the one who keeps me anchored

he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
James 1:6 NIV

It was coming up on 9:00a.m. when I was actually leaving the house.  My hands were full, the day was packed, and I was running late--as usual.  That's when her text came through:

"Thinking of you this am.  
How are you doing with your morning quiet time 
and making sure you get it in before you leave the house?"

(cue the conviction)

I laughed a bit and thought to myself  "what quiet time?!
then responded with an honest confession of the drying up of my spiritual life.

You just can't deny your thirst to your best friend--the one who knows you, and knows your quietness just as much as your boldness.  Kristen has stood by me through the deepest darkness of my life, and here in the height of my accomplishment and celebration she knew right where to find me; the shadows.

The past few months have been amazing, no doubt.  Graduation, vacation, new job, new goals, new baby on the way.  Summer nights quickly filled the calendar and everything was going great.  But there was a shifting of my own foundation that even I couldn't really notice.  I felt the consequences, alright, but the cause was beyond me.  

I was so detached I didn't even know how I had gotten there.

As I thought about it, the journey to this lonely place started to materialize.  I remembered packing for our Europe trip and opting out of taking my bible due to its size, bolstering that with the promise to read on my phone.  (But it didn't happen).  I left my journal behind for the same reason, but my goal to collect thoughts in my notepad app also fell through.  

Before I knew it, I was returning home to begin working full-time in a ministry position, and I was drained.  

The morning of Kristen's text I prayed as I fixed my hair.  I was about a month in and already exhausted.  I had the audacity to ask God "why?"  Why wasn't I thriving?  Why wasn't work easier?  Why wasn't I feeling connected to Him?  I pretty much accused Him of leaving me in the dust, all while attempting to disguise it as a good ole faithful lament.

Because it's so easy to look around you and see success and celebration in everyone else's life, then immediately compare to the lack you perceive in your own.  I work with amazing people, I follow amazing people, I'm married to an amazing person, and standing next to them, whether physically or virtually, leaves me feeling inept... and even abandoned.  

But her text, after that prayer and the conviction that followed... it challenged me to accept something.

I wasn't abandoned--I was choosing not to go to Him.  
I wasn't inept--I was losing sight of who I am in Him.

The distance was created by me.  The fears grew because they were the only thing I was feeding.

To discover this on your own is one thing, but to have someone point it out is something completely different.  The fact that she could get so close to what was wrong meant that she had been close enough to know what is right.  She could be bold and check me on my faith walk because she has been bold enough to ask me to do the same for her.  She is a fan of accountability.  She is a slave to persistence and obedience.

She is the one who keeps me anchored.  

Though my course has led me through different realms of life and faith, she trusts in our common compass.  Her heart is not for my comfort, but for the growth that can only come from a healthy dose of discomfort.  I've watched the Lord stretch her heart for so many people, and I'm learning right now that it stretches for me, too.  

I started this post back in April and it sat in draft for nearly four months.  Kristen has always been there for me and I was feeling the pull to speak on it.  But soon after, my blog was put on hold.  After that, I had put my morning time on hold, too.  I basically lost touch of everything that was fueling me and then wondered why I was so drained all of the time--why my ship seemed to be consistently thrown about.

Meanwhile, Kristen repeatedly told me to blog again, not even knowing that the last post I worked on was about her steady presence in my life!  She knows that writing is my happy place, and my time to process what I speak with God about.  She knew that no writing meant no reaching, no communicating.. and no praying.

My time of detachment did a real number on me.  In my mind Kristen, and everyone else for that matter, were anchored.  They succeed and trust and are blessed.  I, however, float, fear and envy.  True to James' words, I doubt, and therefore I am tossed around.  There is no stability and so I fall into the comparison trap with anyone and everyone, completely losing sight of the gifts He has blessed me with.  Completely losing sight of His presence in my life.

But she is not the one that just sails by.  She grabs my hand and tows me along.  She reminds me that I, too, have a journey to complete, and my own course to follow, with my own milestones to reach.  She reminds me that, even if it's all against the wind, it's for the finish that I must continue.

so who pulls you back onto your course?

who throws your anchor back in, and aims Scripture straight at you like a heat-seeking missile?

who knows just what to say to get your heart's attention?

Discover this person and tell them.  Tell them what it's done for you, to have a companion who knows where to find you when you don't want to be found.  Thank God right now for sending them--a messenger whom He knows possesses the power to help you turn back to Him.. and keep you anchored through the storms.

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