We’ve established that furniture speaks to me… right? Ok, good. (We’ve also established that I’m a little crazy too… right?)
This little Pottery Barn console was a great FB Marketplace find. It was in pristine condition and the owner had taken perfect care of it! I was going to use it in my hubby’s office with lots of dark woods, but then we chose some different furniture, and I had this extra piece. I decided to paint it white and place it behind my sofa.
But when I began sanding it, and realized it was 100% mahogany, I suddenly heard it scream at me. Most pieces are happy to get new life, but not this one.
“NOT ME!” It screamed.
“I’m not one of your cast-off’s needing to be refinished! I’m one of Pottery Barn’s best! I’ve been kept in perfect condition! Look at me! Not one scratch! And I would work in thousands of homes! I’m just fine the way I am, thanks!”
I stopped my sanding for a minute. Was I ruining this piece?
Most furniture these days have some MDF or cardboard hiding in the back or underneath. And if not, they’ll have a gorgeous hardwood top, with cheap poplar undersides.
But not this piece. It was mahogany everywhere.
It was beautiful.
Whether or not painted wood is better than stained wood is a matter of opinion. And yes, this piece was just fine the way it was… but if it wanted a place in my house, it needed to go through the change.
I sanded on.
And it pouted.
I began painting it white, but didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. So I started painting it blue.
“Really?” It complained. “I hope you know what you’re doing!”
I painted on.
The drawers were fun to figure out. I sanded off the original stain, painted a layer of white, then sanded off the white after it was dry. I left just enough paint on, then stained it with a weathered gray stain, and got this fun distressed look.
I absolutely love how it looks now!
The console was very happy when it was all finished. In fact, it’s quickly becoming my favorite piece in the house! But the whole experience got me thinking…
I’m so often just like this reluctant console.
I go along in life, thinking things are just fine. I’m happy! I can handle my own craziness. But then life happens and I get hit with a curve ball. I’m suddenly forced to change, to deal with something new and unexpected and I don’t like it.
Not me! I complain.
I’m a good person! I try to do everything right, I try to help others, and take care of my kids… I don’t intentionally try to hurt anyone, and I’m happy just the way I am! Why do I need this trial? Why do I need to change anything?! When things are going well, why do we so often get hit with trials?
It’s easy to ask an old broken piece of furniture to change. It needs to be fixed anyway. But it is hard to change a piece that is in excellent condition the way it is. In fact, many of you may be thinking that I ruined the piece, and that it was fine the way it was! And I would agree with you!
But this piece didn’t fit with my décor unless it went through the change.
I think God’s plan for us is like that too. Yes, we are fine the way we are. But maybe He knows we could be better. Maybe He needs to refine us because we can’t see the other side of the trial and the joy we could be feeling. When I look back on my trials, I realize I wouldn’t know the joy I feel now, had I not experienced those challenges. And to be honest, who knows where I’d be had I not submitted to change.
Change does make us better.
Trials do help refine us.
The console would never have known the beauty it is now, had it not undergone the sanding and distressing.
There will come a time that we’ll all scream, “Not me! I’m fine the way I am, why do I have to experience this change?”
But if we can have just a little faith that there is a plan for us, and can endure some painful sanding and distressing, we too can come out more beautiful than before.
I hope that wherever you are, and whatever trial you’re experiencing, that you’ll feel a little relief today and know that you are loved