During His travels, Jesus came to Samaria and sat by the stone wall of a simple well. He asked a woman there for a drink, which was confusing for the woman because of the tension between their nationalities.
Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water” (John 4: 10).
He proceeded to show her how much He knew about her, though she thought Him to be a stranger. God revealed Jesus as the Messiah to this flawed, yet attentive woman.
Jesus came to me in this way many times in my life, but I was inattentive and failed to draw Him a drink.
Two summers ago, I was in a strange city, commuting ninety minutes a day instead of socializing, surrounding myself with bad influences, and concentrating my conversations on selfishness and politics. I was the devil’s playground, complete with a dry, thirsty sandbox.
For the first time in my life, I started to wonder about the very existence of God. I started to doubt it. I was doubting Him.
Deep in depression, by the grace of God, another question washed over me: Had I been duped? What about my two decades of belief? Was I finally un-stupid?
My resounding answer was, “No!” yet the doubt remained.
Was I an idiot my entire life prior to that summer?
“No!” I answered again.
I had not been duped and neither were my parents, Godparents, or grandparents. All of the most loving, best people I knew were Christians, most Catholics.
I decided I needed to reclaim myself and my faith.
My fasting week
Crucifix? Check. Scapular? Check. Earphones plugged into Christian music? Check. Pretending to be tired and sick so as to avoid unnecessary conversation at my internship? Check.
My cleansing week was an attempt to bombard myself with Christian media and reconnect with the prayer I had begun to doubt. Push, push, push, I was going to give it a full week if it killed me. Something told me not to surrender.
On Thursday night of that week, I was watching Fireproof as part of my Christian-stuffing.
All of a sudden, at a mundane part of the movie, the Holy Spirit moved something in me.
“Jesus is waiting for me,” I thought.
He needed only for me to make the decision to let Him bear me. I needed to give up my yoke and give myself to Him.
Before the third millisecond of this thought process, I was clinging to my scapular, laying in the fetal position, and heaving through wet sobs.
Relinquish control. Give of myself to the One who was patient and excitedly waiting for me.
I reduced (advanced) myself to the state of a child once more. I saw myself as a helpless rag-doll in Jesus’ arms, giving up my controlling greed, and letting Him take my weight while I sobbed in gratitude.
This quenched my thirst and lit me on fire to learn more about my relationship with the Holy Trinity.
One of the most humbling lessons I’ve learned over the last two years is that there is no such thing as faith autopilot. Through the countless mistakes I made and the innumerable lessons learned, I finally accepted that a faith journey relies on trust and a good listening heart.
“The Lord has a plan for each of us, he calls us each by name. Our task is to learn how to listen, to perceive his call, to be courageous and faithful in following him, and when all is said and done, to be found trustworthy servants who have used well the gifts given us.” -Pope Benedict XVI, Sept. 11, 2006
God guided me to Him through the mediums of mistakes, doubts, and obedience. Though I run into dry spells and writer’s block along the way, I hope that contributing to the sound of the Catholic Christian voice on the Internet can be helpful to God’s plan.
As a woman at the well, I pray that I offer Jesus a drink, listen to Him as He reveals details about who I am, and follow Him when He tells me how to use my life in His Messianic mission.