Removing and Exposing What Lies Beneath the Surface seemed too long a title for the next step in my porch/life saga, so I shortened it to Removing. That’s what happens after the naming of the problem to fix, the clearing away of the facade, and the bracing of the structure.

It’s time to look below that broken surface.

A well-qualified team began pulling up the old floorboards of our porch, tossing them into the yard. As they progressed, the job became more and more precarious. There had to be the right balance of strength to pull up the boards and agility to not lose balance and fall through the gaps between the supporting beams.


When peeling back the layers of a heart, it is important to have well-qualified helpers with just the right balance of strength and agility or gentleness. Strength helps to face what is difficult but necessary, while gentleness takes its time so as not to lose balance and fall through the gaps, overwhelming and doing more damage within the situation.

As the old floor boards were pried up, it grew easy to see which supporting beams were not serving our porch well and needed to be removed or reinforced and which were sturdy and strong. We also could see what was actually under the porch, rather than what we thought or imagined.


Many of my fears were unfounded (there were no dead animals, for instance, and no one was living there), and I was able to name honestly and categorize what was really below the surface. Like this old oil tank that was no longer necessary or useful.

oil tank

When looking below the surface of a heart and peeling layers back, one may discover beliefs, supporting structures, that are faulty and need to be removed, replaced, or reinforced. There are also beliefs that are sturdy and strong that can be affirmed. There’s usually good and bad existing together. It’s helpful to have someone walking with you to help with the sorting out and encourage you to face and categorize the scary while affirming the true.


The porch went through a season of not serving us well, at all. We had to make arrangements to work around it, use a back entrance, and bear with the inconvenience and ugliness. We were willing to do so, because we knew it would be worth it in the end. We could picture it in our mind, and it was beautiful. We held onto hope.

That is what you need when processing through the stuff in your heart. When you come to that stuck, ugly place, you need someone to help you to hold onto hope. To see past the gaps and the inconvenience and be willing to try a different approach. You need someone who can see that YOU ARE WORTH IT even though you aren’t able to serve them well.

Because you are worth it. Fighting for a heart, repairing a soul. That is worth it.

1 thought on “Removing

  1. Stephanie

    I never realized how bad your porch was! Is this why you use the entrance you use? Never put two and two together.

    Now that that’s out of the way, I just love your analogies. It’s encouraging to know that EVERYTHING under the surface isn’t always awful. And it’s so important to affirm the things that are true.

    Love your writing, and love YOU!


Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.

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