Welcome to Wednesday Writers! Today’s guest is author Sara Beth Williams who will be sharing an excerpt from her newest Contemporary Christian Romance, Anchor My Heart, and a post about life’s upheavals and how dealing with what life throws at us influenced her book, Welcome, Sara!
Wherever you go
By Sara Beth Williams
Have you ever experienced short, or long periods of total upheaval in your life? I’ve had my share in the last three years. Various family tragedies, having to move suddenly, on top of all the uncertainty that came with the pandemic.
In 2019, I struggled with the decision as to whether or not I should change churches. I’d already experienced so much change. Changing one more thing terrified me. I grappled with the pros and cons of attending my current church. I adore the worship and the sermons, but I hadn’t made any personal connections with other attendees in a long time. Everyone I tried to connect with had either moved on, or were consistently unavailable.
So, I began attending my dad’s church for a short time during the summer. He needed a ride and I needed a change. While there, I felt an impression from God on my heart. Wherever you go, I will be there.
One of the popular songs floating around the radio at that time was a song by Dan Bremnes, called “Wherever I go.” I love the chorus that says, (paraphrased) no matter where I am, in the flood, the rain, or rising flame God is there.
These lyrics, on top of the impression that God put on my heart, eased my fears at the time. This song also circles back to multiple biblical passages that solidify for me that God is always with me.
This is one of the themes explored in Anchor My Heart. My main character Matt has experienced a tumultuous upheaval in his life.
I wanted to explore realistically those feelings of feeling totally lost, or alone, or stuck, where we are unable to accept these truths, even if we’ve heard them all our lives. Because we are human, we are prone to rely on ourselves and miss these truths. We need reminding daily. We need to reconnect daily. And sometimes life is just hard and we are too upset, or in Matt’s case, too overcome with grief or regret or anxiety, to rely on these truths. Sometimes it takes other mentors, friends, people we’ve known, or even new relationships in our lives, to help us see the truth. The ways in which God uses other believers to influence us is immeasurable.
If you’re feeling like you have no idea where God is, know that God is always with you, wherever you go.
Anchor My Heart
By Sara Beth Williams
In the aftermath of tragic loss, worship leader Matt Lawson is grappling with debilitating anxiety. The blessings he’d taken for granted—a dream job, a woman he couldn’t wait to spend the rest of his life with, and his God-given musical talent—have crumbled at his feet, leaving him reeling in despair, unable to face the wreckage of the life he’d envisioned for himself.
Tara Pierce is ready to put past hurts behind her as she prepares to graduate college and take a leap of faith in her career. When Matt’s grief causes him to isolate himself from everyone he knows, she refuses to stand idly by and do nothing. She has traversed similar terrain before. No one deserves to travel that road alone.
Unexpected attraction flares as Tara reaches into the sea of Matt’s grief and helps ground him in reality. But Matt’s not ready to give himself away again. Can Tara risk her heart and their friendship and let God step in to heal where she can’t?
Excerpt from Anchor My Heart
On his day off, Matt somehow stood with Jay in the church parking lot. What had Jay said an hour ago that had convinced him to come this far?
He stood with feet rooted to the ground. Fear coursed through his veins, culminating in a whirling storm in his stomach.
Jay turned back, tilting his head in concern. “You okay?”
“I’m okay.” He forced one lead foot in front of the other, inhaling a breath of determination. He needed to do this. To be present here, among believers who could encourage him. For Scott. For Jay. For Tara.
His heart pounded as old friends greeted him. They expected a smile on his face to match their own. Some kind of semblance of togetherness. His chest ached. This was a mistake. He was bound to run into any one of the six worship team members at any moment.
The only one he wanted to see was probably the only one angry with him.
Scratch that. If their last run-in were any indication, Bobby was angry with him, too.
Excusing himself from a circle of Jay’s friends, he slipped into the men’s room and leaned against the wall with his eyes closed. Well, he was here in the house of God. Why not pray? It’s what he should’ve done first.
Why is this so hard? Why can’t You take this anxiety and this heartache away from me?
Wherever you go, I’m with you.
Counting from one to five, he inhaled, then exhaled. He repeated the process once more before exiting—straight into Bobby.
“Hey!” Bobby grabbed his hand and pulled him into a quick bro hug. Like old times. “It’s great to see you.”
Matt nodded and struggled to mimic Bobby’s enthusiastic grin. Where was that hostility from weeks ago? “I work most Wednesday evenings. So you won’t see me here much.” He cleared his throat and stepped back, putting space between them. “But I do come on Sundays.”
Bobby shrugged. “That’s cool.” He bent over the nearby water fountain and grabbed a quick drink.
Relief eased some of the tension in Matt’s gut. Bobby had moved on. That was a good sign.
Standing, Bobby said, “Hey, want to say hi to the rest of the team before we start worship?”
Tension returned full force, gluing him to the floor.
“Afterward… maybe… I don’t know.” He clenched the back of his neck.
“Okay, sure. I’ll see you inside.” Bobby lifted a hand, then rounded the corner out of sight.
Matt exhaled. The still, small voice inside of him from minutes ago circulated.
Wherever you go, I am with you.
Matt scrubbed his face. He’d gone through seminary, studied the Bible thoroughly. He knew the words of the Spirit spoke truth.
Then why can’t I find You? Why can’t I feel You?
He knew that answer, too. Biblically, anyway. But tonight, that brought little comfort.
He rounded the corner in search of Jay.
He whirled around to find Tara standing at the other end of the hall. He smiled, genuine this time, despite the tension in his gut. “Hi.”
Want to read more? You can find Anchor My Heart at
About the Author:
Sara Beth Williams is a wife, mother of two daughters, and temporary caretaker of a lovable old lady pit and a spunky Pomeranian-Shih Tzu mix. She lives in Northern California. When she’s not held hostage by the keyboard, she enjoys music, teaching, reading and spending time with her family. She is all about connecting with readers! Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and Bookbub.
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