After almost two years, the affair ended… as all do in one way or another. And there I was: alone with my thoughts.. I had been treading for almost 30 years in very murky, polluted waters.
All I ever wanted was to matter.
I wanted to be LOVED by someone…
I wanted to be GREAT at something…
I wanted to be REMEMBERED when I was gone…
And the truth was… I had MADE it. By the age of 30 I had attained everything I ever set out to acquire. So why did I feel like such a nobody?
My relationship with God was starting to pick up again. This was good except He wanted to heal me. The NERVE, right? He was starting to reveal root issues I had buried so deeply, I wasn’t even aware they existed. These were things I wasn’t ready to face.
My life was a swimming pool FULL of trash. God was helping me bring all of my rubbish to the surface, but it was up to me whether I wanted to use my net to fish it out. I knew if I were to grab the net, I would have to really look at the trash before I could destroy it once and for all. It was much easier to just push everything back down and just never swim in the pool.
On the outside, my life still looked fine. I accepted a new position at a local church plant in Portland as the Worship Pastor. Brian and I got pregnant and birthed another healthy little boy, Paxton. Chance started his first year of preschool. I was happy… but I should have been ecstatic about my life. My secrets were eating me alive. I was missing out on my OWN life and couldn’t recognize it.
You see… my pool wasn’t only for me. Brian, Chance, Paxton, our family, and all our friends were gathered around it… just waiting for me to give them the “ok” to jump in and play. And man, did they want to play… it’s always a hot day around here. But my pool was polluted and not safe for anyone to swim in.
It was time to clean my pool.
I told Brian about my affair, and the following 5 months were beyond painful. My pool had been stirred and now the waters looked murkier. I didn’t know if we were going to make it. By the looks of it, this mess was getting worse. This was NOT what I had signed up for.
As I was “fishing”, I began to get really angry. I noticed that though most of the trash was tossed in by ME, a LOT of it was from other people. However, I had a choice: to place blame and wait for “them” to come clean up their litter, or just take ownership and clean the parts that affected me. I was mourning some deep, deep issues for the first time. It hurt… but it was good..
While God was re-surfacing all my trash, and I was obediently fishing each and every item out one-by-one… my friends and loved ones had put a brand new filter in my pool. I didn’t know it at the time, but the friends and family we had told were intercessing on our behalf. They were helping me clean my pool without me even asking.
** Thank you, my dear friends. Even now, as I write this, I sit… tearfully and humbly thankful to each and every one of you. Thank you. **
My focus was tightly wrapped up in the rubbish I was taking out. I mourned each and every re-surfaced piece of trash I once treasured. I was permanently destroying the remnants of my garbage in a huge bonfire… when one day, Brian and I looked in and noticed the most amazing sight. Not only were the waters clean, but the once cluttered pool bottom was now cleared of ALL debris. And there stood Jesus, inviting us in with some floaty recliners and margaritas, complete with those cute little drink umbrellas made by underaged and underpaid third world children (you still there? just checkin’ to see if you’re still reading).
Friends… all of us have a pool. And if we don’t tend to it, it will become polluted and dirty, rendering it completely useless. I also want to reiterate that I didn’t do this alone. Christ was there, Brian was there, and friends were there.
This can’t happen overnight. It’s really grueling work that seems hopeless and never-ending at times. You don’t have to do it alone… but to get help, you need to be willing to show others how dirty your pool really is. I, for one, promise to help get you a filter for your pool if you tell me you need one.
I’m not saying my pool will be clean forever. Occasionally, trash will drift in and the water will get stagnant. I know Brian and I will need to drain the pool at times in our next 70+ years together and put fresh water in… but it sure is a lot easier to upkeep when we don’t let it build up.
I think so, friends… I think so.