I don’t like to eat fish.
I love having fish as pets.
I love swimming in water where there are fish.
When they begin to “pook” my toes I yell… and then I laugh.
I’ve never been fishing, which is a little strange knowing that every man in my life has
promised to take me at some point in time. This week I was actually kind of forced to deal
with a deep hurt over a silly thing.
I thought I’d dealt with it, but apparently I hadn’t.

Jason, my husband, informed me the other day that he and Jeffy, my spiritual Padre, were
going fishing. When I find out they’re going off to do something-I usually am excited for him
but this week,
I cried.
A lot.

You see, this all started when I was really young. My dad bought me and Sierra our very own
fishing poles. (Tiny children’s fishing poles) Mine was yellow and white and had Snoopy on it.
You know, the loveable pup from the peanuts comics!

My sister’s was different, but I don’t really remember what was on hers. We were so excited,
and he told us he was going to teach us to fish. We went to a river with some family friends.
My dad and Tom (I think his name was Tom… I was young, it’s hard to remember) were
laughing and fishing while Sierra and I sat on a rock with our friend Amy and her two
year old brother. Sierra was a little more ambitious than me at the time and was trying
to mimic what the grown ups were doing with their fishing poles while I sat there awkwardly
holding my fishing pole waiting for my dad to teach me. At some point during the day our
friend’s little brother took my fishing pole and chucked it into that river.
My dad just said “oh well” while I cried. Well, needless to say, I never learned to fish.

When I was about 8 or so, I remember sitting on our driveway playing with Sierra’s
fishing pole. I figured, hey, maybe I can catch a rock, maybe a stick, something.
(keep in mind-this was a kid’s fishing pole and had no hook on it at the time)
My dad saw me and was very angry. He told me that that fishing pole did not belong
to me and that Sierra needed it for when they went fishing. Feeling totally rejected
and crushed I handed him the fishing pole and just sat there and cried.

I’m not sure that I’ve grown much past that 8 year old crying on the driveway. The
enemy had swept in and sat down in my head whispering lies to me-saying Daddy’s
never keep promises. This was totally against everything I’d grown up listening to my
Mamma tell us about God; He being the Father of all, and a keeper of all His promises.
I remained angry about this one broken promise for years. Bitterness built up a Berlin
Wall in my heart. (which opened the year I was born and totally torn down the year after) It
kept me captive. Anything that went wrong after this just added on to this wall; any time
someone’s yes wasn’t a yes and anytime someone’s no wasn’t a no–it had all turned to lies
in my head.

So back to the original story. I was angry with Jason. Not because he was going fishing,
but because he knows all of this about me, and didn’t ask me to go. It felt like a broken
promise, and I flipped out. I really did. I couldn’t function properly-I was angry and I
couldn’t look at him without crying. He was devastated. He was just excited and not
thinking straight. When he realized what had happened, he was doing everything he knew
to do to make it right, but I was impossible to deal with. I just cried. Then I cried some
more. I was suddenly that little girl again, sitting on her driveway trying to fish for rocks.

I eventually began to express what was going on in my head, after his pleading for a good
hour. And as I did, that wall came crashing down. All these years, I’ve made comments here
and there about my hurt, thinking that was actually tearing the wall down-all the while it
was actually putting new bricks up and razor wire along the top.

All this hurt over a pole, some clear string, and a hook.

It’s ridiculous!
But you have to admit it, we all have our things. We all have hurts that we think are stupid,
so we stuff them down and neglect them. Hurt is like a succulent plant.
For those of you who don’t know what that is-they are plants that thrive off of neglect.
They grow in deserts. The most common one known to most people is a cactus. It’s spiny,
hurts you if you get too close to it, and grows and grows if you leave it alone with only
a little water here and there. My little angry comments were like spurts of water on that
cactus growing inside me.
But that cactus had to be ripped out. So that’s what we did. I forgave him, and we fell asleep.
Only to wake up angry all over again. I was upset that I was still upset. So driving on the way
to my parent’s house, I’m crying all over again – trying to hide it under my sunglasses. When
I half way expressed to Jason that I was still upset with him, he got angry. Rightfully so. For
any of you who know us… for Jason to get angry at me to the point he is yelling, is a huge deal.
In fact… this may have been the first time. He’s just as bad about stuffing that anger down.
Funny thing is, after he was done yelling, and we were both sniffling – we began laughing. The
upset that this created became so hilarious. I guess there were a few deep roots that needed
to be yanked out, and God was speaking so very clearly as Jason expressed how he felt.

All of this for God to show me something amazing.
He’s been taking me fishing all along.

Jesus said in Matthew 4:19 that we are to follow Him and He will make us fishers of men.
When I went to India, there was talk of fishing while we were there-I was so excited and nearly
in tears as I began to thank God, I said “My Daddy has taken me all the way across the world to
go fishing!?” Needless to say, we didn’t go fishing. I was so confused… I really didn’t understand
why this build up, but I was never handed a fishing pole and taught. But this morning when I was
laying in bed pouting because Jason went to work, and I had a long day alone ahead of me, I heard
God say, “I did take you across the world to go fishing.” And as soon as I heard that I could see all
the faces of these beautiful people we had met while in India. We had been fishing together all along.
Funny thing is, we were actually helping others become fishers of men. We spent nearly the whole
time there teaching them about missions, and to be zealous enough for God to GO and teach and
love others with total abandon. I wasn’t only fishing, but teaching others to fish. HA!
It’s amazing how good my God is.

Maybe all this means nothing to you, but to me, this is everything.
People fail. People don’t always keep their promises like they should. People make mistakes.
But God… He succeeds. He ALWAYS keeps His promises, His word never returns void. He makes no
mistakes. Everything has a purpose. And most of all, He loves me. He’s a good Daddy.

As for earthly fishing… I still have not done so. I told Jason I didn’t want to fish with him this time
because I felt like he asked me to come because I had been upset. He assured me that wasn’t the
case, but I said it was okay, I would swim with my mom and sister. I love to swim anyway. He is
supposed to take me soon, and I believe him. I will post pictures when we do go.

But until then, this creative picture will have to do.
[photo credit:: rod.olave]

2 Responses to “Fish.”
  1. Nikki says:

    Tears flowed down my cheeks as I read this particular posting… What really spoke to me is how you mentioned the hurts that we think are stupid, so we bury them deep within. They’re still hurts to us, aren’t they? Valid and painful, they wait, like that cactus you spoke of, to grow even bigger. Wow. I never thought of it that way. God cares for ALL our hurts though.. I believe if they’re valid to us, they’re valid to Him, and He wants to heal them.. but we have to let Him past that wall first. Thank you for this post. It’s hideously beautiful. šŸ™‚

    • Thank you! I’m so glad to help seeing something in a new way! You’re so right, and that’s a great way to put it– “if they’re valid to us, they’re valid to Him.” That so true, He is our good Father who cares about all of our little scrapes and bruises. If He really knows how many hairs are on our head, how much more does He know all of the things that we let plague us?
      Thank you so much for your input!

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