I’ve grown quite close to the Woman at the Well.  I posted about her a while back; a quick snippet into her life and how the Lord purposefully sought her out, despite her “unclean” status and reputation.  But, what I’ve really grown to love about her is her propensity toward trying to fill her longings herself.  She had a deep, deep longing to be known, to matter, to be significant, and she tried to fill it herself, always coming up short.  I love this about her, because I identify with her.  I have those deep longings myself, and I’m willing to bet you do, too.  

Because she’s referred to as “The Samaritan Woman” or “The Woman at the Well”, and because those are a mouthful and less than personal, I’ve taken the liberty of giving her a nickname. Because that’s what you do with friends and I feel like she’s become a good one.  “Samaritan Woman” has been shortened to “Sammi”, and henceforth (at least in this post!) that’s how she’ll be known.
Now, I believe that we as women, will, most of the time, attempt to fill our longings for significance by trying to gain it from other people.  People-pleasing, workaholism, co-dependent relationships, etc., all stem from this same root. What I’ve discovered through a little research is that Sammi and I (and probably you, too) have come by this honestly.  In fact, it all stemmed from the very beginning: Eve.  
We all know the story of Eve and the serpent and the apple.  When she and Adam were created, God made them in His image, knowing every fiber of their being from the inside out. They walked with God in the garden, naked, with no shame, because they walked and lived from the fullness of God dwelling in them.  But when the apple was tasted and sin entered the picture, so did shame, and there was a “blockage”, if you will, in their hearts.  Their eyes were opened and they realized their nakedness and inadequacies.  
After they sinned, the Lord told them the consequences of their sin.  For the sake of our topic, dealing specifically with women, I’ll focus on what He told the serpent (satan) and Eve:
To satan:

I will put enmity (malice) between you and the woman

To Eve:

Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
First of all, satan was told that he would have an intentional malice for Eve, and because Eve was the “mother of all the living“, that means a malice toward us, as well.  
Then, Eve was told about her struggle.  This is where it gets interesting:
The Hebrew transliteration for “Desire“: teshuwqah, meaning crave or longing

The Hebrew transliteration for “Husband“: iysh, meaning not only specifically husband, but man or human being, in contrast to God
When Eve walked away from that encounter, she had learned two things:
  • Satan would have an intentional hatred toward her
  • One of her greatest struggles would be a longing for the approval and acceptance of, not only her husband, but of other people in general, instead of God.
She was no longer operating out of the perfect fullness of God that she had known in the garden. Instead, I’d like to suggest that she started carrying a vessel of her own making, and began to try to fill it herself.  Because she is the “mother of all the living”, imagine that she handed this “jar” down through the generations.  All through the scriptures, you find women that tried to fill their own longings for significance. Think about Sarah and her trying to fill her longing for meaning through motherhood, or Martha and her people-pleasing.  Think about Sammi.  She tried to fill her longing to be known through relationship after failed relationship.
Tomorrow, we’ll meet up with her, as she lugs her heavy jar to the well.  But, for today, consider what you’ve learned.  If you’ve struggled your whole life with trying to fill your longing for significance – to be known – through other people, and you’ve always wondered why you’re so caught up in it, it’s not just you! It’s a direct result of the original sin and an enemy that is not only privy to this weakness, but intentional about using it for your personal torture.
Sounds bleak, doesn’t it?  Ah, but it’s not!  There is something to be done about it.  Join me tomorrow to find out.