20 years old. Standing in a church. It rained the entire way here. It’s my wedding day and I know only one thing…I should not be getting married today. I know this. I didn’t mean for it to go this far. Have you ever not meant for it to go that far? Three years later and my husband files for divorce. I am served the papers on Valentine’s Day. I’m already dating someone else. Fast forward four years. It’s my wedding day. Again. Six years later and I announce on Mother’s Day that our marriage (that was never legal) is over. I can’t do it anymore. I’m empty. Ashamed. More broken than I’ve ever been. In a pit that feels deeper than grace can go. My need is too great. A short 3 months later and I’m married again. This time I stand in a courthouse and say “I do”. I mean it. I love this man. This man is my forever. I know this. I am home. We’re 4 years in. We have two babies. It’s beautiful and hard. There are nights of crippling insecurity. There are fears that I’m not enough, that I can’t keep this. There are irrational needs and hurts that no human and no amount of time can fix. I know once again that my need is too great.
It’s 10am and church has started. I’m not ready for what’s coming, but I don’t know that yet. I do know that for at least a month I have been encountering Jesus. I want to talk about it, but I don’t know how. All signs have pointed to the Son. I am starting to get that I don’t get it. Jesus is not the flat, strange, far away, indecipherable person I have made Him out to be. Jesus is radical. Jesus is more. Jesus is good. Jesus gets it. Jesus is it. Jesus is enough. Jesus is coming for me.
The pastor launches into a sermon on the woman at the well. I’ve heard this story. I know it, but I don’t. I don’t know that Jesus took a specific, untraveled path to plant the seed to heal 700 years of feuding between the Samaritan’s and the Jew’s. I don’t know that he didn’t just ask her to give him a drink, he asked to use her cup. I don’t know that Jesus brings up her 5 marriages and seedy past to get right to the heart of her thirst. That this entire interaction is intended to heal her wounded heart and offer her living water. Himself. The kind of love that can’t hurt her, leave her, or abuse her. I didn’t know this. I did…but somehow I didn’t. Today it is for me. Today it is fresh and new and tenderly wiping my tears and mending my heart. Today I hear.
I am that woman. You probably are too. Talk about a “me too” movement. Too many hurts to count. Too much shame to see through. Fear. Anxiety. Insecurity. A never ending search for love and acceptance that can’t ever be found. I am the woman at the well. Jesus has brought me here today to get right to the heart of my thirst. 38 years of thirst.
The worship leader stands and sings “Come to the Well”. It suddenly takes on two different meanings to me. The well, the physical location of a hole in the ground we can draw living water from…but also friends, “The Well” the place where sickness and insecurity and doubt and fear can’t exist. Like I was sick but now I am well. Jesus is the well.
Come to the well.