You'll never guess what we found in our bedroom wall and ceiling today...... black mold, wet sheetrock, water drenched plastic, nasty, nasty stuff. We are rejoicing. Why? We're so glad we found this out now and not two months from now when the new baby arrives and Mom is recovering from abdominal surgery. Our bedroom also doubles as the sewing room and office.
So we spent hours this evening moving our bed out to the living room, and our kitchen table to the other end. Cramming our school books in a pine cupboard and finding new homes for our newly sprouted seeds was challenging.
Our clothes went into the children's closets and we left everything else in the nasty room. When we peeled off the wood paneling, it really smelled bad. The exposed sheet rock is completely ruined as you can see from the photos. Tomorrow and over the weekend, the tear out begins. We're not sure how bad this will be, but it appears as though walls, maybe studs, and roof will have to be repaired.
The surprise is that we had no idea that the mold was so bad. When we bought the house, we knew that room smelled musty but not to that extent. Things had been paneled over, painted over, and a drop down ceiling put in. But..... surprise, surprise, mold and water eventually leaks through.
So, do you want to know how good God is? He's so good to have given us the skills, materials, and time to handle this. Not only that, but in his foresight today, He really spoke to my heart about marriage.....
Before I knew this problem of mold existed, I was working on a huge pile of mending this afternoon. Huge as in several dresses, skirts, and 6 pairs of pants. (In between caring for our second little one for the week that came down with what we thought was the flu, but perhaps mold related now that I think about it.... anyways, between catching vomit and helping my little one sip basil tea, somehow all this mending was accomplished, another act of God.)
So, as I picked up the most damaged skirt of all, I began to think that perhaps it wasn't even repairable. It had been stepped on while someone wore it traveling down the stairway. It was torn in so many places: zig zagged, ripped apart at the edges, strings and gaps hanging off, it was so bad. Some of the seams had come apart and the actual fabric had just given way under the stress of the tear.
Then the thought occurred to me, that it could be fixed. I just needed a little time, broken down into little sections. Sure enough, I began to sew and slowly made my way over the damage. I noticed something..... the actual fabric was damaged far worse then where the seams were. You'd think seams would be weaker, but they weren't. They tore fairly straight and were easy to put back. Then I began to see the analogy in marriage...
We have a big blow-out or blow-up or something huge happens that feels disastrous and beyond repair. Maybe we end up emotionally distant, or choose to separate or divorce because that seems to solve what the perceived problem is. BUT, that's exactly what our enemy wants. He's so deceptive.
The seams in my skirt were strong. The places where someone had purposefully sewn together and bonded the fabric were holding and if they had torn, I could fix them. Guess what? The covenant and act of marriage was enacted by God. He originally put a male and female together and called it a marriage. It's a strong bond, meant to hold up under difficulties. He likewise has put my husband and I of almost 18 years together. The marriage is not what is necessarily weak, it's the fabric.
The fabric is my husband. The fabric is me. We are weak. We are the ones with problems, issues and character flaws. The institution of marriage is what is strong.
I finished sewing realizing that God is good, my marriage is good because God calls it that. If I find rips, tears, and holes, I need to patiently mend them, one little bit at a time. It doesn't matter that my repairs are huge and yours are small or vice versa, we all will have them and cannot get away from that because we are human and we will be weak and will mess up. Aren't you glad that God designed a system of forgiveness and restoration and reconciliation?
So this post is getting long, but I learned all this today while mending away. So, tonight, when my husband found the nasty mold, the analogy was the same. We sat down with our older kids because they know the trials we've had as a couple over the last few years. What a time of rejoicing to see how God uses our daily lives and work to teach us and give us hope.
So, if you find yourself in what may seem like unbearable circumstances, look up and allow God to teach you how to make repairs, one small step at a time. It's you, in the very fabric of your being, that He created and cares about. He knows how to fix anything. Trust Him today!
Here's a P.S. I found a helpful site MomsAware.org on Mold
It has some helpful and informative videos as well as great posts. I e-mailed Andrea and she got right back to me and is a very concerned and kind individual. Her family had to vacate their home in order to get the medical help they needed. I learned a lot about mold from just clicking and reading or watching.