Sometimes relationships develop naturally. Other times, God gives them a jumpstart.
Outside of church, Sophie Tsai and Becky Enright aren’t likely to cross paths:
Sophie is a 15-year-old freshman at Oregon High School and plays volleyball after school.
Becky is 31, mother to 2-year-old Olivia and 1-year-old Theo, and is expecting Baby No. 3 in August.
So, truly, their worlds don’t often intersect.
But last summer at church camp, Sophie learned more about 1:1 discipleship relationships, which the Church describes as, “two Jesus followers meet together on a regular basis to support one another in their walk with Jesus.”
Sophie and her mom asked the Church to match her with someone for a 1:1.
“Really it was Sophie asking and God putting Becky’s face in my head,” Youth Director Emily Powers said. “I knew Becky had worked with youth previously, and her gentle nature and deep faith mirrored Sophie’s desire to grow and Sophie’s own gentle nature.”
Sophie and Becky meet online at 7 a.m. Thursdays, before the school bus arrives and before two babies need their mommy’s full attention.
“I love checking in with Becky and the kids. It just makes life happier,” Sophie said.
Becky agreed, “It definitely sets up the day for a better day, mostly because it’s Jesus at the start.”
Their conversations begin with them just talking about their lives.
“I feel like (due to pregnancy) I get overwhelmed really easily right now,” Becky said during one of their recent talks. “I’m going to be honest: By probably lunchtime, I don’t know where my mind’s going to be.”
Sophie shared that, after a recent volleyball tournament hadn’t gone so well, her team was amping up its effort.
“I have never physically worked myself so hard at practice that I just come home and I have to go to bed. And then I wake up and I’m still tired after getting a good amount of sleep,” she said. “It’s OK because it’s good for my body.”,
The conversation then segued into a Bible study – and the morning’s topic was particularly apropo.
Sophie read the day’s devotion:
“It is not the boat’s grip on the anchor that keeps the anchor from moving, but rather the grip of the anchor on the sea floor. In our Christian faith, our anchor is Christ. Our anchor is secure because of who He is. We are not dependent upon our grip on our faith, our feelings or even actions. Jesus Christ alone is what secures our faith. We, when we cling to Him, will not waver.”
One of the day’s Bible verses, Hebrews 10:25, especially resonated: “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the day approaching.”
Becky noted that some people love being around others and some people prefer the solitude at home. “And that’s OK. It’s still good to connect, though, and have time with others.”
What does God as our anchor mean?
“God is the anchor and the anchor is where it needs to be,” Sophie said. “But we still have to hold on to the anchor.”
Becky responded, “(If we cling to God), we don’t focus on the storm that might be raging above us. Or in us.”
They closed with a prayer and then talked a bit about how their 1:1 relationship began.
“The consistency was good, knowing that ‘I’m going to meet with this person every week, and they’re going to put in the effort,’” Becky said. “So, I feel like we had a lot of longer conversations at the start, like, ‘What’s your life like?”
“But it really wasn’t too difficult,” she said. “And I think that’s because God blessed us in this connection and He knew what He was doing when he connected us through Emily. Because we are similar.”
Said Sophie: “I think it was really great that we knew we were going to meet the next week, so we were accountability partners before we became, like, friends.”