Storms and Sunshine

I mentioned that I had the sweet opportunity to share at an event entitled “The Anchor” on Thursday evening. I was asked to speak about “anchor moments” in my life ~ those times when I was grounded in my faith as a result of Jesus proving that he really is secure and strong and full of hope.

While I cannot claim the expertise and intimate knowledge of anchors as those of my dear friends who live for grand boating adventures, I from my limited knowledge of boating began thinking about this idea of anchoring.

Of grounding…
Of remaining in a place for security…
Perhaps because the waves are high and weather is uncertain, or a storm has indeed hit. Oh, have I hit storms in my life. They were the seasons when I dropped anchor out of necessity, out of a deep need to know where the bottom was and to have a connection to something firm when everything else I thought was firm was tossed up and away in the waves.
The first storm I can remember arrived upon tearing my ACL my sophomore  year of high school when my world was soccer. My worth was found in being an accomplished athlete and as a result, my identity was tossed into the wind. Still on crutches, fresh out of surgery with 9 months ahead of rebuilding body and heart, the Lord sent me a line… a line connected to Him. Her name was Susan and she became my Young Life leader, mentor, and treasured friend.  Do you know that we sometimes serve others as the line connecting to the anchor?  This bright-eyed, faith-filled woman served as a link in the chain, filling the gap until I grew my own unique connection to Jesus.
I  began to think more about this idea of when we drop anchor… not only is it when the waves threaten, but conversely it is when we find ourselves in places of such beauty and peace we just want to remain there to be secure and firm in the picture of how things should be. You know those moments in life that you take a snapshot and feel as if this just might be a taste of how God intended this place to be?
Just after my freshman year of college, I last minute took a trip to Malibu, Canada to lead a group of high school girls at a Young Life camp located in the midst of one of the top ten yachting destinations in the world. The scenery is unparalleled and the community a slice of heaven. I was growing in my own faith, learning that there was a big difference in believing in God and actually knowing him; for the first time I was actually studying my bible and learning the truth behind this fondness toward Jesus he had compelled in me since I was young.
And my faith swelled.
I remember quoting scripture I had never set out to memorize, experiencing the most incredible awe of God and deep sense of knowing that he was ALIVE and good and he loved me and he loved these young women I was leading and I prayed with many of them that week as they decided to anchor their lives to him. It was glorious. I wanted to stay in that place where my line was secure and the waters were crystal clear and the sky was blue…indefinitely.  In times of calm, our faith can be built greatly… for great purpose. Because we all know it is not if but when the storm will come.
The storm hit hard 3 months later. At the height  of my walk with Jesus up to that point in my life, the clouds rolled in and darkness prevailed for a time.
And don’t you know, as my faith was tested, what I knew was true in the sunshine had to be hammered out in the storm.
There have been seasons of sunshine… relationships and marriage and children and ministry… where I have become changed, bronzed in the glimmer of the gloriousness of God. But you know those same things… relationships and marriage and children and ministry have offered storms that have tested and deepened my trust in Jesus, in the anchor who is never changing and always faithful. In the past months I have ruptured my achilles tendon, endured a miscarriage, experienced personal failure and loss… and I have simultaneously been bolstered by the presence of Jesus. By his comfort and his love and his care and his people. His word is alive and his promises are true. I love him and I trust him with my life.
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