I can’t imagine existing without a washing machine. It’s a necessity for me.
You already know, but a washing machine is a cleansing agent. We use it regularly to get rid of the dirt and grime off of our precious items. Our clothes. Our undergarments. Maybe even our muddy shoes.
In its best condition, a washing machine restores things back to its original state. It refreshes scents and replenishes shape.
In this same way, my giving birth to my oldest daughter, who is also my first-born child, was a cleansing agent for me.
She cleansed me from my past. When she came along, I had an opportunity to turn away from past behaviors. I had a chance to close the lid on a few things. As you know, that's important when operating a washing machine. Top loading machines only function properly when the lid is down. Think about it...when you open a washing machine during the spin cycle, it immediately stops. When you run a washing machine without the lid being shut, the agitator, which is the object that moves clothes through water and detergent, doesn’t move (and the clothes don’t get cleaned). Closing off my past was critical to walking into my purposed future.
She refreshed my scent. When my oldest daughter came along, I had the choice of keeping my present company or changing my surroundings. You know the saying, "birds of a feather flock together." Naturally, the scent in the atmosphere around you will end up on you. When you are cleansing those things around you in a washing machine, you will inevitably clean up the things within you. The water and the spinning cycle binds things together. All items become refreshed. The smell you carry when you enter a washing machine is not the same scent you will emerge with. Refreshing my scent opened new doors and opportunities for me.
She replenished my shape. I lived what I like to think was the "normal" life cycle. I was a sweet little girl. Singing in the church choir. Actively participating in Girl Scouts. Dancing in ballet, tap, and jazz recitals. But then I grew older and started to travel down a different path. A back sliding path. But when I found out I was pregnant, I had an opportunity to return. I could get back to my original shape. Just like clothing items that get stretched out when you wear them. The washing machine helps them bounce back. In this same way, the birth of my daughter gave me a chance to bounce back.
For all the things my oldest daughter has given to me, now is my opportunity to give back to her.
I must create an emotionally safe environment where I can help my daughter shift through some of the dirt, insecurity, doubt, etc that comes from the outside world.
As my teenager continues to grow into her own unique individual who drives, loves to shop, and wears make-up, it’s important for me to remember that some cycles and life circumstances will need a delicate wash and others will require a deep clean.
The discernment to know the existence of variety within people and between people will make the cleansing process much more effective.
In the same way I can't imagine life without my washing machine, I can't imagine life with my first born child. But even more importantly, I can't imagine my life without Christ. He is the true cleansing agent. "But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations]." - 1 John 1:7 (AMP).
Who serves as the washing machine in your life?