As a girl, I believed in everything. Santa would come at Christmas, the Easter Bunny at Easter, my teeth would be silently taken by the Tooth Fairy, the Devil had horns and a pitchfork, and God was some man in a white robe who wore sandals and was constantly judging every decision I made. That’s what my imagination saw based on what I heard around me.
When I was eight years old, I found out Santa wasn’t real. Guess what that meant for me? That triggered the belief that all of those other “characters” weren’t real either. Just like that, I came to the conclusion that what I see is what is real. I had to see it to believe it.
I’ve always felt that something was missing in my life. I’ve always tried to fill that void with anything but what was truly meant to fill it. Boys, people-pleasing, and many other things were tested and failed. I still didn’t feel whole. I still didn’t feel loved. I felt insufficient. Like I’d never feel truly happy. Like no one would ever truly love me. Until I met Him.
In 2014, I was invited to The Well. I didn’t know exactly what it was, and was on board with giving it a go, but I came down with pneumonia that year and was unable to attend. When the 2015 invite came around, I had just finished reading the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge and was on fire for more. Captivating helped me to see that the void I needed to be filled was actually a void that only God could fill. I was built with a deep desire to know Him better and follow Him where He wanted me to go. How could I have spent all my years prior to this trying to fill that God hole with temporary, heartbreaking addictions? Why didn’t I just go straight for the source? Straight to the ONLY thing that would make my soul sing. Then the shame set in.
You see, in trying to fill the God hole with everything BUT God, I piled on years and years of regret and shame that seemed irreversible. Irreversible until I went to The Well. At The Well, I was able to understand that unconditional love really does exist. I was just looking for unconditional love in all the wrong places. That was when my heart truly felt alive, set free, and awakened with a power more incredible than I could ever have imagined. That was when my real life began.
I continue to go to The Well every year (and sometimes travel to go even more). God renews my strength and reminds me who and whose I am. My life is forever changed! My soul is constantly rejuvenated. My addiction is now an addiction to know more of Him. An addiction to know more about what He created me to be, to do, to achieve.
I went from a young girl who stopped believing in fairy tales to a woman who started understanding THE TRUTH. From a life of darkness, to a life of overwhelming light and love. I don’t regret the steps I’ve taken to get where I am today, but if I could help redirect even one woman’s path then it would be worth all I’ve walked through to watch her walk into freedom and joy and REAL resurrection. To help another woman understand that the fairy tale she dreams of is real. God is constantly trying to rescue us from what we are putting ourselves through in this society, but we HAVE to trust Him, believe in Him, and seek Him above all else.
I’ve finally found true joy for myself, personally. And guess what? The joy and the freedom I’m experiencing is REAL this time. Not only that, but my daughters get to see me walk with Him. What more could a mother want for her children? My husband doesn’t have to feel the pressure of meeting my every need anymore, and we can just enjoy living this life together. This life isn’t perfect, but it also was never meant to be. This is only the “Green Room” to our permanent home. A home with everything our hearts desire, enjoy, and crave. A home with a Father that loves us unconditionally. TRULY unconditionally. No matter what we’ve walked through or what we believed previously or how much we’ve messed up. Sounds like the perfect addiction to me. An unconditional love FOREVER. Like, REALLY forever. Nothing else can ever promise me that. Only Jesus.
I can’t wait to go to The Well again this year. I can’t wait to see what He will do for me this time. Mostly, I can’t wait to see what He will do for other women who have walked where I have.
Michelle Hall // Indiana + Arizona Well