woman at the well - Copy

We were camping and getting ready to go swimming. I was 13 and in the tent changing into my bikini. I started to pull up the straps of my top when my dad opened the flap. “Get out!” I screamed. He snapped back, “You haven’t got anything anyway.” I was devastated. How could he say such a thing? I had a pretty nice body for a 13-year old, but his degrading comeback hit me like a hammer. He dropped the flap down quickly and left. The End. For him maybe, but not for me.


The words cut deep. “You haven’t got anything” is what I heard and what I believed about myself for years. I felt like I could never be good enough, that my dad thought I was ugly and unworthy of love. So I saw myself that way. My teenage years were horrible. The seeds of rejection and self-hatred had developed deep roots in my young soul.


The most hurtful problems in our adult lives often come because we have experienced devastating things in the past and the results have rooted themselves deeply within us. They make us think, speak, and act in ways that aren’t even appropriate to the current situations. But something triggers a connection to the past and we react in the way we did back then. We need to get free of these old hurts and deep wounds. Jeremiah gives us God’s word on this: “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, ‘This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after’” (Jer. 30:17).


Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The Greek word for “know” in this scripture is ginosko and it means to “know absolutely, to be sure of, to understand and be resolved.” Our past horrific  and hurtful experiences and their results need to be once and for all resolved and put in their proper place, where they no longer are a part of our present day life. So how do we facilitate that happening?


To annihilate the clinging noose of past negative experiences is going to take the supernatural touch of Jesus Christ. It was Satan working in the past, through people, often good people who had no idea they were causing such devastation, to bring the evil on us in the first place. The effects can’t be taken care of completely and thoroughly without the supernatural help of the one who “came to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).


Only Jesus can get to the root of any problem. He’s alive now and real and still doing the same things He did when He was in the flesh on earth: honing in on the sources of our anxieties, fears, hatreds, etc., exposing them for what they really are and giving us the clear deliverance we so desperately need. He said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13). When the word “shall” is used, it is absolute, in contrast to the word “will,” which is less emphatic.


A great example of the type of freedom Jesus came to bring is in John 4. Jesus came to a well and asked the woman there for a drink. She asked him why He was talking to her since she was a Samaritan and Jews weren’t supposed to have dealings with Samaritans.


He totally ignored her question. He came with deliverance for everyone. It didn’t matter if she was Jew or Samaritan. Everyone has hidden hurts. He didn’t care what she thought of herself or the boundaries she’d set up to guard herself. He was there to set her free.


He told her that instead of her giving Him a cup of physical water, he could give her a different kind of water that would change her life.  She was hesitant and replied: “The well is deep,” and she wasn’t talking about the physical well.


Jesus had the power to go into that deep well of her soul, uproot the source of the problem and give her complete and lasting freedom. Psalm 42:7 tells us:  “Deep calleth unto deep.” There is nothing deeper than the insight, understanding and love of God through Jesus Christ.


As it turned out, the woman was broken. Her self-worth was about as low as it can get. She had gone from man to man looking for true love, but something was wrong. She couldn’t find what she was looking for, no matter what she did. How many people are stuck in that trap?


Jesus explained to her what was happening with her. He uprooted the cause and He showed her what true love was. She received it. I don’t know how long it took, but she was so excited about being free of her bondage to the past that she ran out to tell the men of the city and they came out to see.


Jesus ministered to them for two more days and they had the same types of things happen to them. “And they told the woman, ‘Now we no longer believe (trust, have faith) just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves [personally], and we know that He truly is the Savior of the world, the Christ’” (John 4:42 AMP).  Why did they say “savior?”  Because they were saved—rescued—from the effects of whatever past life-changing negative experiences were still playing havoc in their lives too.


Jesus is real, alive now and able to work in many different ways to get to the bottom of our wells, or to the deepest sources of hurt in us. He is the answer to getting rid of them once and for all.


I learned that I could ask Jesus to go back with me to the incident with my dad in the tent. Time exists here on earth, but there is no time with the Lord, so He could show me in the Spirit exactly what was happening back then. I needed to see it through the eyes of the Lord Jesus. And He showed me the truth:


My dad’s angry words had nothing to do with me. Lashing out in anger was a defense he learned as a child when he was so often accused of being wrong. It was an automatic trigger reaction. When he opened the tent flap without asking, he did something wrong. When I called him on it, he lashed out at me just like he always did when he was accused of being wrong. I finally understood and I could let go of my own hurt and anger. I was totally set free. My wound couldn’t be opened anymore. It instantly became like a scar—a reminder, but without the attached emotions of the opened wound.


This worked for me; it’s worked for many others and it can work for you too.


