Hot Showers

mormonad-you-are-never-alone

 

I realized recently that I’ve been afraid to let go of my addictions.

For most of my life I’ve depended on them for immediate relief from stress, anger, loneliness, boredom, anxiety, fear, and the list goes on. My addictions were reliably consistent—I always felt relief when I acted out. Of course, that relief was fleeting and was always quickly replaced by remorse, self-loathing, and an increase of everything I was trying to avoid in the first place.

I think my addictions are like hot water. Life happens and sometimes it stinks. Sometimes it really hurts. It’s as if the pain of this life makes me feel cold and desperate for warmth. As it turns out, hot water feels pretty darn amazing when I’m cold.

When I take a hot shower on a cold winter morning I like to take my time. It feels great. Why would I ever want to step out of that warm shower?

My addictions have been my hot shower. I’ve become completely dependent on them. I’ve used them—pornography, lust, and sex—in a futile attempt to warm my soul from the cold pains of my life.

Turns out hot water is not a good way to stay warm.

Hot water only warms me so long as I’m immersed or doused in it. The second I step out of my warm shower, the warmth immediately begins to leave my body. In fact, the warmth leaves my body faster than it would have otherwise. It leaves faster because my body is wet.

When my addictions were at their worst, I was desperately trying to stay in my warm shower as constantly as possible. I didn’t know how to deal with life any other way. When I attempted to abstain from my hot shower the cold quickly became unbearable. I thought I needed the hot water and couldn’t survive without it.

Today I know that my God has the power to keep me warm. He has the power to calm my soul and soothe my wounds.

Yes, I could turn to my addictions for a quick hot shower. Such a course of action would be a guaranteed instant fix… except for the part when the hot shower ends and I suddenly find myself bare, exposed, and freezing. When that happens, I’ve historically done one of two things out of desperation: turn on the hot water again, or turn to my God for warmth and healing.

Today I truly stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me. He never turns me away from His warmth. He never tells me to go away. He is always there for me when I sincerely seek Him.

Today I am warm and I am learning to depend on my God for warmth, strength, and health. I need Him! I need Him more than I need my addictions. My addictions will never warm me or take care of me the way my God does. My Heavenly Father loves me infinitely and eternally.

Looking back, I do feel regret that I didn’t learn this sooner. But I also feel so grateful that I know it now. I feel so grateful that my Father in Heaven has never and will never give up on me. He’ll never abandon me. I struggle to express what that means to me. It’s changed my life.

I no longer depend on hot showers for warmth. Today I depend on my God, and He always provides. I love Him!

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11 thoughts on “Hot Showers

  1. I really like the imagery you paint here. Instead of just “seeing” an analogy, you can actually feel it because I think everyone likes to linger in a hot shower on a cold winter day! You write beautifully and you never cease to inspire me. Love you!!!!

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  2. Agreed. I love the analogy. I especially like the idea of recovery being like drying out when you’re wet. From one moment to the next it’s almost impossible to see the progress, but eventually you can look back and see how things have improved. Thank you!
    R

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  3. Michael, I thought this analogy so insightful and downright clever. I love how you described when you come out of the shower you feel exposed, bare and freezing…wow. That is such a real description of how Satan leaves us! In contrast the Savior covers us with the warmth of His love and offers us mercy when we are exposed or bare to him, nothing hidden, Thank you for sharing. Your thoughts help me in my life as I relate to times when I don’t turn to the Lord for warmth, rather find some other quicker fix like food or anger or pride.,,or whatever.

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Jane. I love that point you make—when we come to the Lord with full purpose of heart, exposed and vulnerable, nothing hidden, He covers us with the warmth of His love and offers us mercy. Food, anger, and pride are a few of my faux fixes as well.

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