Sitting on my couch the other night

Watching some neighborhood friends

Look at pictures on the walls of my apartment


Commenting on this picture and that frame,


Remembering when I moved into the Challenge House 7 apartment just six months prior


Remembering standing in the middle of my Challenge House 7 apartment the first time and seeing


Empty Walls.


I had not shed a tear when I piled my little silver car full of my clothes and bid a weekly goodbye to the house I raised my children in


I had not shed a tear when I drove the unfamiliar streets of Hopkinsville or trekked down the Walking Trail without a Hopkinsville friend to share this new adventure with


I had not shed a tear when I toured Challenge House 7 and the Canton Pike neighborhood and saw all the unfamiliar faces that seemed to share a history that I did not


But I remember shedding many tears


In that Challenge House 7 apartment


Staring at those


Empty Walls.


My heart was still raw from a hundred good-byes at my old church


My mind overwhelmed by the challenge of transitioning into a NEW LIFE in the streets of Hopkinsville


My leap of faith had left me poured out and empty


Tired of my own tattered presence


As I stared at those


Empty Walls.


I had closed my eyes and tried to picture my old walls at my house


Walls filled with family photos and favorite Bible verses


Treasured artwork and familiar frames


The empty walls of my new apartment were missing the mark of my history


The empty walls were like blank pages of a new journal


Still waiting for their script


A fresh canvas begging to be splattered with the holy hues of cherished memories


And I began to think


It happens that way sometimes, doesn’t it?


There are seasons of empty walls


When our optimism grows dim or our ambitions drain dry


When our dreams draw a blank or our expectations seem empty.


And in those times, it’s easy to grow unsure


With ourselves


With life


With God.


But empty does not always mean nothingness.


Sometimes those empty walls are the best.


Because they leave plenty of room for God to paint His story.


Plenty of room for vignettes of faithfulness and portraits of answered prayer.


Plenty of room for an earthly picture


Painted with heavenly hues of grace and mercy


By our Father’s loving hands




We are a living picture created by the Anointed One,


Covered with holy colors and drawn with passionate purpose.


On once




And when we abandon our hearts to the Author of Life,


When we empty out expectation and surrender to His divine imagination


GOD is free to paint an adventure that is filled with more than we could ask or imagine.


And every famous picture begins


With an empty wall of canvas


Maybe God is longing to draw a new picture for each of us this year


Mine started in a Challenge House 7 apartment six months ago


Eyes full of tears


Staring at