8 Steps to Rebuilding the Walls of Your Life
Sometimes, life hands out some very hard blows. It may seem as if, like Jerusalem, an army came through and destroyed everything you had, tearing down the walls of your life. Because it isn’t easy to recover from things like that, we are going to look at a man named Nehemiah who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and use him as an example for us. After the war, we may need to use 8 Steps to rebuilding the walls of our lives.
Nehemiah was the man who, in around 445 B.C., went to Jerusalem to survey the damage done by years of war. As he says above, they were in a bad situation – the walls and gates were destroyed; the people were scattered; and, hope was scarce. Sometimes, that happens to us and we find that we need to rebuild some walls and gates after the enemy came through our lives. Maybe you were betrayed by a friend. Perhaps you lost your ministry and feel as if all vision and hope is gone, You feel like a reproach.There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Click To Tweet
Perhaps a disaster of some sort literally caused you to lose everything. In my case, in 2015 my husband of 49 years was killed in an accident. Eleven months later, I was diagnosed with cancer. It felt as if my life, as I knew it, had been ripped away. And, in many areas, it had been.
Starting Over After Losing Everything
Starting over after losing everything, or losing something that was extremely important to you, is a hard task. I know what it is to have false accusations and betrayal destroy your ministry. I lost friends, vision, and we nearly lost everything we owned. But, we had to rebuild the walls of our lives. It took time and work. At first, you may not want to rebuild. The only walls you may want to put up are the ones that keep everyone out. Your trust is lost. Of course, we still had our faith and our family but felt as if our lives were a total mess and we were failures.
When that happens, it takes time to heal. Throughout the healing process, you have to keep your eyes focused on Jesus – the author and finisher of your faith. When vision seems to die, we may question God. He can handle that!
- Did I hear You correctly? I thought You said this was what I was supposed to do? Why did everything fall apart? Why did my friends desert me? What did I do wrong?
Those are all legitimate questions. Don’t feel bad for thinking them. If we really believe that God is I Am, then I Am is big enough to handle our questions, hurts, and doubts. He is also big enough to heal them. The Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient God is love and His love heals and restores.
Steps to Rebuilding Your Walls and Starting Over
After losing something, the replacement often won’t look like the original. When I lost my husband, I had to rebuild. My life now is much different. It doesn’t look like the original picture. I have changed in many ways. That’s what happens and it is actually a good process, though painful. As you listen to the voice of your Savior, He will guide you. Just because the pathway looks different, don’t be afraid and turn back.
So, why do you need walls? The walls of Jerusalem signified boundaries and protection. They also contained a group of people who lived, laughed and worked together. But, the walls had 12 gates which were open unless an enemy was coming. When we rebuild, we may need to set new boundaries and may find that some have changed. Like Nehemiah, you may use some of the burnt stones laying on the ground. You will also use new materials, maybe even new boundaries.
Walls are not meant to isolate you so that you will never be hurt again. Their purpose is to allow you to move through your life and allow others to move through your life, but with boundaries. Will you be hurt again? Probably. The point is not the hurt – it is what you learn and how you grow to be more and more like Christ. So, here are 8 Steps to Rebuilding the Walls of Our Lives.
Step 1 – Survey the Damage – Prioritize the Process
Nehemiah went out and inspected the fallen walls and gates. This allowed him to know what had to be done and then begin to prioritize. We are always changed by major events in our lives. You may find that there are things you no longer want to be part of your wall and life. As you prioritize, something may come off the list! Perhaps you want a gate of filters. Filters to help you determine who to allow close to you – and who not to allow close to your heart. Surveying and prioritizing is a great part of the process.
After my husband died, I had to decide what my future should look like. Of course, that was a process of prayer but also of my own decisions as I trusted God to lead. There were parts from the past that no longer fit. There were others that were brand new.
Allow God to unfold your future. I promise you He will. As you start over and rebuild your life, He will surprise you with things you never dreamed of. Prior to my walls being torn down, I never considered being a writer or blogger. But, as I walked forward, it fell naturally into my path. You can’t plan everything. However, you can plan to obey and to take the 8 steps to rebuilding the walls of your life!
Step 2 – Decide to Start Over
Decide to get a fresh start. When you make a decision to start, you have to do something. Don’t be in a huge hurry. If you lost your ministry, you don’t have to start a new one next month. Whatever you were doing yesterday, may not be what you do tomorrow. That’s fine. The important thing is that you have decided to start again and rebuild the walls of your life one little stone at a time.
Step 3 – Start Small and Grow Big
Small may involve just getting up each day. After my husband died, it was an accomplishment to just get up and face a new day. A couple of months passed and it became easier. After six months, I felt like I could see a future. I was working 3 jobs just to survive, but day-by-day, the small things added up and began to grow big.
