My heart is weighed down this morning as I feel the anchor drawing me towards the bottom of my tears…to the depths of the sea. I’m about to feel the sand on my limbs, and the salt stinging my eyes, as I try in vain to peer through the murky, and cloudy water that surrounds me. I’ve been conversing with my dear cousin, and have been much in prayer for her lovely daughter who is just 27 years old and is battling cancer. She is a beautiful, vibrant, full of hope ,young lady who blogs about “the anchor of her soul.” It is a transparent, heartfelt journey that she is sharing, and it inspires me to see all that she is going through with such an openness to share with others her struggles, her triumphs. It is painful, and so difficult, and she displays so vibrantly that Jesus truly is the anchor to her soul. This symbol sustains and encourages her. Her blog spot is called anchorofmysoulblog.blogspot.com. It is definitely worth checking out. She writes with such grace and wisdom and depth, and she tears at your heart strings, and beckons you to draw deeper into her faith system, her support.
I have always been also drawn to the symbol of the anchor and what it represents to me. Years ago I attended a rather unique prayer gathering, where a group of people there had been given my name only two weeks prior to me being there. They were just asked to pray for me..how incredibly cool is that? One of the most profound things that happened as they shared what they had prayed for me, was when a woman in the prayer group handed me a yellow scrap of folded paper. When I opened it curious as to what would be inside, all that was hand written there was, “Jesus is your anchor.” I thought..well how sweet, that is so nice, and yes I felt a sense of trust and believe in Jesus, but at the time had no real earthly idea what that would all come to mean for me in my life. Through the years, I’ve shared this note with close friends, and they have gifted me with eclectic anchor symbols, and images. I’ve come to value this statement, and have repeated it time and time again to myself when I’ve felt the waves of worry, and pain crashing in around me..I’ve repeated it as a hectic cry for help, I’ve whispered it through my groaning when I’ve been unable to utter more…and the anchor has held. To me the top of the anchor has always symbolized a cross, (for me the cross of Christ,) the hooks of the anchor below is where I’m desperately hanging on..usually by my fingertips, with one leg slung over the top, desperate not to drown in the darkness that wants to engulf me. It is solid, constructed of steel..heavy..firm..meant to hold great ships in place…it ain’t going anywhere. It can be counted on to hold our rowboat, fishing vessel, tugboat, whatever in place..we have faith in it. We don’t doubt it..it is an anchor after all, and that is what they have been designed to do. The hooks grab hold onto whatever lies beneath, they seek anything that will hold them firmly in place, they care not what it is, only that it stays. When we throw, or lower our anchor over the side, we feel secure when we feel the boat tug into place as the anchor hits it’s watery bottom. Then we are free…we can dive off the edge, go snorkeling, deep sea diving, or just for a long luxurious swim, knowing with complete assurance, that our boat, or our life raft is held secure. Waves come and go, and we may venture too far away from our vessel, but that thing is stuck firm….it will not move. I just love this so much….the sharks are swimming all around, predators abound, Dolphins, stingrays, and schools of fish are everywhere, but the anchor does not care, it is there to stay, and will be there no matter what, until we, the humans decide that it’s time to pull it up out of its hiding place and move on. It always amazes me that once inside the boat, the anchor doesn’t sink your boat, but when connected to water…down..down..down..it goes, and it’s home is truly in the sea…the unknown.
This delightful linen hankie was gifted to me by my Grandma Hayhoe through my cousin Miriam. Neither she, nor my cousin knew of the significance that the anchor has held to me for many years. Apparently this treasure she had kept for years in a safe place, as it has been a gift from my father John, her son when he had been aboard a ship traveling I know not where. When I received this a few years back, my eyes overflowed, for I just knew that this was further confirmation to my soul that Jesus is my anchor. I love those sweet, perhaps seemingly uneventful connections for some, but for me, mean the absolute world. This is such a comfort to me this day. These images, are incribed upon our hearts, and they hold us close, and remind us that the anchor will hold…it is secure..I can count on it no matter what storms may come…and fellow sailor..you know they will
I was fortunate recently to be able to spend sweet time with several of my nieces while up visiting in the Great White North. Myself, my Mum, my sister in law, Carylin, and my niece Linnea, went down to Kensington Market for the afternoon a short while ago. Linnea is a creative soul, who lives to write, is beautiful, and has a depth to her which I find sometimes absent in a 17 year old young woman. Things touch her, they speak to her, and I find this just enchanting. I suppose her age, mirroring that of my sweet Bianca probably intrigues me even more, as I yearn to know how she feels about life, what she thinks. She has definite opinions, a glorious sense of humor, and a unique fascination for vintage clothes…(you know the kind you can find in garage sales, which are now fashionably called vintage.). She took us all to her favorite spots, and she found some inexpensive finds to bring back home. It was so fun to follow her about and let her lead us. We shared a delicious Authentic Mexican lunch together, which was unbelievable…homemade tortillas, and chips, spicy sauces, mouth watering guacamole with tomatoes…I know ..I know..I’m making you hungry.It was a delight to spend the day together and find out what she wants from life, what anchors her. She is on the precipice of life about to make choices going into her future which I’m sure can be overwhelming and challenging, to say the least. I’m not sure how we expect young people to be able to grasp these challenges and not want to run for cover. I’m approaching 50 years old, and find myself challenged by what comes next in this life. All of a sudden I have free time, time to unashamedly spend with others, invest in others. I’m seriously grateful for this, and want to make good use of these opportunities….like Bon Jovi says…”I don’t want to fall asleep…I don’t want to close my eyes…I don’t want to miss a thing.” I know I’m probably destroying his lyrics, but I do love the essence of that song, and how he rasped it out, as only he can in his memorable voice, these very meaningful words to me.
Life and our loved ones are so incredibly precious…we know we would gladly walk through the fiery coals for them, however sometimes they are the only ones that can do it. They must push ahead and face choices, find courage to find their anchor through disappointment, disillusionment and sometimes great sorrow. I want to be there for them. I know I don’t have all of the answers, but I love these nieces and nephews, cousins and friends, and I wish to share in their journeys, be a shoulder to lean on, an advocate for their struggles, and acknowledge that in bearing and sharing each other’s ‘ burdens we become one…and this is unbelievably awesome to me…I’m not alone..for real….and somewhere up there in the heavens, I believe that my precious girl is sharing stories with the Almighty..some that probably make him laugh, and some …who knows…may make him cringe…but I find great comfort in this journey…and I have an anchor, and he will not be moved…He holds my soul…I can know that it is secure..it can be trusted…even when I want to jump back in my boat and float far away into the water without him…He will not let me go…because he promised.