Twenty-two years old. That’s my age. The first 2 years were spent in a daycare as my parents worked their tails off. The next 15 were spent at Mars Hill Bible School being asked if I was a twin with my older brother, Will. My parents were still working their tails off so that we could attend a private school and get a Christian Education. Sweet blonde headed, pale, lanky (with the exception of my middle school years when I think Will and I had a competition to see who could have the most belly rolls) Addie did her best to grow close to God.. to form a relationship with the Lord.. to be an upstanding Christian girl. I was the grand-daughter, daughter, and sister to a former Mr. Mars Hill. It was “family tradition” to be a spiritual leader…looking back I think I was just obsessed with church-y things. I do think that I had a deep relationship with the Lord. I loved staying up at night studying the scriptures. I had a deep desire to understand the Lord and his path for me. I wanted to be so close to God that he might share with me his “secret will” for my life. (Pls girl.) The Lord heard about my obsession with the same boy from 6th grade-12th grade. The Lord heard my pleas for certain friends to come back to Him. He heard about my desire to have better friendships, for everyone to just get along, for my future husband to sweep me up at 16, for my brother and his relationships, and for all the poor..sick..and those who lost loved ones. When I was in 11th grade, the Lord heard all about my daddy. (He was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease after emergency surgery).

When I was 18, I met Tyler Williams. My first and only boyfriend. The Lord heard from me all the time then. I would talk his ear off about Tyler, my roommate, my classes, my FHU experience, everything. At Freed, it was just a natural transition for me. I went from private school to private school. Freed was like Maywood year-round for me. I loved it. But, reality hit me that I was not as much of a spiritual leader as I thought. It was so interesting to me to see people who had such tragedies in their life, be so strong. Some of the strongest leaders on campus were converted in High School, or their parents were drug addicts, or they grew up at someone else’s house because their parents kicked them out. These friends truly understood what it meant to sing that the Lord is a shield about them. (Psalm 3:3)

Most all of my prayers centered around my uncertainty of the future. I was worried about who I would marry, who Will would marry, who would heal, where we would live, where we would work. Now I have been married for over a year, my brother and his sweet wife have been married almost a year, we have lived in the same apartment for almost a year, I have had the same job for a year, Tyler has been rocking grad school. This past year should have been singing praises to the LORD. ALL DAY.  Yet I moped because there was nothing moving and changing around. I slacked in my communication with the Lord, because I had nothing to be anxious over.

I had never had tragedy strike me until the week of my wedding (terrible right?) …I found out my grand-father had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I don’t remember questioning God.. I think I have just ignored Him. I think I felt like he had just let me down. And with tears rolling down my face right now…I think that because I had 21 years of a what seemed like a “perfect life”, that broken-ness shocked my spirit. I don’t think I was as strong as I made it seem. My prayers have never really had a reason to have depth. I have never had to call out to the Lord to shield me from anything. I have never had to call out to ask for him to forgive me from something so disgusting I couldn’t talk about it with anyone else. But, I did not even know how to talk to God about something so uncomfortable as my 60 something year old grand-father dying..the man who took you on adventure after adventure, the man who taught you to color code your Bible, who taught you about giving, who asked you to always sing out in church no matter the notes coming out… How do I talk to the God who let that happen? How do I find rest with Him?

Sailor Analogy.

Waves=Life, Sailor=Me, Boat=My transportation to Heaven, Help=the Lord.

I was a perfect sailor to my boat. The waves were always smooth. There was never anything to rock my little ship. But once the waves came, I just jumped off. I didn’t call out for an extra hand to help me maneuver the sail. I just got off. I knew who could help me. I knew who to tell others to call upon. But I just jumped. 

The Devil does not care how perfect your life has been. He does not care about the awards you have won. He does not care about the non-profit events you have hosted. He does not care how much money you raise for families adopting from Uganda or mourning the loss of their child. The Devil does not care that you were named one of the strongest spiritual leaders in your 12th grade class. He does not care that you went to camp every year for 11 years. He does not care that you have the gift to teach or the heart to serve. All he cares about is finding that little hole to burry down into and to destroy the relationship you have with the Lord. My hole was “loss”. I had never experienced loss. And the Devil has taken that. He has ran with it a year and a half too long.

So whatever the Devil has found out about you and ran with, take it back. Whatever he has decided about you is his loop hole, kick him out and sew it back up with these words:

“But you, Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head. I cry aloud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.” Psalm 3:3