What is the most important first step? Probably you! Start on the inside of you. Do you need to forgive, to let go, or to ask for help? Are you struggling with depression? Just be honest with yourself. Then take a step. Forgive, let go a little at a time. Ask for help. Don’t feel bad for feeling. Get help. That’s the big one and it’s important. Nehemiah did not rebuild the wall by himself so get some help. Rebuild your walls, one rock at a time, one section at a time, one gate at a time. The first section is you.
Step 4 – Let Go of the Past and Move Forward
That’s hard. I didn’t want to let go of the past. But, I had to. If you are living in the past, you can’t move into the future. Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting. That won’t happen. It just means that you are allowing your life to move forward following Jesus’ footsteps. God still has a purpose for you. As I moved through the process of grief and loss, I slowly began to realize that I still had a calling and I needed to fulfill it. I embraced that. Even if you can’t see what it is, start moving forward and He will reveal it to you. Let go of the past – let it be. Embrace the future and the good that is to come.
Rebuilding is a process of renewal. As you take the 8 steps to rebuild the walls of your life, you will be amazed at how that helps you adjust your mind and heart toward accepting the newness of your life and even enjoying it! Keep all of the wonderful, beautiful parts of your past and weave them into the wall of the future.
Step 5 – In Everything Give Thanks
As I began to move out of the shock of my loss, I had to fight the negative. We all do. The best weapon I have found is thanksgiving. I would thank God for every little thing in my life – shoes, clothing, a car that runs, my dogs, my kids (naming them), my friends (naming them), the sunrise, food. Doing it for as long as I needed to each day (or multiple times per day) to in order to get my mind set on the things above, praying Scripture prayers every day and using them as tools to renew my hope. This gave me the strength to go on. It works!
Step 6 – Make A Plan
Nehemiah was a man with a plan! He did not focus on the damage. Instead, his focus was on the new wall that would soon be a reality. He had faith. That’s how the 8 Steps to Rebuilding the Walls of Your Life works! Through faith. Your hope increases each time you exercise your faith. One small step forward is all that’s needed. Then – keep going!
Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen. Hebrews 11:1 The Voice.
The “absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen!” I love that. Make a plan. Allow yourself to believe in what can be. Let your plan change as it progresses. At least you have something to start with. Nehemiah had a vision, people, and supplies. He also had immediate opposition but he did not allow it to stop him. His plan and faith were contagious. He did the unthinkable – built the entire wall in only 52 days.
The wall was approximately 2.5 miles long, 39 feet high and 8 feet thick! It was not a little wall around a garden. In addition, there were 12 gates in that wall. It required planning and expertise of many people. You can form a plan and then carry it out with help. You can do it because God is with you and His plan for you has never changed. Whatever happened in the past does not change His plan for the future.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that. Jeremiah 29:11 The Voice
Step 7 – Support From Friends
When bad things happen, you need people who love you. I have friends who made huge sacrifices to help me through surgeries, chemo, radiation, and recovery from cancer. They were invaluable to me. Some of them, I had not even met yet! You have them. Let them help you. Depending on your situation, you may already have those friends. However, in the midst of trials, it is common to find new friends who stay for life.
Yes, remember your new boundaries and only allow in those who build you, who have some burnt stones in their own walls, and who do not judge or try to change you. They encourage and build you up. Those friends will be choosy about who they join their hearts and lives with, so they will understand your caution. Once you find them, hold them close and let them pour out love and support into your life as you do into theirs.
Step 8 – Keep Moving Forward
Nehemiah never stopped. When lies were told about him, he spoke the truth and kept building. As others tried to lure him away, he said no and continued working his plan. Regardless of what threats came, everyone simply armed themselves, stood watch and kept building. Are there times when you need to rest? Yes. Just don’t quit.
Is there a deadline? No. Only if God gives you one. We need goals but not reaching a certain point at a given time does not signify failure. It’s just a delay. There may be a really good reason for it which you can’t see. Remember – you have a conviction that there are realities you have never seen. If it takes longer than you thought for that reality to manifest, no problem. Just keep going. Give thanks in the midst of it. Give thanks until there is a breakthrough.
8 Steps to Rebuilding the Walls of Our Lives
So here they are:
- #1 – Survey the Damage – Prioritize the Process
- #2 – Decide to Start Over
- #3 – Start Small and Grow Big
- #4 – Let Go of the Past and Move Forward
- #5 – In Everything Give Thanks
- #6 – Make A Plan
- #7 – Support From Friends
- #8 – Keep Moving Forward
Through it all, remember this – God LOVES you extravagantly! You are made in His image. He is big enough to handle the time needed for emotions and healing. You are in Christ. Nothing that happens on the outside of you effects the inside of Christ, where you reside. There is beauty that will evolve from the worst of your situation and it’s ok that you can’t see it at the beginning. Just remember – faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for! Each of the 8 steps to rebuilding your life are steps toward the full revelation of God’s love and purpose in your life.
8 steps to rebuilding the walls of your life are steps forward in God’s love.
Along the way, you will find your hope and joy again.
8 Steps to Rebuild the Walls of Your Life Download