Chrystal Evans Hurst was that girl — the girl who struggled with insecurity, anxiety, and comparison. And she used to think that she was the only one — the only woman who felt lost in the middle of her life. She thought no one else struggled like she did to move forward through the messy stuff. She thought everyone else had something she didn’t have that made life a little easier for them to navigate. But what’s she’s found is that we all struggle to some degree in our lives and that the keys to moving forward are available to everyone. Chrystal inspires young women to stop worrying so much about how to dress, who to hang with, or who to love and instead face every day with an attitude of mindfulness and gratitude remembering their unique, God-given gifts and the beauty of God’s plan for their lives. Chrystal is an encouragement for women young and old alike as each one seeks to honor as we all seek to honor “the gift of the girl inside” in practical ways each day. It’s a grace to welcome Chrystal to the farm’s front porch today…
In my late teens, 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 with 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 stomach.
The best snack in my purse? A Hershey bar with almonds.
I was saving that one for 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 so 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 about the dilemma of the snack being just out of my reach, I could hardly focus on the road.
Chocolate. Cravings. Are. Real.
So, of course, I tried to figure out how to get to my chocolate without having to stop the car.
The chocolate bar was distracting me and my distraction caused me to drift ever so slightly outside the safety of the lane lines.
I felt the rumble strips of the freeway underneath my tires warning me to get my eyes back on the road.
Drifts often happen in life because we get distracted.
We might be preoccupied by something that isn’t good for us, or we might simply 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, who we want, or maybe we never even get started.
How do you stay on track or get back on track in your life? The same way you stay on the road when you are behind the wheel.The antidote for distraction is focus, the choice to pay attention and live aware.
The problem is that we live in a world that seeks to convince us that we can pay attention to multiple things — giving them fractions of our gaze — and still stay the course, keep on track, and make it to our destination.
But that’s simply not true.
I was jolted to attention by the reminder from the rumble strips to stay in my lane. It wasn’t long, however, before I started thinking about that Hershey bar again.
But, this time instead of simply being distracted by by the chocolate, I convinced myself that I could reach over and grab the bar without consequence.
Isn’t this what often happens to us in real life? We deceive ourselves into thinking things aren’t that bad.
We rationalize and in doing so deceive ourselves. We justify, defend, or attempt to explain away. I did it with that candy bar. I’ve done it with my life.
I’m guilty of being consumed with the right now, the immediate.
The problem is that once we’ve gone too far for too long without living attentively, we become less shocked by and less sensitive to the changes that we have allowed.
The distraction desensitizes us.
The “every once in a while” becomes our norm.
We no longer have an inner argument each time we move farther away living God’s best. And all drifts matter — even the small ones.
I did reach for that Hershey bar. I took my eyes off the road for just a few seconds, leaned way over to the right, and stretched my arm as far as it would go.
I simultaneously felt the rumble strips of the freeway underneath my tires again as the roughness of uneven ground as my car careened over grass, rocks, and dirt.
This is what happens in our lives. We waste a few minutes and gradually waste a few years.
We spend too much time with a certain person and that innocent relationship turns into an affair.
We take one semester off from school and realize a decade later we never went back.
We take one Sunday off from community and months later wonder why we feel disconnected and lonely.
But here’s the good news. If you are in a drift of some kind, there is a remedy. You, my dear, have the ability to choose.
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, the girl in you still has a chance.
I’ve known a number of women who wish they’d avoided the drifts they encountered as teenage girls.
They drifted either because they didn’t know or didn’t believe that the work of their younger years is to lay a solid foundation for the rest of their lives.
They didn’t intend to drift. They were just distracted with friend drama, dating, or doing whatever it took to be liked or loved.
But old and young alike, we girls have the opportunity to decide to live with focus, starting by focusing on the God Who loves us most, who paid a price for our lives, and Who has an opinion or two about how we should live the lives He gave us.
And as long as we are still alive and have breath in our lungs. We get to choose Him, love Him, and seek His plan for our lives.
I sat in the grassy median, stunned, but still alive. My car had a few bumps and bruises but it was okay too.
Honestly, I felt like a total idiot. Who puts their life at risk for a chocolate bar?
But in my real everyday life I’m guilty of putting my abundant life at risk but not choose God’s best and living a life focused on His guidance, direction, and instruction.
And life is too precious too waste.
If you’ve been living distracted, deceived, or desensitized, the good news is, you are still alive today to choose.
Even if you are a little bumped or bruised from the choices you’ve made thus far, today, you have the power to change your course.
You can choose God.
You can choose to pay attention to the His plans for you based on His Word.
And in doing so, starting today, you can choose to live.
Chrystal Evans Hurst is the best-selling author of She’s Still There and co-author of Kingdom Woman with her father, Dr. Tony Evans. Now, Chrystal brings her same loving but no-nonsense style of encouragement to teenage girls in Show Up For Your Life. She reaches a wide audience speaking at conferences, writing for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and teaching and leading women in her home church.
Chrystal empowers young women to keep it real while sharing her adventuresome experiences and encouraging young women to live God’s adventures for their own. What’s a girl to do if she’s insecure, anxious, or feeling as if she’s not enough. How can she operate with a perspective that recognizes the potential God has placed in her.
Chrystal has asked those questions too. She also was a teenage girl that wandered away from the life that she had purposed to live. Chrystal is not passionate about helping young girls not to make the same mistakes. In Show Up For Your Life, Chrystal uses her poignant story of early and unexpected pregnancy, as well as other raw and vulnerable moments in her life, to let young readers know she understands what it’s like to try and find your way. Chrystal emphasizes the importance of the understanding your worth, believing in your God-given design and the beautiful journey as it is shared authentically from one girl to another.
[ Our humble thanks to Zondervan for their partnership in today’s devotion ]