WHITE TOWELS: THE REMEDY FOR PRIDE
Over the last six months or so, I have traveled quite a bit. But this last trip opened my eyes so wide, I couldn’t stand myself. Every hotel that I have stayed in stocks the bathrooms with white towels. The water pressure from the shower head is usually pretty nice- powerful but therapeutic. So when it’s time to shower and wash the day off, I think I’m squeaky clean. And I’m one of those people who marinate in the shower, have a full blown praise and worship session, all of that! So when I figure I’ve run the water bill up enough for the night, I go to grab those white towels to dry off and when I remove the towel from my body, dark spots are left on the towel from the dirt that is still on my body. YALL! I just spent 10 minutes in the shower so why is this happening?! I’m thinking I’m straight, used Dove and everything. But it is as though I never even showered. Well it turns out that the moisturizers in the lotion I use require a little more scrubbing to completely remove and so those moisturizers trapped the dirt on my body which ended up on the towel.
Replace the ‘dirt’ with PRIDE, and the ‘white towel’ with GOD.
This time last year, I announced my engagement to the man that I had been courting. It was extremely public. Both of our fathers were full time Pastors, we were connected to so many people through so many different churches. So as one can imagine, there were a lot of people watching us… and their mailboxes for a wedding invitation. Happiness and excitement lingered in the air for months. We started our premarital counseling shortly after and the most nightmarish blessing (stay with me) begin to unfold. So in premarital counseling, you talk about the hard stuff. Everyone else may see the book cover and how nice and crisp and shiny it is on the outside. But not many people understand that the chapters inside of the book are sometimes filled with pain and grief and ugliness splattered on pages that are ripped, burnt, and stained with tears. The counseling really exposed who we were as individuals and as a couple. I just knew I was doing everything right. My fiancé was getting drilled with all the follow up questions and seemingly needed more individual counseling. I thought I was golden. Some time goes by and we began to argue more frequently. I had experienced more of adulthood and independence from my parents than he had. So when it came time to discuss things within our future household it was as though I was trying to overstep my bounds as the wife and assume his role as head of the household. This was a long distance relationship, so I ultimately had to move to another state once we were married. This meant leaving my job, my friends, and most importantly my church. This did not always sit well with me. One particular disagreement became so heated and full of a violent rage that it ultimately ended our relationship. I didn’t tell any of my friends or extended family members the truth about what happened between us because I felt destroyed and embarrassed.
Time continued and while my personal life had gone to hell in a hand basket made of gasoline and firewood, my professional life was seemingly heaven sent. I secured a new full time job and a part time job. I was surrounded by people who were professional, helpful, and generally pleasant to be around. I started receiving acknowledgement from the leadership within both companies with regard to how well I was adapting and how quickly I was learning. I needed this recognition. Because after losing the one thing I was looking forward to the most, I needed to replace it… and quickly. I started working more, picking up more hours, asking for more tasks and responsibilities. This was working for me. My mind wasn’t idle, I was filling free time with work while making more money. I was great at faking feeling good. But I started feeling myself.
My ex reached out to me. We attempted to talk about what happened and it begin to feel like he was finding justification for his actions and trying to bring my faults to the forefront so that he wouldn’t stand alone in guilt. I fell for it a few times. But after about the 5th time, I had gotten to a point where I was like, “No! I was great to you! I always tried to put my best foot forward! I uprooted my whole life for you! I left my friends and my church to move here for you! The failure of our relationship is not my fault! You will never find another like me homeboy!” It felt great. It sounded great. So I went with it for a while.
The last trip I took, I dried off with the white towel. Dirt everywhere. A voice came over me similar to that of Morgan Freeman and said, “You aren’t as clean as you think are. This isn’t just about the dirt you missed. Pride has replaced the clean heart and renewed spirit that God blessed you with. Turn the water back on and wash again. Wash away your pride, the lies, the guilt, the shame, your unforgiving spirit, your bitterness, and your fear. Add a little water and lather the soap in your rag a little bit longer. Add more time in your day to talk with the Heavenly Father, worship a little longer, and pray a little harder. You aren’t perfect, you aren’t golden. That towel has to be red before it can be white….”
Y’all. I died. I had to examine myself- rigorously and truthfully. In that relationship, I was far from who I should have been. I wasn’t loving him or extending the same grace and mercy that God had for me. I cared, but I was cold. I sacrificed, but I was sour. I loved, but I was lost in my own agendas. I was affectionate but I was angry. We had feelings but we weren’t friends. It was not all on him. I had some growing up to do myself. I knew that I still wanted to be someone’s wife one day so I stayed in preparation. I wrote down all of the things I needed to stop doing and also things I needed to start doing more of. I begin to seek the Lord’s face. I needed direction and healing. I needed to be cleansed and renewed. Pride is a spiritual cancer. And I was at stage 4. My first day with the Doctor, He told me how much He loved me. He told me how much He wanted to bless me. He told me that through this healing He would never leave me, nor forsake me. The first prescription I got from Him was: read the “White Towels”…..♥