According to Mark Laser, we have seven desires of the heart: to be heard, affirmed, blessed, safe, touched, chosen, and included. Having been given these desires by the Creator of your soul, what does it look like when the world wants to meet these desires? I ask this because if desires have been given, then desires want to be met. With this in mind, I want to unpack a picture of the tethered soul and a picture of the anchored soul.
Tethered means to fasten or confine; at the end of one’s tether, at the end of one’s resources, patience, or strength (dictionary.com). How does this apply to your soul? The tethered soul will desire to meet emotional needs and end in frustration because the temporary fix always leads to being chained to an unhealthy cycle that guarantees repeat emptiness and shame. You realize your limits and confinement. The more you tether yourself to the lure of temporary fixes the more you run out of resources, patience, and strength.
How can you know if you are experiencing a tethered soul?
The tethered soul tries so hard to appear stable and keep up appearances. It will meet those emotional needs with temporary fixes while demanding to be:
- Heard – she acts out loud leading to resentment
- Affirmed – she draws attention to herself
- Blessed – bargaining with relationships silently, craving for validation and respect
- Safe – creates her own definition of safety; justifying the method to the madness
- Touched – being over expressive and dismissing boundaries
- Chosen – she will demand acceptance and walk away feeling more insecure
- Included – she will create her own world of being included to the point of disregarding the character of those around her
The characteristics and poisonous fruit of the tethered soul are:
- Justification for my poor choices
- Minimizing the consequences of my poor choices
- Blaming others
- Resentment and bitterness
The world promises what seems to satisfy, but in return the soul is tethered to emptiness and unfulfillment left to crave more and more.
Anchored means typically having broad, hook-like arms that bury themselves in the bottom to provide a firm hold; to fix or fasten; or to affix firmly. The anchored soul rests knowing Jesus will meet her emotional needs, understanding that HE alone can meet the desires of her heart. While God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts, the anchored soul trusts His timing is perfect and His plan is safe.
The anchored soul is free to ride the waves and ride out the storms. It is never condemned, but covered in mercy. The anchored soul is aware of the instability that life brings and is dependent on the only secure source – Jesus. The anchored soul rests that God has her… she is not in control and does not have to be.
The anchored soul will meet those emotional needs resting and trusting that when she needs to be:
- Heard – …if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. I John 5:14
- Affirmed – She is clothed with strength and dignity… Prov. 31:25
- Blessed – “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all… a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31
- Safe– The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble… Nahum 1:7
- Touch – So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes… and they followed Him. Matt 20:34
- Chosen – But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood…of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light I Peter 2:9
- Included – Quickly bring out the best robe…and let us eat and celebrate… Luke 15:22- 24
She can rest in the truth of His Word.
The characteristics and sweet fruit of the anchored soul:
- Walks by faith
- Trust God to direct her next step
- Cuts all soul ties to the world’s ways and her preferences.
- Intentional living
There is no limits when the soul is anchored in Christ. He is limitless and all- powerful to either calm the storm or carry you safely through it.
Joy would have never dreamed that her life would be filled with such incredible sadness that comes with loss. She never would have imagined that she would experience the personal effects of emotional and mental abuse, the silent killer of the soul. She is in awe of how God is the keeper of her soul and He has kept what she committed to Him. He would not allow her soul to be destroyed! Joy Anisa is married to Jeff, a bi-vocational pastor and they live in Conyers, GA. Their oldest daughter, Meighan, is serving for a year with the London City Mission in London, England. Their son, Caid, is a sophomore at Eagles Landing Christian Academy and plays football. A graduate of She Speaks with Proverbs 31 Ministries, Joy’s story will inspire, encourage, and bring laughter through the tears.
The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com