Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13
On a night that I was sleep deprived and dehydrated, and without really thinking, I brought a water bottle into the shower with me. As I reached down to take a drink, it suddenly triggered a moment from my past. It brought me right back to 10+ years ago when I was single without kids.
I was working miserable jobs. I was in verbally and emotionally abusive relationships and just getting through the monotony of life. I worked to pay bills and often fell into temporary, worldly pleasures, leaning on people to fill a void that only God could truly satisfy. Back then, I traded water bottles for wine and ended many days by taking a glass of wine into my showers with me. It was a futile attempt to numb some of that noise and pain around me at that time.
Here I was, now happily married to a wonderful man with three amazing boys, and secure in my role as a wife and mother. Yet, I was about to quickly lose control of my thought life and encounter pain I thought was long gone.
The enemy taunted me saying;
You are unworthy of love.
You are failing miserably as a wife.
He could leave you for someone much better.
You are being exactly the kind of parent you vowed you’d never be.
As these words pricked my heart, I was surprised at how quickly my mind went down the rabbit hole. Satan knows our weaknesses, both mentally and physically, and sits and waits for the perfect opportunity to pounce. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
I started to pray aloud, “Lord, that was a part of me but that is no more. I thank you for bringing me out of those familial and workplace relationships that brought me harm. I thank you for my loyal husband and for my children that I can hear playing (ok, maybe they were fighting) on the other side of the door. I am so thankful to have purposeful relationships that allow me to be honest about my past. Let my vulnerability help others see they aren’t alone and that they have been made new by your goodness and love. Amen.”
I made my way back to our family room and took it all in: the smell of coffee brewing, a candle burning in the kitchen, the fits of giggles and snorts that erupted from our toddlers as they climbed up and over my husband on the floor (their own personal playground), the hilarious “Mowgli”crawl that the baby had recently started doing. I drank cup after cup of water that day, both out of physical and spiritual necessity.
Yes, because I have experienced battles, I have an advantage of guiding my own children should they ever struggle with those conflicts. But, because I drank from His living water, He can well up in me and overflow onto others. For me, the miracle was a little unlike His first. Instead, Jesus turned wine into water.
Your fellow Able Mom,
Lord, please let our pasts not hold us back because of shame or fear. Let them be a way for us to relate to those who are going through sin or struggles with feeling unworthy. Where we feel inadequate and exposed, you are there to cover us with your truth and your love.