Even though the author of this book, Chrystal Evans Hurst, grew up as a preacher’s kid, she still struggled with all of the same things that I did growing up. She was a straight A student, teacher’s pet, a leader, in charge, sometimes bossy (no, not me ever haha!), etc. yet she fell into the trap of sex outside of marriage and single parenthood. Just. Like. Me.
In Chapters 4 and 5 she talks about drifting. How we can lose focus and fall into traps. How behaviors that used to be so clear-cut and obvious seem to become acceptable. Slowly and surely over time, we develop a sense of comfort with things that we used to consider wrong. Our mindsets, actions and attitudes incrementally shift over time, sometimes so slowly that we don’t even notice it (like slow weight gain). We become deceived.
The rule of navigation says that for every degree you are off in your direction now, you will be approximately one mile off sixty miles later. An unattended small drift now will, over time, make a HUGE impact on your final destination. I really appreciate some of the examples she gives about “drifting”. It’s not always sexual promiscuity (though that certainly has plagued me – if not crippled me – in the past ). It could be taking a break from school and never getting back into it, working towards financial goals but overtime becoming relaxed in your spending habits again, working towards a weight-loss journey but overindulging on a special occasion which derailed you long term.
Regardless of YOUR drift, guilt, shame, and self-condemnation tend to follow. And in turn, you learn to function from an insecure place. Rather than working towards your once planned goal, you begin to function from this new place of acceptance of where you find yourself. Y’all, I’ve so let this happen to me in the past and I never want to be comfortable in these “less than best” places in my life ever again. She says that…
Unintentional living does reach a dead end and you will be required to make a decision or a turn. The antidote for distraction is FOCUS. The choice to pay attention and live aware. Think about your drifts. You didn’t arrive there off of your path overnight and if there was a way in, there is a way out. It is not as insurmountable as it seems. As long as there is still life, there is still hope. Hope for getting back on track, hope for finding your way, hope for the girl who is still there.
P.S. Her challenge this chapter is to “share a chapter from your story with a trusted friend”. Y’all, this blog is about it. Well, that’s not true. I have several people in my small group and one neighbor that I have been extremely transparent and honest with. But I no longer trust people. The last person I really shared everything with – my very best friend – completely gutted me and I’m still trying to get the knife she lodged out of my back. Thankfully, this book addresses that too. She said, if you can’t share with a trusted friend, simply tell a friend that you’re working on owning your own story – drifts and all.
So friends, I am here to say that I am working to own my own story, drifts and all. I really hope you will buy this book and join me 🙂