Thursday, 30 October 2014

Why I hear you ask do you call yourself a modern day Samaritan Woman?

In short, I was happily married for 23 years, home schooled my two children, directed a Worship Dance Ministry and generally lived in a very contented self-contained bubble, my very own castle in the sky…….. until the day my marriage broke up and “Boom” my whole world collapsed almost overnight. 

What do you do when this happens?  What do you do?
I didn’t know.

I reacted to events as they unfolded with little thought, reflection or purpose. I made so many mistakes. When I thought of my future all I could imagine was this huge black hole of nothing-ness. I saw a pointless existence. My children were about to leave home, so I was also facing the empty nest. I didn’t have the sense to think, I merely reacted blindly, stupidly, as the enemy bombarded me with one thing after another. It was only much later that I recalled the warning from scripture that our battle is not against flesh, but against the principalities and powers. I became angry and fearful and with each passing day. I lost hope until I had none left at all. Naturally all the thoughts and emotions were recorded faithfully in my journals and although I can barely bring myself to read through the raw emotion recorded on those pages, I have seen that despite this being one the worst seasons, I have ever faced in my life, God was faithful and his assurances, love and stability are clearly found in between my ranting’s and ravings. I noticed later that my writing style had changed and I had become extremely self-absorbed. I am ashamed to say it, but it was all about me and my pain, my loss and my anger.

My constant mantra at the time was:

This too shall pass”
This too shall pass”
This too shall pass”

I slowly started living again but really only because I didn’t die, as I had fully expected to. I wish I could say I was brave and determined to face life despite the odds, but that is not how it happened. I simply did not die, so I had to get up and go to work and carry out a semblance of living.  I withdrew from all my “happily married friends” and lived in isolation, only venturing out when I was forced to. I turned instead to my faithful journals, ever recording, pouring out everything.

This too shall pass”
This too shall pass”
This too shall pass”

I met man number two with whom I felt just maybe there was some hope and I could continue this life. He reminded me of good times, made me laugh again and was a companion in the most wonderful of ways. This man truly could “see” me. Unfortunately, although it was our will to marry and build a new life together, it certainly wasn't Gods Will for us, as this dear man, very special, so close to my heart, developed a Stem Cell Tumor and passed away within two years of diagnosis. It plunged me into another period of pain and disbelief.  On a daily basis for fourteen months it felt as if we had been holding death at bay.  Once again my journals were faithful friends, recording the events as they unfolded, as a new season of care-giving unfolded.
Once again I clung to:

“This too shall pass”
This too shall pass”
This too shall pass”

After this season had passed (as they all do, even when we can’t imagine it) and with the prompting of friends and family to “live again”, I eventually met man number three.  (My husband, the man who would make me his wife. The man who would restore to me my sense of worth)

Before this happened however; while driving to work one day, the Lord spoke to me so clearly and said “Do you realize that you are a modern day Samaritan Woman?”  

Me, a Samaritan Woman? No, never!!! Wasn’t she a ‘bad woman’? A questionable lady with a number of men? We all heard that story in Sunday School and Church Sermons and we all know she was the example of who NOT to be.

I thought about it the whole day and couldn't wait to get home from work to read her story in John 4. Interestingly, her name is never mentioned. Neither is there any mention of her character, children, parents, siblings or her life, except from the fact that she had, had several husbands and the man she was living with at the time was not her husband.
I related to her story. I never had several husbands, but I had known three men and the one I was living with was NOT my husband. 

This started a journey of honest reflection and serious thought about this mysterious lady that Jesus had taken the time to speak with, just as he had done with me in my car that morning.

Was she really a “bad” woman? I didn’t believe I was a “bad” woman.
Was it her lifelong dream to have several husbands / lovers?

It wasn’t mine. At sweet sixteen, I never dreamed of knowing three men. I wanted the same as all young girls. My own husband to love “forever and ever after”.

However, regardless of what I had dreamed as a young girl, a series of circumstances and bad decisions had brought me to this place. Forty something, divorced, living with a man and yet I dared to call myself a Christian. 
  • ·       Could it be that the Samaritan Woman had not merely jumped from man to man at random, but perhaps life, circumstances and bad decisions had also brought her to the place she was in when she met Jesus? 
  • ·         Could we suppose that she may have been widowed by one of her five husbands (surely not her doing)?
  • ·         Could we suppose that one of the five had perhaps committed adultery and abandoned her?
  • ·         Could we suppose that one of them may have abused her, forcing her to have to leave for her own survival?
  • ·         Could we suppose that by the time she had reached number five she was so worn out, tired of struggle and disappointment and desperately longing for true companionship?
  • ·         Could we suppose that despite the disapproval of those around her that she just moved in obstinately with man number five, and ignored the voices of reason in her own mind?

We will never know, because the bible is silent regarding the circumstances that brought her to the place where she was. I don’t want to insinuate she was totally innocent, as we are all sinners and make wrong choices; however I am more inclined to understand her and empathize. I am more inclined to grant her grace and mercy in spite of what she may have done. Why? Because I related to her on so many levels that I could have been her. I almost wish I could stretch back through the ages and give her a huge hug. When I close my eyes and listen closely I can hear her say “This too shall pass!!!”

I started paying attention and realized that there are many unnamed Samaritan Women’s voices echoing through the ages. Their stories untold and unknown. There were and are still many women just like me and that dear woman at the well.  Broken, weary, abandoned woman can be found in-between lives, jobs and even men. Seeking, always seeking for that place of “absolute belonging”. Yes you know what I mean. If like me, you have had it and lost it you never stop searching for it. You are always aware that you don’t have it. It drives you to do desperate things that you ordinarily would never have done.
If this is you and you can also relate then I want to say to you:

“This too shall pass”
This too shall pass”
This too shall pass”

I know that this is true because God in His wonderful mercy and love and in His perfect timing gave me the greatest desire of my heart. For many long years, I had asked Him to give me my OWN husband and that this husband would serve God with me.

On the 21st of June 2014, this gift was handed to me by my Father in Heaven. No longer am I in-between lives and husbands. He gave me my own husband.  On the 21st of June 2014, my children took my hands and blessed me, as I boldly stepped into the future. No longer was I facing a black hole of empty existence and I am forever grateful that I serve the God of “New Beginnings”.

Granted, I now face a whole new set of challenges as a third wife and “step mom” (without a handy “How to” manual) but with God’s Grace we will do this together and write our own manual as we go.

I do however still relate to that Samaritan Woman (and think of her often) and to all the women who have since followed her because I too, have walked in her shoes for long lonely years and I know her well…I have been her and I have met her and befriended her in so many other precious women I have met in the past few years. Many of whom have become my close friends and sisters.

*Hugs* till next time.