I can’t believe that I’m finally expressing myself! Till this day I have never written anything. In fact, I always thought I wasn’t good at anything at all. I always had a low opinion of myself. My life’s pursuit was always trying to please everybody around me. My efforts would often go in vain, making me feel disappointed. The more I tried, the more I failed. I was clearly ashamed of myself because I had surpassed all heights of vulnerability. I was desperate to do everything I could and still, everything seemed hopeless.
My life was always mundane until I met Joshua. I caught him staring at me when we were at a mutual friend’s wedding. We got to know each other. Became friends first, and then lovers. His overwhelming interest in me made me feel good about myself. I had never felt like this before. It was one of those first experiences. Very soon, he proposed and I willingly accepted. Growing up, I always felt that my parents were not happy with me. They probably thought I was a mistake. Or at least, I thought I was. The funny thing is, I never felt accepted at home, and here I was, being welcomed into someone else’s family.
Now when I think about it, I feel I didn’t know anything about Joshua while marrying him. Initially, everything was good, but once the romance died down, there was nothing left for me to hold on to. Once again I started feeling restless in my loneliness. I did love Joshua and wanted to please him in any way that I could. But I could see my efforts were simply annoying him. I was clueless and I knew I was losing him. And then it happened. One day, he publicly divorced me. In our culture, women are victims of the cruel patriarchal society we live in and have no say in anything. Only a man could initiate a divorce. And in my case, Joshua publicly stated that I was unclean, unlovable and incapable of fulfilling my wifely duties. I felt humiliated as if I was stripped naked.
“How could he do this to me?”
I left everything after trusting him. I was shattered and broken, feeling despised by everyone. My own family expressed their disappointment by shutting me out. I became desperate wanting to be accepted.
The search for love drove me crazy to a point that I started seeking in all the wrong places. I eventually had multiple partners and most of them were plain physical relationships. I just couldn’t lead a normal life. It was simple for me – I had my emotional needs that had to be met by somehow. I had fallen so far in the web of falsehood and pretension that I started losing myself. Divorce had become a frequent and usual thing in my life. In spite of going through the same motions every single time I was in a relationship, I just couldn’t help myself getting hurt. Amidst the number of partners I had, I was constantly feeling lonely.
I was tired of living. Life held no meaning for me. I was living like a dead soul. All that I wished for, was a fresh beginning. Yesterday, when I woke up, I was contemplating how to kill myself. I was destined to die but I just couldn’t get myself to do it. It was around lunchtime when I mustered all the courage to get out of my house, wanting to take a break from these thoughts that left me high and dry. I usually would never get out in the morning or evening, because such a trip would mean social interaction with the other women which I always dreaded. I was an outcast – ostracized from my own.
As I was walking towards the well, I noticed a man. First of all, it was highly unusual to meet someone during the heat of the day. From his appearance, I knew that he was a foreigner. His speech confirmed that he was a Jew. I was surprised when he started talking to me. Jews considered highly of themselves. They would never talk to Samaritans, let alone a Samaritan woman. Jews always hated our kind because they held us responsible for the downfall of their nation. So when he asked me for a drink, he had my attention. I was very curious about who he was. He led the entire conversation. I, at once, realised he was a prophet when he started revealing my past. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel judgement coming from him. Instead, his words brought life in me. I felt like I was waking up from a bad dream. For the first time in my life, I was at peace with myself, not feeling the need to prove anything to anybody. Joy was rising up within me.
I was that person who could never talk about her past. It only brought me memories of heartache and excruciating pain. But I had finally been redeemed that I forgot that I was an outcast. The overwhelming happiness led me to shamelessly testify to the other women in my society about this Jew I had met by the well. Most of them were intrigued by my story and eventually believed. They wanted to see him and hear him for themselves.
At first, I didn’t understand when he mentioned about the living water. But now I do. This living water he was willing to offer had finally quenched my thirst of seeking acceptance. I know that the God who made me accepts me. And now He has my complete confidence in His love.