The Tuggles

Spinning and Remembering

October 27, 2017

Remember that time in your life when everything happened exactly like you thought it would?

Yeah, me neither.

Remember that time you were reading a blog that you hadn’t seen in two years?

That’s now.

Hi, my name is Christie and this is the website I created when I traveled across the country three years ago. I thought it would be a good idea to re-introduce myself since you probably forgot you even subscribed to my blog.

To some of you, I am the third wheel that traveled with Tim and Lynn Tuggle on their most recent escapade across the country ending in Spring of 2015. For those who have never read a single post on my website, perhaps you should start here and here in order for the rest of this to make any sense. The gap between my last post and now has held virtually every possibility you could imagine, and then some that you couldn’t. Before I dive into the ultimate reason for this post, I want to tell you a brief story.

I was 19 years old, sitting in the backseat of my parents’ van. It was Sunday afternoon and snow covered the ground. My mom sat in the driver’s seat as we waited together for my dad to wrap up his last after-church conversation. The details of the talk inside that frost-covered van are blurry, except that I spoke with worry and uncertainty to my mother about whatever life’s current anxiety happened to be. I ached for something to shift, wondering if it ever would. Suddenly, she turned around to face me, and with a fierce gaze she softly delivered a one-liner that made my heart stop.

Christie, things can change so fast, it’ll make your head spin.

My eyes slightly widened, a chill shooting down my spine. There was something so disarming about the authority in which she spoke. It affected me so strongly and I didn’t understand why. There was a place in my inner being that knew this had future significance; that I would always remember this moment. Truly, it gave me hope and was spoken in a positive context, but the gravity of this truth is weightier than positives and negatives. For good or evil, things can change so fast that we don’t know what to do about them.

You could be handed a life-altering, lump sum of money, offered a promotion, meet the love of your life unsuspectingly in a coffee shop, find out your student loans have been forgiven, or realize you have money in an HSA you didn’t know about.

Or you could receive a phone call that there has been a bad accident. Someone you love is gone. Or someone is leaving. Or the people you love most aren’t speaking anymore. You could hear a rumor about you that isn’t true that spreads like wildfire and completely alters your reputation. You could wake up one day and your church has fallen apart and you are estranged from your family.

You could get news that two of the strongest pillars of the faith are getting divorced.

You could look out into the distant fog hovering above the debris of the subsiding cyclone of a year’s worth of sudden changes, and in utter bewilderment, all your head can do…

…is spin.

 

News can shatter. Like a cinder block flying through the window of your put-together life, can shatter your whole world in a matter of months, days, even a single moment. Shatter hearts and shatter dreams.

The whirlwind of life’s sudden tornadic activity will leave you spinning and spinning until you literally can’t remember who you are anymore. Can’t see or feel what you are made of anymore. It can change the trajectory of your path so quickly that you can’t even remember where you used to be going. It can rip people away from you so violently that your hearts bleed out too quickly to be properly bandaged and you find yourself a shell of your former existence.

This was a year of sudden head-spinning.

For those who may have missed the announcement a few months ago, Tim and Lynn Tuggle are no longer together. In ministry nor in marriage.

At the time of their initial separation, a rough draft of a book was complete: a compilation of testimonies from their horseback travels across America. Movement towards the publication of this book was halted and tabled indefinitely in order to respect and protect the delicacy of the chaotic turmoil they were working through. However, as the months have gone on, I continue to see in my mind the faces of people I met across the United States that have been expecting a book to be released.

Currently, I am not altogether sure that the official publishing of this book will be resumed. What I can tell you now is that the original calling of this journey has been fulfilled. The Lord spoke to me very clearly: You will go with them and you will write their book.

That has happened. And it is still in the works for Tim and Lynn to each be receiving a printed copy. Above and beyond anything else, I am confident that this book was for them.

All throughout the Old Testament we see God’s chosen people wandering clumsily on uncertain journeys, in and out of captivity, and making one mess after another wherever they went. And wherever they went, God had them build altars. The simplicity of stacking rocks on top of each other was God’s visual to them to say, Whenever you see this, remember what I did. Remember who I AM.

This book is meant to be an altar. Remember what He did. Remember who He is.

Right now, that book is for Tim and Lynn. What I feel is best for now on a public platform is to utilize this blog.

And so, I would like to announce that through the end of the year I will be releasing a mini-series in the form of several stories per week on my website. While some may have been included in my book, the focus of this will be my experiences while traveling—what I saw, what I learned, and what it showed me about the heart of God.

 

When I was 13 years old I stood in a Christian bookstore discussing interesting selections with my mother when we came upon the journal section. She began thumbing through possible options and handed one to me, saying,

“Here, you’ll need this.”

“Why?” I asked, confused.

“Ya know, for the book you’re going to write one day.”

Same fierce gaze. Same confident, soft tone. Same chills down my spine.

Perhaps all this remembering will help slow our spinning heads. Come and remember with me.

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4 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Cije October 27, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Love you so so much.

  • Avatar
    Reply Rachel Hills October 28, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Hi, my name is Rachel and I remember.
    I remember the strong young woman who came two years ago, determined to write a book. And you have.
    You have withstood storms designed to unravel the firmly woven fabric of your life but because the Weaver of all our lives remains with us in any unraveling, a better fabric is formed. Your writing reveals more of his love and light than ever, perfectly woven into the (new) fabric of your life.
    Keep writing.

    • Christie
      Reply Christie October 28, 2017 at 8:06 am

      I could have never done any of this without you. Thank you–from the bottom of my heart.

  • Avatar
    Reply Rachel Osterhus October 28, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Chills. This is absolutely incredible. Thank you for sharing your heart and I wish I could hear it more often. Please keep writing–your story is truly beautiful and your impact is more dynamic than you know. I love you.

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