We are excited to introduce our friend Chrystal Evans Hurst to the IF:Table community! Her writing is full of honesty and humor, and we think you’ll love getting to know her. This month, as we gather around the table and ask questions to deepen our faith, Chrystal is helping us process what happens when we start to drift. Enjoy this month’s post and conversation cards and be sure to check out Chrystal’s recipe for her favorite chocolate chip cookies. Yum.
I was on a long drive—a three-hour drive, to be exact—headed from one Texas town to another.
I’d filled my car full of gas and my purse with a few snacks to make sure that I could complete the trip without stopping to put fuel in my car or my tummy.
The best snack in my purse? Hershey bar with almonds. That was the one I was saving for just the perfect moment.
When that time came, I reached into my purse and felt around for it, combing every nook and cranny of my bag with the tips of my fingers, expecting at any moment to feel the smooth wrapper underscored by the bumpy goodness held inside.
The bar wasn’t in there. I looked over to the passenger seat and then to the floor below. There it was.
My Hershey bar was on the floor. Somehow it had fallen out of my purse.
Vexed, I could hardly focus on the road. My brain went into overdrive trying to figure out how to get to my chocolate without having to stop the car.
I felt the etchings of the freeway underneath my tires. That chocolate bar was distracting me. And my distraction caused me to drift ever so slightly outside the safety of the yellow lines.
Drifts happen because we get distracted. We might be preoccupied by something that isn’t good for us, or we might be preoccupied with doing the next thing. For a moment—or in a series of moments—we don’t pay close attention to who we are. We cease focusing intently on who we want to be, or maybe we never even started. We’re too busy living to notice we’re meandering away from a meaningful path, despite our best intentions.
Distractions can seem so much more exciting than the rhythm of the everyday, the boredom of the expected, or the ongoing discipline to accomplish something worthwhile. But while distractions might seem to give you life, the reality is that they can steal your life.
I decided to reach for the Hershey bar.
I took my eyes off the road, leaned way over to the right, and stretched my arm as far as it would go.
For a moment, I felt the victory of holding the chocolate bar in my hands. The victory was short-lived, though, because I almost simultaneously felt the etchings of the freeway underneath my tires again.
But this time the etchings weren’t a warning. They were an indication that I was flying off the freeway. Shortly after, I felt the rumble of uneven ground.
I sat in the median, stunned. Let’s be honest, I felt like a total idiot. I mean, who puts their life at risk for a chocolate bar? Apparently me, that’s who.
My car had shut off, so I turned the key in the ignition to see if it would start and breathed a sigh of relief when it did. There was still power. I had another chance.
A chance to drive with care and get to my intended destination.
I drove out of the dip in the median and slowly merged back onto the Texas highway. With my Hershey bar in hand, I vowed that I would never be so careless behind that wheel.
More important, upon arriving in one piece, I thanked God for His protection, and resolved that in the future, I would always secure my snacks safely within my reach.
The drift didn’t have to happen. I had a choice.
My friend, you can choose to live aware, to acknowledge the truth, and to listen to the story of the life that is yours and yours alone. You have the power to change your course. You can either take action or you can determine your reaction to the story that has unfolded thus far.
If you have a sense of discomfort about your life, that is a gift. Your discomfort is a signal that something needs to change. It is the call of the girl inside asking you not to give up and to fight for her. That you have a sense of dis-ease about your life is a testament to the fact that you know deep down you were made for more.
Can I tell you that you were, indeed, made for more?
And it doesn’t matter if you’ve drifted a little or if you are smack dab in the middle of a ditch. No matter where you are or what you’ve been through, you still have power. The girl in you still has a chance.
Chrystal Evans Hurst co-authored the bestselling Kingdom Woman with her father, author and pastor Tony Evans. She reaches a wide audience of women speaking at conferences, sharing on her blog, “Chrystal’s Chronicles,” writing for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and teaching and leading women in her home church. Chrystal also cultivates hearts and commands chaos as the chief operating officer of the Hurst household. She and her husband Jessie adore their three very hungry boys, two adult girls, one son-in-love, and their one gorgeous granddaughter.
This is an excerpt from Chapter 5: A Hershey and the Highway in Chrystal’s new book, She’s Still There, which releases August 8th!