I understand that some people won’t be able to take the Lord back to the incident because they’re angry with Him for allowing it in the first place. I have adult friends who have not yet forgiven God for things in the past. It’s more common than you might think—secretly blaming God for abandoning them in the past and not answering their childhood prayers.


But we have to forgive God too, even though it wasn’t really His fault. Whether or not we understand it, we still have to just do it, to release our minds and hearts from all unforgiveness. Do it first, then get the understanding.


How to accomplish these feats starts with a decision to be willing to learn. Jesus takes our willingness and leads us to complete freedom.


I pray that if you are a person looking to be free from past wounds that are still popping up in your life, let the Lord guide you in going back to just one significant incident that hurt you and let Jesus show it to you through His eyes. We don’t need to let those old wounds be ripped open repeatedly in our lives, but to be healed once and for all and never hurt us again.


Love, Carolyn




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Guess what? We’re not perfect Christians; nobody is. As hard as we may try to be “good,” sometimes we make mistakes. We have to admit that we’ve messed up. We may even have to admit that according to what the Bible says, we’ve sinned. Every Christian still sins and people sin against us. The best we can do is ask the Lord for forgiveness, accept it and move on. The thing is, we CAN change. Now when you fly, you have to pay for extra baggage. It’s the same with our lives—and it costs too much. So let’s see if we can get rid of some of the baggage we’ve been carrying. Let’s lighten up our load. We can’t really move forward if we keep adding to the pile of stuff that we take with us from year to year.


So this is what we can do: First thing is to think about, then write down one temptation that took us away from doing God’s will this past month. Look at that thing and forgive ourselves for doing it.


Jesus is our savior. We mess up; we admit it; He picks us up. He forgives us and we forgive us. Done. But how do we stop from messing up in the same way again?


We need to ask ourselves, “Why did I mess up?” “Why did I allow it?” “What is it in me that may have contributed to bringing this thing to pass?” Once we can see the answer to this “why” question and we have an understanding of it, we can forgive ourselves and get healed.


Any mistakes we make are not in our spirit man—that’s perfect. But mistakes are in our thinking, emotions and decisions—all soul-related.


God said, “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds” (Jer. 30:17). There are no wounds in our spirit, only in our soul. God sent Jesus to earth to show us how to get our souls healed and drop the baggage that is so hard to drag around with us. The older we get the heavier and more cumbersome the bags get.


Paul tells us his deep desire in Philippians 3:10: “That I may know him [Jesus Christ] and the power of his resurrection.” The original Greek word for “power” in this verse is “dunamis.” Dunamis is defined as “miracle-working power, moral power, excellence of soul.”


The resurrection power of Jesus Christ is the miraculous power that refreshes and changes our souls.


It’s in our souls that we err against God, but we’ve been given “dunamis,” which is excellence of soul. We have excellence of soul. Say it, “I have excellence of soul. I have moral power, by the grace of Jesus Christ and the love of God to me.” It’s the same miraculous power that it took to raise Jesus from the bonds of hell, that will miraculously break us free from the bonds of sins and errors in judgement in our soul lives.


The world pushes us to do things that are not good for us. We are taught by the media and by our social, business and political environment, that to succeed we must tell half-truths and lies and it’s okay. We can cheat on some things that don’t seem right to us anyway. We can park in the handicap parking even though we’re perfectly able to walk: little things like that, things that don’t seem to matter much. And yet, they are wrong living. Righteous living just isn’t practical in our world today and less and less people are willing to risk what it takes to do the right thing. But what about God? Do we really think that He doesn’t see or doesn’t care about honesty, morality, integrity? He does. It’s against the flow, but we truly can live a decent, honest life and even prosper doing it. Jesus helps us to do it and one thing at a time, we can be the people who really do have integrity, standards, prudence, sincerity, conscience, justice, kindness, remorse and virtue.


We have that miracle-working power of dunamis in us already. We just have to release it and follow its (His) leading. We can release it by letting the light of dunamis power invade our souls. Like it says many times in the Old Testament, “open the gates.” We say, “I have miracle-working power in me I have excellence of soul and moral power because God gave it to me.” Excellence of soul is to make the right decisions, right choices, the right thoughts according to the spirit of God in Christ in us. It is a choice against the norm. It is a fight for what is right, even if it is a fight against ourselves, against what society dictates. We have the right to win this fight and be free of the bonds of the world around us.


We soak in dunamis like we’d soak a stained piece of clothing. We don’t just dip it in and take it out. It needs to be immersed for a while. We soak our innermost being by meditating on the truth that Jesus Christ wants to heal in our souls. The results are miraculous, not natural, and that’s why we have to keep going to the Lord and soaking in what the Bible says is right thinking. You won’t find right thinking in the ways of the world, only in the ways of Christ, that we find in the writings of those who were inspired by God to write what He wanted said.


