December 4, 2018 // Denise Boggs
Living Waters Ministry began 20 years ago out of our own healing journey. As pastors of a Southern Baptist Church we loved to share the good news of a new life in Christ once we are born again into God’s Kingdom. But, at the same time as we were sharing this good news, we were struggling in our marriage. We had both come from divorced homes when we were children so we didn’t know what it looked like to work through difficult family problems. Lee and I were ministering on Sunday and mad on Monday. I was teaching children on Wednesday and weeping on Thursday from hurt feelings. We were stuck in a cycle of hurt feelings, harsh words and more hurt and pain than we knew how to handle.
As a pastor’s wife, I had to always have a smile on but inside I was hurting and needed healing. The question was, where does a pastor’s wife go?? I cried out to God to heal my heart and said enough is enough. I couldn’t go on like this any longer.
I was in such a dry place, I had been trying to live off of the love of everyone around me and I was drying up inside. Why? According to Jeremiah 2:13, we have committed two evils. We have forsaken the fountain of living water, and looked to broken cisterns (broken people) who cannot hold water. That was me! I was depending on my husbands love to convince me I was loved. But I had so many stones in my heart that I couldn’t receive his love. I was offended at him half the time and the other half my feeling were hurt. He really didn’t have enough love to keep on giving because he was a broken cistern that could not hold water.
So, what happened? It all crumbled, and my journey of healing began. God drew a line in the sand and said: “No more hurt! It’s time to heal.”
He provided a back-yard swing where I could spend hours resting, talking to Him and healing. It was out of this difficult time in our marriage that Living Waters Ministry was birthed. In Psalm 107:20, the Psalmist David writes that He sent His Word to heal us. I took it literally, and I spent hours every day in the Word. It was during those two years in a swing that I discovered God’s love will heal the broken hearted and bring life back into dead hearts and marriages.
During my days of healing the Holy Spirit lead me to Scriptures like John 3:16, 1 John 3:16-18, John 4,1 John 4, and then it all made sense, as I discovered from Revelations 21:1-2 and Ezekiel 47, that God’s love flows from Heaven like a river. The fullness of God’s love was poured out from heaven when He sent Jesus to the earth. That’s why Jesus told the woman at the well that once she received Him that Living Water would pour out of her!
As I studied Ezekiel 47, I realized that I had been living on the bank of this river, sometimes I would put my foot in the ankle high part like you put your foot in a creek. The more time I spent in the word, I realized I was being called to go out into the deep end and believe that God’s love would sustain me. Like Peter I was being called by the Lord. I was being called to receive God’s love and it be enough for me. So, day after day, I was going out into the deep end of the river. I wasn’t on the bank any more wondering why people didn’t like me. I wasn’t even hanging out in the ankle deep (E. 47:3) part of the river any more, I was in the deep end of the river where you swim and dive and float.
As the days turned into weeks, I realized I was becoming so saturated with the fullness of God’s love that I really wasn’t needy any more. I wasn’t getting my feelings hurt when my husband didn’t notice me, I wasn’t hurt if a friend didn’t call or my kids didn’t act excited about dinner. I was absolutely ok, and even if my husband was upset about something, I wasn’t affected. His issue didn’t pertain to me, his problems were not mine to fix and I was not defined by what people thought about me. The river of God’s love was what defined me and gave me the strength to walk alongside my husband has he worked through his own healing. It was a long process but today we enjoy a life together that would not be possible had healing not taken place between us.
The river of God’s love is the greatest discovery of my life. Yes, I learned about God’s love for the world in John 3:16, but I had to go deeper and discover that it is in the river of God, becoming saturated in the truth of His word, that you fully receive His love. Ez. 47:9 says that everywhere the river flows there will be healing and a fresh new life that flows out to everyone we meet.
Co-founder of Living Waters Ministry, Denise Boggs is passionate about healing and has a deep hunger for the Word of God. She is the author of over 20 workbooks and multiple small group curriculum. Denise has also written the full-length books, “Healing and Restoring the Heart”, “Restoring the Family”, and her newest released: “Breaking Free from Sickness and Disease”.
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