This is Day 24 in the series “31 Days: What You Should Know Before An Affair“
I remember sitting in the car in the church parking lot the day after my confession. In the fresh rawness of the crisis, we’d come to church to receive pastoral counseling. My husband went first, while I sat in the car and waited for my turn.
There was something I needed to do.
For years I’d been the almost-perfect child—straight A’s, three sports, choir, musical theater, summa cum laude, and the wife and mother in my supposed picture-perfect life. But no longer, and I knew what I had to do.
My shaking hands dialed the familiar number, as I just tried to breathe. It was unfortunate to deliver this news over the phone, but the emergent crisis of the situation demanded it happen immediately.
There’s a fine line between humiliation and humility, with both demanding our lowest position—face-down on the ground.
My mom answered, and some small talk ensued. And then came the pause, as I laid face-down and utterly humiliated to speak.
“Mom, I have something I have to tell you, can you get Dad on the phone?”
The words rushed out—like a raging river—slamming against the rocks and spraying whitewater everywhere. The force could have carved rocks over time, and I knew this news was about to carve a hole in my parent’s hearts.
“I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life,” I confessed, as the tears began to fall.
“I’ve been having an affair for over two years, and I’m so very sorry—sorry to be such a disappointment to you,” I heaved, as my spirit collapsed in humiliation—low to the ground and completely face down.
This became my lowest place.
It was such a challenge just to breathe.
I spent many years humiliated, trying to recover in the wake of such failure. Although I remarried and was eager to build a new life, the undercurrent of failure swirled on. And the shame remnants of my past wrapped me like tentacles holding me there.
God wanted to redeem and restore, but first He needed my surrender.
He needed me to be an active participant in the restoration.
He needed me to show up and say yes and refuse to squander His gift.
That participation required me to remain face down, but shift from the despair of humiliation to the posture of a humble heart
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.
James 4:10 (NIV)
In order to be lifted, you have to start low.
The word humble is from the Latin humilis—low, lowly. Which is from humus, meaning ground.
To be humble is to go lower, all the way to the ground.
Humble repentance brings restoration.
In order to be freed from the devastation of humiliation, we must not only remain low to the ground, but reposition our focus—from self, and pity, embarrassment and loathing—to Him. We must surrender and look up from that lowly state.
And it is in THAT place God meets us, and lifts us, and does His restoration work—some of His most glorious and holy work.
It is the work of taking the sharp and broken shattered pieces of our lives which are the remnants of our choices and re-melding them together with His mercy and grace, that His light might be most beautifully displayed through our jagged cracks.
Humble repentance brings restoration, if we choose it—both in our relationship with God and our relationships with each other.
And the only possibility for the restoration of relationship is being laid low.
The only way up, is down.
How have you trusted God and humbled yourself before Him?
What has it looked like for you to be low, face-down on the ground?
Read Day 25 HERE
Throughout this series, if you have a question or a struggle and want me to address it or write on it in this series, please send me an email (jacque at jacquewatkins dot com) or a voicemail (green button on right sidebar) and I will do my best to incorporate it into this series. It will make me so happy to have feedback from you and to write what it is you might need. I can’t wait to hear from you.