The Well

The Story Behind Creating The Well

Well•come girl!

We’re Malissa and Nicole, co-founders and best friends! Through this blog, we aim to be a place of truth for followers of Jesus in an age of constant cultural distraction. We long to see every woman choose to follow Christ in the dailiness of their lives, and to experience how that decision redefines what it means to live well.

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Welcome to The Well, girl! I am SO excited that you’re here. Really. My partner Nicole and I have been planning and praying for you for more than a year, well before you even knew you’d stumble upon this page.

This community is designed specifically for imperfect women (which is all of us) to connect and talk about their relationship with God (which is complicated) and other real life stuff that we often shy away from in church (which is most things). I would love to share with you the backstory behind creating The Well and why it’s so close to my heart.

Creating and maintaining healthy relationships among women is one of my biggest passions. For years I craved a place safe enough to genuinely connect with others. A place to share what was going on in my life and in my relationship with God – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I longed for friendships I could count on, for people to accept me and cheer me on rather than constantly fearing people’s judgement or disapproval. I needed a haven from all the fake, somewhere to hang the comparison hat up at the door and wipe my shoes on the doormat of perfection. I wanted to get real.

And not being real with myself, with God, and with others cost me a lot.

A Glance at the Rearview

For most of my life, I painted a picture-perfect scenario where I acted like I had it all together and I was happy all the time. I was known as “the one who’s always smiling.” I had the boyfriend, the glitzy job, the nice outfits, the works. And honestly, I didn’t even really know what was wrong with me. I just knew I wasn’t happy.

The truth was that I struggled with an undiagnosed mental health disorder for most of my life. I couldn’t understand why I was struggling so much. Coupled with a long line of toxic and abusive relationships, I was a high-functioning mess. I lived in a family where upholding the standard of perfection was the unwritten rule of law. We never talked about our problems, and I didn’t know that it was okay to not be okay. So I put on my happy face and played the part that was socially acceptable. I kept taping on band-aid after band-aid, but behind closed doors, I was frustrated that nothing would stick. Nothing could fix the emptiness and restlessness that followed me wherever I went – not more guys, not more sex, not more alcohol. Not partying, not success, not working harder, not looking prettier.

An MIA God

During this time, I knew about God, I believed in God, I went to church and I prayed – but I just couldn’t get it right. It felt like God was a mark that couldn’t be hit. I knew I needed Him at the centre of my life, but I couldn’t figure out how to keep Him there. Most of the time, He simply seemed MIA.

I began to drift very far from God and quite frankly, I was angry at Him. I gradually stopped caring about the choices I made and the consequences they carried. Eventually, this way of living, and more than a few bad decisions, left me broken, ashamed, and completely isolated. I didn’t know where to go or who to confide in. I was at a total loss and genuinely did not see the point in continuing on.

Chased Down

In the middle of this hopelessness, it’s safe to say that God chased me down. Several things shifted in my life and I ended up on staff at a large and fast-growing church – the very last place I thought I would end up. But it was here that I started to actually understand and know Jesus, and everything about the way I was living changed. Among the right people, I finally began to experience what it meant to do life in community. I met incredible people who were safe and accepting and different.

I realized that I had the wrong understanding of who Jesus was. I had never experienced the crazy love that God had for me for myself. I also realized the problem was that I didn’t truly want to give up my own way of doing things.

And I think if we’re honest, a lot of us are in the same boat.

The Perfect Duo

My partner, Nicole, definitely was. The two of us met while working at the church together, and we soon realized we were the perfect complements of one another. We bonded over our mutual love of creativity, travelling, and the fact that we both shared similar stories of brokenness and redemption from God.

About a year and a half ago, God revealed a name and vision that was bigger than anything we could have come up with ourselves: a community for women to connect with one another, to truly know Jesus, and to experience the power He has to transform everyday life. It would be called The Well, based on John 4 and the story of the Samaritan Woman. The woman who was empty, broken, and entirely imperfect when Jesus met her at the well and offered her a better way. The woman who was just like us.

Nicole and I were well equipped to bring this vision to life. With Nicole’s background in branding and digital design coupled with mine in event planning and creative writing, we started praying and planning for God to use us and work through us. And use us He did.

A Better Way

The reality is this: Jesus has completely healed and transformed our lives from the inside out. Meeting him and being part of a genuine community changed everything. We had to hit rock bottom and give it all up in order to gain it all back. And I am confident that if He can do it with us – two total disasters – He can do it with you. More than that, He’s longing to meet you where you’re at and show you a better way.

The world will lead you down destructive paths that don’t lead where they say they will. But Jesus will lead you down a path to life, and life to the full. He’s waiting at the well for you, in the middle of your everyday routine. Let’s choose to bring him into whatever’s going on.

After all, His way just might be better than yours.

Join our Facebook Community to get connected with other imperfect women figuring out this whole Jesus thing.

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