Living and Leading in the Deep – Offering the Living Water

At the well Jesus met the woman who was thirsty. We can all identify with the busyness and thirst experienced by the woman at the well (John 4: 5-30). She was likely busy with tasks to complete, like gathering water, and all of the other tasks and labors required for the upkeep of her life. Additionally, she was heavily burdened by all of the ways in which she had missed the mark and the shame that accompanies the knowledge of the  ways in which we sin. She was, like us, thirsty. 

The woman said to Jesus, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water” (John 4:15). We try so many ways to quench our thirst:

  • We find ourselves in unhealthy relationships and attachments that do not quench our thirsts nor do they bring us closer to God
  • We find ourselves pulling from our own well in family life, work life, and during emotionally trying times, leading us to great spiritual thirst
  • We overwork ourselves, cramming our family and personal calendars full to distract ourselves from the living water that Jesus is giving freely
  • We fill ourselves with an overabundance of alcohol, food or its absence, drugs, and other agents to numb our thirst

As a spiritual director and member of the Ignatian Ministries board and team, I notice these thirsts not only in my own life but in the lives of so many. 

The living water provided by Jesus offers life-sustaining nourishment for our lives. Sometimes I have noticed, as a spiritual director, this water needs to be drawn with depth. Ignatian Ministries seeks to provide accompaniment as we, together, reach into the deep well of Jesus Christ. 

Life is complicated and difficult and the accompaniment of Jesus gives nourishment for the journey. We are called by Jesus to delve deeply into the well of living water. 

I am graced to spend much of my time with parents and adolescents that struggle with the busyness and expectations of modern life which accompany that thirst. Ignatian Ministries seeks to walk with you by providing tools to ground you in prayer and to help you discern through life’s daily struggles. How do I help my teenager decide which college to attend? How do I balance my individual personhood with my family and community life, and how do I bring those aspects of my life together? How do I adapt to the changes and needs of my family spiritually, fiscally, and emotionally? How can I take real steps in my life to encourage growth in myself and also my family?

Growing as a young person and parenting is complicated, and we do not pause enough to process these movements with God. How do I transition as a parent into parenting, parenting school aged children, parenting preteens and teens, and parenting as our children become young adults? God walks with you and your child. How do we gain interior freedom as God pulls our children through their own growth? How is God walking with us as we grow as parents to meet our own and our children’s needs?

We are walking with our children as God is walking with us. Accompanying our children in their complicated emotions as we, too, experience complex emotions is a difficult and all-compassing task. Through changes like moving, divorce, etc., God accompanies us. How do we invite God into our lives as we walk with our children not only through grief, but through depression, anxiety, disordered thoughts, and even suicidal ideation?

God is with us. We are not alone. 

We are not called to thirst as we experience family life. God meets us at the well and provides us with living water to sustain our journey. God is with us and with our families in times of change as well as in difficult experiences. We only need to set patterns of prayer and discernment that root us in Jesus Christ. 

In the months ahead, I look forward to offering opportunities with Ignatian Ministries on how to accompany young people in prayer and discernment.  Becky and I will also continue to offer retreats and resources for adults.

Going Deeper:

  • Would you like to experience a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus? Consider joining us on September 11 for our six-week Know, Love and Follow Retreat. To learn more and register today, click here.
  • Are you looking for a community of Ignatian minded individuals to share and pray with? Consider participating in one of our Collectives of spiritual directors, retreat facilitators or pastoral care ministers that gather virtually each quarter. Find out more here
  • Join our Community of believers who seek to grow deeper together. Click here to submit an interest form to find out more as we discern new ways, this Fall, to come together and accompany each other on our journey of faith.
  • Have you ever prayed with our audio resources? Why not try it today!

Photo by Fulvio Ciccolo on Unsplash

Stephanie Clouatre Davis graduated from Loyola University New Orleans. Stephanie speaks to adults and teens around the nation at parishes, high schools, and dioceses in various venues including retreats and conferences. With humor, joy, and stories, Stephanie not only fully engages her audiences but also inspires them to challenge themselves and build a stronger relationship with God. She lives in Covington, Louisiana with her husband Michael and two girls Emma and Abby.

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