The author of one of my very favorite blogs has recently asked an interesting question, "What does 'when the well runs dry' mean to you, and what do you do about it?" I've been pondering these questions for the last few days and what I've found is that, I don't really have a definitive answer. I've decided that I'm "wishy-washy"! Does that make sense?
I'll start off by saying that I don't remember how old I was the first time I heard this term. I'm pretty sure I was in grade school though because I know I was asking my dad for something. It was probably some new item that I'd seen advertised on television. I remember that he clearly said to me, "Nancy honey, I'd love to give that to you but I'm sorry to say that our well has run dry." I took that to mean that we didn't have the money, that our bank account was dry, that it was empty. At the time, there wasn't much for me to actually do about it, accept to say that I shrugged my shoulders and moved on to the next thing clogging my prepubescent mind. I guess you could call it, acceptance, mostly because....you just didn't argue with my dad!
Another way of looking at it, and this is where I think I most identify with the term, is to say that emotionally, my well has run dry. I am emotionally spent. As a woman (more specifically a wife and a mother), my vocation is to be the primary nurturer. We are programmed to work towards meeting the needs of others. Sometimes those needs can be overwhelming. Whether it's meeting the needs of my husband, my children, the household or even extended family, it can take it's toll on my emotions. For me, I know I'm at that point when I cry. When I allow my emotions to get to the point where I have nothing left of me to give and all I can do is shed tears, then I know that I'm at my wits end and I need to take a step back and re-group. For me, it usually means taking a trip to a quiet bookstore or just a drive around town..ALONE....just God and I. Just this simple step alone can begin to refill my well.
My well can also run dry spiritually. I know you've heard the term "desert experience", right? To have my well run dry in this context is probably harder than any of the others. Feeling separated or abandoned by God is never a pleasant experience. Whenever I am in the midst of this crisis, I often wonder what it was that I did (or didn't do) to push God away. Did the spiritual dryness come because I didn't have enough faith? Will God bring me back into His fold again or will I have to endure the fire of refinement forever?
During these times of spiritual dryness, I lay low. I don't do anything drastic. I usually seek the advice of a trusted priest and then, well, I just simply pray. Even though sometimes it seems as though God doesn't hear me in the desert, I pray anyway. I pray that I'm open to whatever it is that He's trying to show me. I take advantage of the Sacraments and keep a rosary with me at all times....even if all I do is just hold it! Sometimes, I'll even sleep with it!
Strangely enough, my emotional well is pretty dry right at the moment. I'm sorry if this post seems superficial and impersonal, but, I'm having trouble digging deep these days. Right now I seem to be just going through the motions. I have a lot going on. Please bear with me as I "fill up my well".
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