Holly T. Ashley

OH! DID I TYPE THAT OUT LOUD?

I am the woman at the well…

I am the woman at the well.

“Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” [1]

It was a start of a conversation that needed to be. Someone needed to call me out. I had been married and divorced 4 times – I had gone off the deep end and spent my time at network functions that were happy hours and many… many toxic men and women were entering into my life.

It was getting ugly. 

I had friends that could have cared less about me, who I was sleeping with or what exactly I was doing – as long as I was “Happy.”

“It’s your turn, Holly…” they would say. “You deserve a life.”

I actually had a “friend” tell me once hat she wanted to be just like me… “So many men… So little time,” was the motto

Oh God!

I remember that night the most – because those words hit me like a ton of bricks.

I had become her….

That woman, that scorned scarlet letter woman.

But in the world’s view I was Strong.

I did it all: Raised my kids on my own, made my own money, and wrote my own story…

I did it my way.

I was the “choice” who did the “choosing.”

I called every single shot.

I was the chief negotiator of life and I chose which game would be played, based on the cards I was dealt.

I was the Business owner woman-bitch – because I was good at what I did.

And nobody seemed to have a problem with it. On the contrary… I was admired.

….

Oh God. I was a wretched woman.

What had I become?

Why hadn’t someone stepped up and told me to “knock it off!?”

Who are these people I call my friends?

Friends don’t let you behave like a bitch. Friends don’t let you sleep with every Tom, Dick and Harry…. Jane or Mary… married, single… man or woman that comes along.

Friends might hold your hands and your hair – but then there’s that morning after much needed talking to from a good friend:

“Let’s have coffee,” and “We need to talk.”

I was in desperate need of a true friend. 

I needed that Jesus…. that Jesus, that was full of love and compassion. I needed to be forgiven, I needed someone to wrap their arms around me and tell me “it was going to be ok…”  “That this moment would pass…” “That ‘God’s mercies are new each morning…’ That I was accepted for who I am. Just like I was… no matter what.”

What I got was Jesus… the real Jesus – the Son of the most Holy God Jesus

And this is how that conversation went:  (Jn. 4:16-18)

“I’m here, I’m listening. Get me a drink, let’s talk…. As a matter of fact, go get your husband.”

“But I don’t have a husband, Jesus. I am divorced.”

“Oooooooooooo You got that right. As a matter of fact – you’ve had (5)! And the one you were with [last night, over the weekend…] is not your hubby either… right?”

“Huuuuuum”

….

That’s the real Jesus.

Truth first. Compassion later.

I needed to hear Jesus speak. And speak He did.

It was the revelation of my heart that wanted to be righteous and the words of a man who could make it so.

But first He confronted me with truth.

The truth of my sin. And He C-A-L-L-E-D — I-T — O-U-T.

and it did not end there. 

I am Rahab

And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. [2]

I am the woman who hid in the darkness living a lie out in the open.

He was the savior who came to break down the walls of my heart.

I am a sinner. I deserved the penalty of my sin.

I wanted to talk about who did it to me and my background of horror… I wanted to open my heart and pour out the past mistakes of others who had hurt me. 

Jesus did not care to open that door – He had closed it long ago and it was about me and me alone who had to make the choice to forgive those people who hurt me and to forgive them…. 

Even if they did not ask for it. 

Jesus’ word exposed my brokenness in a way that caused my heart to bleed…

And then… in the midst of the pain of an open wound –

And because of the loving savior He is:

He poured in the salt.

I am Bathsheba

            It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. [3]

I am the woman who temps fate and taunts sin.

I am a murderer. She would have been 28 years old this August,  had I not chose my life over hers.

I am a sinner – a wretched broken sinner – A woman who walked about life taunting others, using beauty to seduce, knowing it would cause pain and heartache – in order to achieve her own goals in life. Worldly goals, riches of the world, not placing my treasure in eternity.

But Jesus called me out. 

I wanted to explain about the pain my husband had caused and the damage my parents did. 

He listened attentively, as He always does. 

And then He said: 

“Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” 

We all have to face it. The facts that is – We are sinners.

We all have a story – nobody is better/worse than anyone else. It is always someone else’s fault – there is always someone we can blame. 

Go ahead, blame whoever you want to blame – But there will be a day – when Jesus will answer you… 

And your response of “Oh, I don’t believe that,” 

Just won’t do. 

To understand Grace. You must first face Truth.


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jn 4:16–18). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jos 6:17). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (2 Sa 11:2). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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5 comments on “I am the woman at the well…

  1. insanitybytes22
    February 6, 2014

    I loved that, thank you!

  2. Kathleen
    February 10, 2014

    Good girl Holly. Truth is never easy. Makes the rest of us uncomfortable, because then we may have to face our own. Love you.
    Kathleen

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