Feature Friday: Lori Gano


If there was one word to describe the process of my life this may just be it. I am not quite sure if that might be a poor choice for a life-word. There are perhaps words I would prefer, but “transformed” is something I find acceptable and maybe even appealing. It not only describes where I have journeyed thus far, but it also defines my aim for my future days and years.
Transformed is a beautiful label for my personal walk, my professional ambitions, and my spiritual process of maturing. I have been forever changed by the extravagant love of Christ. There is nothing quite as discouraging as watching someone, anyone, with potential destroy their future because of a past they cannot seem to overcome. I reached a place in my life where my inventory of years consisted of abuse, abandonment, neglect, loneliness, addiction, panic disorder, PTSD, anorexia, and hate…a lot of hate. My body was consumed with more fear than any one being should be able to survive. Those things did not fuel depression for me. They fueled ambition.
I could twist the perception of this post right here, and I could develop this into a story of rising success. I could base it on my need to prove to the world that its mistreatment of me was not going to define me, and let’s be honest, I tried that route. I didn’t know any better. I just knew I wanted to be better, better than my parents, better than the friends I never had, better than the men I let into my life that I had no business being around, and better than the darkness that threatened to consume me everyday. I wanted acceptance to drown out the voice of rejection. I chased the dream of success not realizing that I needed the joy that comes with the process of transformation.
Can I tell you something? God loves us so much in our dirtiest, ugliest, most cringe-worthy places that He would spend His days singing love songs to your heart while He has appointed a perfectly designed future for your purpose, and guess what…it is transforming. God knew I couldn’t handle deep relationships anytime soon. He knew I needed the satisfaction of exercising my love of art, creativity, homes, and working with my hands. He knew I didn’t learn in a classroom, but in the field where I could be messy and a part of the lesson. God gave me the blessing of working in construction. I then became a Licensed General Contractor. I started a residential design/build company. We weren’t always super stable, but we were honest, fair, and skilled. On the outside I was a “self-made” woman who built something out of nothing. In reality I was a woman surrendered to God who was given an opportunity to be loved by Him, and I took it.
Through my passion for transforming homes God began transforming me. Love began to
replace hate. Patience replaced frustration. Hope replaced disappointment. The process of demo and removing what doesn’t need to be there, and then working through issues, adjusting plans, rebuilding, and bringing out the full potential in order to transform a house has a deep parallel to the restoring work God longs to do in our lives. There is no better vantage point than standing outside of a structure with its roof torn off and its walls peeled back. Suddenly there is clarity to see what has been hiding in deep and difficult places. This is His way as well. My goal is never to destroy a home, it is to transform a home into its fullest potential. This is God’s aim in your life, whether you have no roof or walls, if you have no job, no money, no spouse, no child.
If you have walked through tremendous difficulties, are simply weary, or aren’t sure He can be trusted with your hope, I can tell you His aim is never to destroy you. He is exposing, bringing clarity, and rebuilding. He is the master builder and He has an A+ rating.
As much as I wish there were, there is not a tidy finish line. My transforming process happened in the course of many things God allowed me to do. It didn’t happen because of my career; it happened because I surrendered my life to God and through each daily experience He worked on growing His presence and wisdom in my life – no longer leaving room for the darkness that had once consumed me. He transformed me.
God has taken me, used and abused, a mess of my own making, and rebuilt every part of me.He has allowed me to fail miserably and He has placed me on the mountaintop. Even now He is using my surrender, my willingness, paired with my experience to be a voice to others.
As you wrestle through the difficult task of looking at your today or looking anxiously into your future, don’t get caught up in any label except maybe the one that reads transformation. One day at a time surrender yourself, your career, your family to Him and ask Him for the transforming process of the destiny He has for you. Is your hope aiming toward becoming the best version of the you that God knows you to be in your future, or is your hope dangerously affixed to the ambition you cannot seem to let go of? My freedom arrived when I boxed up and handed over my need for success and accepted in exchange a box filled with the unknown future God was asking of me. That box arrives one day at a time.
Lori Gano
Wife & Mom
P.S. I left a little something extra for you! I hope it gets you excited to try new things in your own home. Be on the lookout for my video on The Real Life Woman page!
Licensed General Contractor
Architectural & Interior Designer
Published Author of
How He Loves Us: Revealing the Affections of God
Coming in August 2017
Bible Teacher, Speaker, and Founder of Out of Ashes Ministries, Inc.
If you are in the Knoxville area we would love to have you join us for a new upcoming study of How He Loves Us: Revealing the Affections of God.
This is a unique Bible study open to any
women in the Knoxville area who would like to attend. Find out more by visiting our Facebook page:

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