I finally saw first episode of HGTV’s Fixer Upper.     I know, I’m really behind.

Through my fantastic Roku and my parent’s generosity of letting me register through their Direct TV, I can watch HGTV live if I wanted, but I can watch all seasons and episodes of certain shows – this one, being the top of my list.

I get it now. I see why people love them. They are not only adorable, they are incredibly talented. Visionaries & artists.

It has become a new tradition (does it count as tradition if I’ve only done it twice?) to begin my Saturday morning with breakfast, blanket, coffee and Fixer Upper. I may or may not have teared up at one or two. Not all, but once or twice.

So it won’t be hard to draw the line from this topic to my personal life right now.
Saw that coming, didn’t ya?

I haven’t given anyone a peek behind the curtain with what I’m about to confess except for very few people whom I can count on two hands.        Once it’s out there, I can’t ever take it back.         So allow me a moment to pause…



I have anxiety & depression.
Bona-fide diagnosed.

A couple of months ago was a big step over the threshold of starting medicine to see if it would assist in working through it. I’d been seeing a great counselor about a year prior, up until the visit to my primary physician, for the discussion and subsequent prescription.            I can’t believe I’m laying it all out, but there’s something to be said for transparency, right?

Giving name to the thing, diminishes its power over you. 

I try to remind myself of this, because while yes, in life I am quite the chatty Kathy, when it comes to revealing personal details about myself – I hold back quite a bit for a length of time I see fit from reading the room and the people. If I’m being honest, the delay of dispensing also has a lot to do with past – we’ll call them ‘encounters’ – when the revealing of self and struggle or even self and perspective brought the result of people sprinting away or worse, slowly leaving…where a piece of yourself drags away with the shuffling of their feet and the distance of their voices in your life.

Giving Name Quote

Though what I’ve discovered as the years increase my age, maturity and wisdom, is that it’s still worth saying the words. Whatever words you feel led to release where the intention is to let others in – to be obedient to the stir of the Spirit whispering “grow here, my child” – are words worth speaking. As long as they drip with honeycomb instead of vitriol. With peace instead of fracture. There are times for speaking truth in firmness, but when you’re letting pieces of yourself free – may it be in humility, not barbs.

The point I sat down to make today, is that I am a mess. 

A demo-needing, wall-opening, floor-ripping, gutting project mess. I need the bones to be exposed so rebuilding can happen – so the newness that emerges from vision and hard work is something I can be proud of. To stand amidst and be in awe at the progress and prospect. To know that the tearing down, the opening up, the scrubbing and scraping was worth it.

To be willing to tell you how broken I am in mind and heart – it’s part of the restoration.
A hard hurdle to get over was telling my small group. Not because I didn’t trust the space or reaction, but because of the very, very limited people I was able to let in to this initially, they knew me the absolute least.

But I needed their prayers. I needed to be wholly broken in front of the people who would see me deep and trust me with their own messes and guesses of this world.
I needed to shed my pride and embarrassment (<- and believe me, there were mountain-loads of that) and say the hard thing.

Because being alone in my diagnosis was making it worse.

The first person I told, I trust with my life. She was the easiest. We were away on our last friend adventure before she moved her family states away to be unsung heroes to those in need. We were in the winding hills of Arkansas and her grace enveloped me in that small cafe as I stared at my plate and said it matter-of-fact. I was hemming in, even though I was letting out. She spoke softly and succinctly with words I knew she would. Words of welcome, of “you’re not crazy, you’re human”, words of compassion and understanding. She didn’t lean back, trying to put distance between an uncomfortable emotion. She leaned in with her speech and acceptance. Her words weren’t many because they didn’t need to be. Our language is known between us. I exhaled in peace and we indulged in great food and more hiking and laughter.

The world didn’t stop because I shared. It kept going just as before, but with the air less stagnant and musty. The throwing open of the emotional shutters does wonders. I do recommend it. Scary as it may be to let light in – and believe me, I know it is.

Fixer Upper_verse

The Psalms is full of no-holds-barred letting loose of heart. It’s the speaking of exhaustion, hopelessness, fear, temptation, worry, betrayal, heartbreak and the singing of rescue, love, security, restoration, forgiveness, elation, worship.

I recommend letting your fingers explore its pages. I wager to guess that you’ll find the echoes of yourself at any given moment.
After all, it’s the knowing that you’re not alone after all in the toil and titles. This makes a great deal of difference. It may be what keeps your feet on the floor. Let it work itself in your days.

I’m trying to let it, in mine.
Thank you for listening. I don’t take this call lightly, to be in the Body. I don’t always listen and respond how I should, but I know the purpose is large and the evidence plentiful.

I hope you can come to know it too.

4 Comments on “Fixer Upper”

  1. I’m leaning in, cupping your face, and assuring you, “This is beautiful!” We’re all messes, and only by opening ourselves to the Light and to love are we able to make sense of the mess. Thank you for being brave and sharing.


  2. Beautiful, Leigh. I’m so grateful to know you and be able to share this with you in all its ups and downs. Your heart is beautiful and God is doing such deeply transformative things in it. Thank you for sharing your story so other people can be encouraged that they aren’t alone in theirs!


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