then that I saw this mighty thing that God has done –that He’s been doing for a long time.

Two summers ago, I sat on a plane sobbing over the words of Wild and Free and the realization that I might be the most defensive person that has ever lived. I was overwhelmed by this realization that I’d been operating in fear and lack and spent too much of my energy trying to keep my heart safe. I wanted to be vulnerable, to be known, to drop my convincing self-sufficient persona. I didn’t know how, or where to start. But I asked God to fix these broken parts of me me, and He did. He is.

I’ve learned that I can’t be really loved until I’m really seen, and I wasn’t ready to love unconditionally until I believed that I’m already loved unconditionally. Loving from a place of fear and lack and self-protection has left me disappointed and disappointing every time. It’s the security of the Gospel that makes us brave. That tells us we’re already safe. That allows us to love people and let ourselves be seen and know that even if it all goes to crap, we’ll be okay. We can love generously and graciously because we already have everything we need.

Johnathan Edwards gave these reasons for Christian happiness: that “Your bad things will turn out for good, your good things can never be taken away from you, and the best things are yet to come.” The gospel allows us to show up wide-open and unafraid because we’ve found our security in the finished work of Jesus and we know it can’t be taken away from us. We know that any of the pain vulnerability sends our way will be used for good. We know that our provision comes not from the responses of the people around us but from our Father, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills + delights in giving good gifts.

This hasn’t spared me from pain. It hasn’t always kept me from hiding or from picking up my old, familiar defenses. It hasn’t cured my selfish heart of its inclination to withhold, self-protect or stiff-arm when things start to feel too vulnerable. But I believe the Gospel transforms every facet of our lives, and that things are shifting here. I’m shaky and scared, and somehow braver than I’ve ever been + I’ll be over here believing that God’s protection is sufficient and His provision is plenty.

Today has been a lot like a lot of days I had last summer –I woke up slow, drank my coffee in no hurry, caught up on a handful of podcasts I love. I’ve had time to clean the bathroom, do all of my laundry, and make a batch of oatmeal scones. Later, I’ll meet some friends for coffee. I’ve had more than enough time to do all the things I needed to, and quite a few things I wanted.

Today has felt so similar –down to the hum of the AC unit in my window, the uninterrupted time to think, the mid-morning light in my room, the wondering if I’ll be able to fill an entire day this way. But circumstantially, it couldn’t be more different. Last summer I had one wide-open day after another because I’d resigned from my job prior to my wedding –which I then called off. Those unstructured days were terrifying to my shaken heart. I was lonely and afraid of the silence and completely overwhelmed by all of the things undone. Today, I have the day off from a job that I love. I talked to my sweet boyfriend before he went to work this morning, and again at lunchtime. I’ve found that I’m not afraid of the silence or lack of structure anymore.

Some days I wonder if maybe I shouldn’t think about last summer so much anymore. It’s been a year, isn’t it time to move on? But today, I never want to be so far removed from that season that God’s sovereignty, provision and kindness to me don’t make me weep.

Psalm 18:19 says, “He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.” He rescued me. From sin and death, but also from grief and from fear and from a very difficult situation of my own choosing. He set my feet upon a rock and brought me to good work and restored the parts of me that were so broken. He taught me to delight in His word and has shown me more of love in the last year than I’d learned in the previous twenty four combined.

He rescued me, and I never want to stop talking about it.