Further Up and Further In

In honor of the tenth anniversary of Red Tent Living, we are featuring a monthly legacy post written by one of our regular contributors from the past decade. Robyn Whitaker began writing regularly for Red Tent Living in 2014, and this post originally appeared in September 2014.

My husband walked along the rocky shore line with boy-like wonder, laughing as he slipped and wearing a huge grin.

I walked behind, convinced that blood would be the end of this adventure. Careful with each step, I kept an eye on our ever-fading entry point. We explored several tide pools together. I lingered at one, unable to give up my hunt for the elusive starfish–a discovery that would certainly make my day. Bob stood hovering, his feet shifting back and forth. Then, as if something called his name, he purposefully left my side. Absorbed in my search, when I looked up, he was several yards away.

Usually, I am more than okay with being left alone. I enjoy the quiet and independence. Not this day. Our shoreline entrance vanished behind a thick blanket of fog. In an attempt to calm the anxiety that swelled within my chest, I took several deep breaths. The need for escape seemed overwhelming. I felt trapped, lost, and my mind screamed danger. Somehow this scene was not unfamiliar.

Finally, looking back within the mist, “Come further up, come further in!” Bob joyously declared, pointing to a rocky peninsula. I wanted to go, and…was he not paying attention to our circumstances? This could be dangerous. And I questioned my husband’s leading.

I felt the wind on my face and heard within my spirit, “Robyn, you don’t need to look back. The adventure is ahead of you.” What

The voice continued, “There is no need to look back. I will take care of what’s behind. Keep your eyes forward. Accept Bob’s invitation. Trust him.”

Heart pounding, I moved quickly forward, drawn by my man’s hazy silhouette and outstretched hand.

Focusing on the light ahead, fingers entwined, we deliberately walked to the edge.

I chose not to look back–even did a little self-talk to keep my feet moving forward. And the waves were spectacular. Soon the rolling fog and the invisible beach access were no longer on my radar. My body began to relax as we explored the perimeter of the rocky peninsula.

As if on cue, ”Hey Robyn, isn’t that a starfish?” There it lay in a deep, quiet pool along with purple sea urchins and incredible marine life. I sat, bent over the edge, gazing in delight as the bright orange star moved slowly along a rock. What a gift!

My man’s heart is made for adventure. Bob’s soul is created to offer strength and wild adventures. His call to me through the mist offered strength to overcome my fears and experience the journey. It brought life and beauty to my world. Smiling, I considered how earlier turning back seemed the only solution for my heart. To go with the familiar beckoned so loudly.

The gentle breeze I felt earlier had shifted the fog; it revealed a way back. And it exposed our next beautiful onward quest. I was all in! No hesitation. Secure.

So, what’s next? I do feel a unique connectedness to things from the past while living in the present with a grasp on the future and an eye on eternity. And my heart waits with great anticipation. Further up and further in with no looking back.

author photo of Robyn WhitakerRobyn Whitaker lives in Texas with her husband of over 40 years. She considers it a sacred privilege to bear witness and invite hope to others as a mental health therapist in the Houston area.  Robyn is a lover of truth, seeker of story, with an adventurous heart. This mother of three is learning to breathe in new ways, while continuing to discover and live out her Kingdom purpose. nb sp nbsp