Meet Me At The Well

I have looked at church as a place where overly religious people came together in perfectly pressed clothes and painted-on smiles to make their weekly appearance.

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I used to think people with a checkered past were not the church-going type. I had a distorted view of what it meant to be the church, thanks to mainstream worldly views for making me think this way- this view could not be more wrong.

The church is not a building. The church is made up of believers who love and want to live for Jesus and want to disciple others to live for Jesus. Those that make up the church share their testimony to reach others for Jesus. Their mission statement is to live their lives for Jesus according to the Bible and go live it out.

The church is not made up of people who have all the answers. The church is a safe place for sinners to come meet Jesus.

On any given Sunday, there is no church building or gathering place where those that congregate have it all together, nor do they have all the answers. I do not believe that we will ever have all the answers as believers. It is our quest to keep searching and growing. We are called to be the church because we do not have it all together, but the testimonies within the walls could change lives.

We are called to share our hearts with others. Salvation begins with simply engaging another in conversation.

Be real.

Be honest.

Do not miss an opportunity for an encounter.

So, every Sunday, we are called to bring our brokenness, our hurts, anger, struggles, temptations, and sin and lay them at the feet of the Cross. We are called to not let pride, fear, or humility stand in the way of freedom that can be experienced from releasing ourselves and living wholeheartedly for Jesus.

Some are really great at masquerading their hurts. Some are always fine, but not really. Fine is that word that you throw out there and hope it sticks. Well, that has been my method anyway.

If you are broken, fighting past hurts and struggles, and are struggling with hope, then I cannot think of any better place than being surrounded by men, women, and children who have hearts like Jesus for the hurting, broken, and hopeless.

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Those with hearts like Jesus are the church. They are Earthly disciples that are ministering to those in need. These men and women will welcome the opportunity to stand in the gap, hit their knees, and fervently and without hesitation pray for others.

But here’s the deal…I am telling you to bring your past and current hurts and burdens and lay them at the feet of Jesus…but I am not practicing this as I should be. Anyone who knows me knows I am an “I will handle this on my own type of gal.” My vice is accepting any help. 

I have identified with the woman at the well in the last couple of months. I have purposefully isolated myself.

I have struggled with a past hurt that I have not shared with others until recently for over twenty-five years.

Don’t do the math; I will save you that step; I am 41. I have a past. I am not defined by that past, but I have unresolved hurts that have stunted my ability to heal, forgive and move past that hurt.

I am haunted by the hurts that occurred when I was sixteen. It has defined how I parent- the helicopter parenting method- deeply disliked by my children.

At sixteen, I drew a line and vowed never to cross that line. As far as I was concerned, I would take that hurt to the grave with me. I mean, I did the whole thing where you write your deep dark hurts on paper and burn it, and I thought that was good. I did feel a sense of release when it burnt, but it would come back to haunt me again and again.

I never laid the worst of the worst at the feet of Jesus. I recently shared this hurt with my husband after nineteen years of marriage. As a result of this past hurt, I struggle with forgiveness.

I am a black-and-white type of person.

I believe right is right, and wrong is wrong.

I previously thought there were some wrongs that could be deemed unforgivable. I am learning that I do not have the authority to deem something as unforgivable. I can choose forgiveness or not but not to deem something as unforgivable. 

You see, this wrong was not a simple mistake or lack of judgment. So how do you forgive something that was intentional and life-altering? I chose to dig my heels in and deem this unforgivable, which has profoundly affected me and the life I want to pursue.

I repeatedly told God no.

No, I will not forgive.

No, I will not trust.

No, I will not remove the line that was drawn. 

I will not forgive this; I will just exist with it buried so deep. 

But that has created a woman who gets angry at the drop of a hat with a hair trigger fuse that could easily blow at any moment. I struggled to understand how my unforgiveness could be causing so many issues. There had to be something else because I was unwilling to head down this road.

I did not want to relive this nightmare or face these demons. Here’s your wake-up call Tara! I have been stuck in a rut because of a heart condition that would not allow me to drop the walls and allow healing to take place.

