Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Tethered Writer

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Tether: to tie with a rope or chain so as to restrict movement (New Oxford American Dictionary).

“You are tethered!” said my friend, her blue eyes sparkling. 

Her eyes were not supposed to be twinkling with mirth, the corners of her mouth turned up in the shadow of a smile. Eyes brimming with tears, I had just poured my heart out to her about how overwhelmed I was, how many difficult things had happened since I signed the contract for my first book. My friend was supposed to murmur in sympathy and cry with me. But she seemed to be happy about my misery!

She understood something I was just beginning to comprehend. As a mother of two children with special needs, her life was permanently tethered. She would never be untethered. She could choose either to be immobilized by her circumstances, allowing bitterness and resentment to choke out the voice of God in her heart, or yield. Long ago, she chose to yield.

I am one of the lucky ones who gets to partake of the harvest of her obedience. The tethered life has made her a more gentle, wise, and patient servant of Christ. She shows the rest of us what Jesus looks like.

As writers we are not guaranteed an untethered life, a way free of obstacles and hindrances to our obedience. In fact, it would seem that commitment triggers all manner of challenges we must overcome to see the work to completion. Don’t be surprised if you find your movement restricted, the distance and speed you planned to run with your project pulled up short and slowed down.

I have chosen to yield to my tether. The decision did not come easy. After bucking like a wild horse against the ropes that held me fast, I was bruised and exhausted. But the Lord never gave up on me, and He reminded me day after day that nothing can stop His purposes in my life. Not a death in the family, a sick loved one, a spouses’ lost job. Not that dreaded diagnosis, not the fear that threatens to suffocate in the middle of the night. 

Nothing can stop our great God from accomplishing what concerns us. He will not forsake the work of his hands. Work He intends to do through His servants, yielded to Him.

The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. Psalm 138:8, NASB
Are you discouraged by your tethers today? Are you bucking against the ropes that hold you fast? Take a moment to breathe in the air of God’s sovereignty over your circumstances. Let Him gently guide you beyond the frustration that blinds your eyes to His greater purpose. He will not forsake you. He intends to work through you, yielded to Him.

Lord, help me quiet my soul and yield to the tethers in my life. Harness me, guide me in your gentle wisdom, and accomplish what concerns me in Your great name. Amen.


"Writers are not guaranteed an untethered life. Yield to the sovereignty of God in your circumstances & trust Him to complete what He has started in you." @AudreyCFrank (Click to Tweet)

Audrey Frank is an author, speaker, and storyteller. The stories she shares are brave and true. They give voice to those whose words are silenced by shame, the hard things in life that don’t make sense, and the losses that leave us wondering if we will survive. Audrey and her family have spent over twenty years living and working among different cultures and world views, and she has found that God’s story of redemption spans every geography (geographical location)  and culture. He is the God of Instead, giving honor instead of shame, gladness instead of mourning, hope instead of despair. Although she has three different degrees in communication and intercultural studies, Audrey’s greatest credential is that she is known and loved by the One who made her.

Her upcoming book, From Shame to Honor, is an outpouring of Audrey’s heart to introduce others to the God of Instead. Shame is not unique to the developing world, the plight of the women behind veils, young girls trafficked across borders; shame is lurking in hearts everywhere. Through powerful stories from women around the world, From Shame to Honor illuminates the power of the Gospel to remove shame, giving honor instead. Look for it through Harvest House Publishers in the fall of 2018.

You can also find Audrey at, as well as on Twitter and Facebook


  1. A post full of the "wisdom from above." Thank you for writing it.

    1. You are very welcome, MaryAnn. I am thankful that my own tethering can be a blessing to others!

  2. Enjoyed every word! Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Amy! And may the Lord give you and I patience in our tethers. Have a lovely day!

  3. Wonderful, wise words, my friend! Thank you for sharing your heart.
    Grateful for you!

    1. Thank you dear Sarah. You know the tethers, and you have very gently tended the gashes they have caused in my heart! But glory to God, glory to God. He shines through our trials, doesn't He?