Every day she walked past the stone well with glittering copper pennies scattered in its clear depths. She would slow down as she passed, savoring the hopeful shimmer of light as it reflected up in her face.
Sometimes, if she had a few stray coins in her pocket, she would finger them thoughtfully before tossing them with their tiny splashes into the well, the little ripples widening and spreading until they softly hit the sides of the well and returned to the center, overlapping and fading to stillness once again.
She had invested many wishes in that well over the years, but still, her life remained the same. The miracles she longed for never came.
Now the well only represented what could be for others, but never for her.
What about you?
Have you prayed many prayers and made many wishes for many, many years?
The well is lovely, in its own way, but what if you stopped taking that same, well-worn path that goes by the wishing well and selected a different path instead? Oh, nothing huge. Nothing that will take you to a new universe. No, I’m just asking if you might consider a path that is not so beaten down with your footprints?
Because I think you might just discover some beautiful new things to look at if you try a different route.
And maybe you could even trade wishes for reality.
“Reality? NO way! I don’t want reality. It hurts! I’d rather keep to what is familiar. What I’ve known my whole life. I like the pretty little lies that, if I believe them, provide a semblance of peace. Not real peace, but the kind I can get quick and easy. A new path will take me out of my comfort zone and require me to go through PAIN. I don’t want that. I’ve got enough pain in my life as it is.”
I get it, trust me. For most of my life, I loved the path that went by the wishing well. It had a bitter-sweet romance to it, and I’ve always had a flare for the dramatic. I could play a sad tune in my mind and feel like a martyr in a movie.
But, yeah. That didn’t get me anywhere. And it got old after a few decades. So I tried a new path, and I’m telling you, it was rough. It was even ugly at first. No flowers. No greenery. Just a lot of dirt, sticker bushes, and hot sun.
And then, one day, I saw it. This beautiful pebble, all smooth and glistening in the light. I felt drawn to it like destiny, and I picked it up and held my breath. It was almost effervescent. Alive. (I’ll tell you what it was at the end.)
I was hooked. I had to find more. This path was horribly painful, but the pebble I had collected somehow gave me hope, and I decided to continue on my journey and hunt for more. It became a distraction from the ugliness of that path.
It was the first worthy reason I had found to not go back to my favorite wishing well.
“What the heck are you even talking about, Natalie? Have you lost your marbles?”
Okay, let me explain.
The wishing well represents the same old lies we return to over and over again. We continue to invest in those lies because we believe them. It’s attractive and familiar, so we are pulled to it every time. To break away from its spell would be uncomfortable, even painful. Why, we’d have to question EVERYTHING, and that just feels overwhelming, right? Besides, as long as you’ve got that well full of pennies, there is HOPE! And hope is what keeps you going every day.
How has that worked out for you so far, in your life?
You see, wishes are just wishes. They have no substance. They are like a mirage in a desert – looking sweet and tasty and thirst quenching – but holding no real substance to keep you alive and thriving.
If you want to make progress in your personal life, you’ll need to detach and detox from two things in that wishing well.
One is the poisonous water it holds. This water represents all the lies you believe.
Here are a few:
- Women are not as equal as men.
- I’m just a woman, and my God-given role is to be under the control of a man.
- My church leaders are always right.
- God speaks through my husband and church leaders.
- God speaks through any authority over me.
- If I don’t obey men, I will displease God.
- My life will never change because I have no choices or options.
- God is displeased with me – or will be if I’m not careful.
- I need to serve anyone who asks, or I’m being selfish.
- To take care of myself is selfish.
- To need space is selfish.
- To express my opinions is rebellious.
- To give my husband feedback is contentious and nit-picky.
- I’m a failure, and I have little purpose in life.
- I’m a mouse with no courage.
- I’m a raging lunatic with no self-control.
- I’ll never measure up as a mother.
- Life is hopeless.
- I am helpless.
- I need someone to rescue me.
- I am unable to help myself.
- Life is ugly.
- I am not lovable.
- I am ugly.
- My personality is boring.
- I will always be a mess.
- I am in bondage, and I will never escape unless I die.
- I should just die.
Another thing you need to detach and detox from in that well are the shiny pennies that represent all your unfulfilled wishes.
Those wishes might include:
- I wish I had more control.
- I wish I had choices.
- I wish I had peace.
- I wish my husband would love and respect me.
- I wish my children would love and respect me.
- I wish my church would believe me.
- I wish I had never married that man.
- I wish I were stronger.
- I wish I had more money.
- I wish I had a different job.
- I wish my future was different.
- I wish I could make good decisions for myself.
- I wish I could change.
- I wish I had a man who loved me.
- I wish I had true friends who wanted to be with me.
- I wish people loved me for who I am.
- I wish I could love and accept myself.
- I wish I could wake up in the morning with hope.
- I wish my health was better.
- I wish all this pain would go away.
- I wish there was a way out.
What a mess, right? Does that wishing well look so appealing now?
Here’s the thing. I want you take my hand and come with me down a different path.
“That ugly path you just described? The one with the sticker bushes?”
Yes. That one.
Remember, I found a treasure on that ugly road. That particular treasure was the truth that I was loved, really loved, by God. No matter what I chose to do with my life. And I believed it, finally. And it was worth it.
Plus, I found more I haven’t even told you about yet, and guess what? There’s more to be found! More treasures that will draw you, in particular, because they are YOUR destiny! They are waiting for YOU to find them!
How about trading wishes for treasures? Real treasures?
Those pebbles have been created by the “River God” (listen to that beautiful song below by Nichole Nordeman) who is in the business of taking rough and grainy rocks and rolling over them, over and over and over them, over and over and over them. Until they are smooth in His hand.
You are a treasure, being prepared by Him to fulfill your destiny. And you are destined to discover treasures. But again, they are not in the wishing well. They are out in the wilderness. So leave your safe, warm well of shiny copper, and let’s venture out on a treasure hunt together.
No more wishing.
We’re going on an adventure.
Ladies, this article is one lesson in one course within the Flying Free Membership Support Group called “Detach and Detox.” As a member of this private group, you will have access to courses like this each month where I take your hand and help you, step by step, go from crawing to flying.
Along with a lesson, you’ll get therapy journal assignments to help you process what’s going on in your life. Journal therapy is one of the most effective (and economical) healing therapies available to you. And this is just one part of your Flying Free membership.
The Flying Free membership group will be opening up again in a couple of weeks. To find out the whole skinny on this group, sign up at the top of this website and get on my mailing list. Flying Free only opens up every four months, and I’d hate to have you miss out.
The following is an example of the kinds of journal assignments you’d be getting along with your lessons. Try it – and see what a difference writing things out actually makes on the way you think and feel!
- What is one of the biggest lies you believe?
- What is one wish you feel will never come true?
- What scares you the most about the path full of sticker bushes?
- Have you ever found a treasure on the wilderness path? If so, what was it?
- What practical step can you take this week to keep you moving forward on your wilderness journey to the High Places? The Land of Promise?