Second Timothy 2: 24-26 tells us that when we don’t have excellence of soul in a category of life, we are opposing ourselves and that we are to “awake ourselves out of the snare of the devil.”


As we start to claim our right to exhibit excellence of soul and moral power we will begin to see in our lives where the origins of our errors came from. It takes some reflection.


Did something make you feel rejected or not good enough as a child? And do those triggers still come up and do you react the same way as you did as a child? Are you still seeking what you lost a long time ago? Do you feel you have to close the door on your real self in order to protect and defend yourself? Did something or someone make you so angry you did and still do things to hurt yourself or others? Did you hide in pain killers or alcohol to protect yourself after a disaster you caused or something else you saw that you don’t ever want to see again? There are so many things in our lives that can keep us doing the wrong things and not stepping out bravely as adults, to do the right thing.


It’s totally understandable, but also totally changeable with Jesus’ help. We may not be able to help someone else with their baggage, but we can understand that they do have baggage just like we do. To change the world, we change ourselves first. We start with our own baggage.


Many of our hurts and errors in judgment started when we were children, or they started at the points of trauma in our lives. Everyone has drama and trauma as a child and as adults. But we have the power to confront the drama and the trauma. God’s Word says we have the miracle dunamis power within us, that as we shine the light on it, we can have our souls changed and healed.


God tells us: “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord” (Jer. 30:17).


Those “wounds” include soul wounds: defeats, blows to our minds and our emotions, causing erroneous defenses, actions that hurt us and others. As we look to God’s Word, that extra baggage that we are still paying for, drops away and we can become the true free people we want to be, an example of integrity and light to those around us.


Love, Carolyn





About a year ago, I was working on a gold leaf project with my union company. The project got delayed and I needed to find a filler job. I have a list of people I call for just this sort of situation and I knew the Lord was telling me to make the calls. But I was enjoying my time off and I was stalling. Somehow making those calls seemed too difficult and I was dreading it.

I took the coward’s way out and left messages on their home phones rather than just calling them direct on their cell phones. When no one called back I knew I was going to have to change my attitude. I was reluctant because doing the right thing meant stepping out of my comfort zone. I felt I was being pushed and I didn’t like it. I was tired and I was being stubborn.

Most of us have some residual stubbornness and rebellion in us. Our spiritual life changed when we got born again but our soul life, made up of our thoughts, emotions and will, still needs work. There are wounds that need healing. Even though we intuitively may know the situation is going to turn out great if we just obey, we allow ungodly stubbornness to get in the way.

When I didn’t make the proper phone calls I reminded myself of Jonah in the Bible. “Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it.’ But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord” (Jonah 1:1-3).

The people of Ninevah had a horrible reputation. Their brutality was renowned. Jonah didn’t want them to be forgiven and saved. He wanted them to be punished.

Jonah was pretty sure that if God was sending him there, the king would most likely repent, it would turn out good and God would forgive and save the city. It was God’s nature to forgive and Jonah didn’t want to be any part of God’s mercy right now.

But God didn’t let him go that easily. Jonah ended up in a near shipwreck, got swallowed by a whale and three days later got barfed up onto the beach. It was after this tumble of events that Jonah decided he better go ahead and do the thing God asked him to do. Like with me, the thing God asked of Jonah wasn’t a hard thing. It was something Jonah was used to doing. He just didn’t feel like doing it this time.

When we are rebellious or stubborn it’s because we value our own opinions and desires above the Lord’s. We haven’t yet totally learned or believed that He really does love us and always wants the very best for us.

We’ve learned not to trust people and we apply the same kind of attitudes toward God and the Lord Jesus Christ. We just don’t submit quickly but instead we hesitate, rebel or cross our arms and huff, digging our defiant heels in like a stubborn child that wants everything his way.

Finally after some stiff coaxing from the Lord, Jonah went to Nineveh, warned the king and the city was saved.

I’ve never had the Lord ask me to do something I couldn’t do.  More often than not, what He asks is something small. The devil likes to deceive us and make it look like a big deal, but most of the time it’s really not.

God loves us right where we are and only asks us to do things that end up blessing us—one small thing at a time.

I knew if I just made the phone calls, someone would have a fun and profitable job for me. Finally I did do the right thing and ended up with not one, but three jobs!

I know we want to do bigger things in our lives and God will help us to do them, but only when we’re ready. Even Jesus had to grow: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).

We grow by making a steady habit of saying yes to the small things without being stubborn or rebellious.

Being obedient is one way we can magnify the Lord’s personal presence in our lives.

Love, Carolyn