I struggled with what the “healing” would trigger. I am not someone who wants to be in my feelings. I mean, I am not a robot; I cry when others are struggling, and sappy movies like Marley and Me and when others are experiencing great joy, but I hate dealing with my emotions, and I have to process items that could trigger an emotional response. I am guilty of trying to be funny or avoiding it altogether. Healing from this would take time, energy, effort, and allowing others in. Not my thing.

I had a nightmare the evening I shared this hurt with my husband. It felt like the floodgates were opened, and it all came back in snapshots with a forceful blow to the gut. 

Unfortunately, my husband has had to endure the aftermath of the emergence of repressed hurts. I know that sharing this with him has also been extremely hard on him. He is my safe place, and I know he wants nothing more than a healed and whole wife who can find a path forward and move toward forgiveness. 

In all honestly, I do not know how to forgive. I am still that sixteen-year-old girl, drawing her line and not knowing how to move forward, stuck in a rut. I know that the Bible speaks to forgiveness and is very clear that we must forgive. In fact, Jesus demands us to forgive others so we may be forgiven. How? Where do I start? 

I started by writing a letter. A letter that I will never send but a letter that hopefully helps me release a demon that has plagued my heart for far too many years. A letter that will hopefully put an end to a chapter of my life that was suppressed for many years. A chapter that nearly broke me. A chapter that caused me to be like the woman at the well and feel like I was not enough. I am hopeful that it is a chapter that will end a great deal of hurt that has shaped the woman I have been into the woman I know Jesus is molding me to be. I am hopeful.

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I am the woman that wanted to run to the altar this past Sunday. I felt like Bo was speaking right to my heart. Bo and Kristian are very good friends so it should have been a safe place, right? It should have been easy. I felt compelled to run to Scott and Jeanna. I know they would have held me when I completely fell apart. I knew I would completely fall apart, and I did not want anyone to see me fall apart. I do not do vulnerable, and I surely did not want hundreds of people to see me when the floodgates broke. 

Meeting people at their weakness is what it means to be a part of the church. Anyone willing to stand in for you and surround you in prayer, love, and compassion at a moment’s notice, well, friends that is what it means to be the church. 

I do not like feeling uncomfortable or vulnerable. But sweet friends, that is what it means to be a part of the church. It means allowing yourself to vulnerable, uncomfortable, and willing to accept the love of others in the name of Jesus. Testimonies are great, but you must allow the breakthrough to happen to kickstart the testimony. 

You see, I not only robbed myself of the blessing of others praying for my heart, but I also robbed the church of the opportunity to be the church. I robbed my dear friends of the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus on Earth. I had the opportunity to allow an encounter to happen, and I hesitated. I failed to do my part as the church. I failed to allow the opportunity for the others to BE THE CHURCH. 

So, here’s my challenge to each and every one of you reading this. To be the church. Take your burdens and brokenness and meet me at the well so we can release together. Tell your desires to be comfortable to go take a hike, and let’s get real with God. Allow the Church to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Let’s stop robbing each other of experiencing an encounter with Jesus. Let’s flood the well. Let’s not be ok with being lukewarm. 

Thank you for allowing me to take a step into being extremely vulnerable and raw with you all.

My heart is for Jesus. Like you all, I am learning daily what it means to love and follow Jesus. I certainly do not have all the answers, but I am encouraged to keep learning and growing in being the woman God has in mind for me. I encourage you all to keep learning and growing in who God has created you to be. 

I pray that we can all release any strongholds weighing us down. Strongholds we tucked away and did not know would re-emerge and wreak havoc.

Jesus, please continue to mold us into the men and women you need us to be to fulfill your purposes of us to be the church.

Please create a place where the chairs are full because sinners know they are welcome and belong.

The church is called to be like Jesus, to walk beside the sinner, to eat with the sinner, to worship with the sinner, to do life together, and most importantly, to flood the well together to turn those past hurts into a testimony for His glory.


6 responses to “Meet Me At The Well”

  1. Oh my gosh, you are speaking such truth! I am in a place right now where telling others that I am in fact not fine is one of the most terrifying things for me. Reading this has given me such encouragement to be real with the friends I know want to hold me and hold my hand. Thank you for taking one of the hardest steps: being vulnerable. It does not come easy, but you have earned my respect in doing so. I pray that God helps you in finding forgiveness from others and also being able to forgive others.


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