Anchor

The last day of twenty fourteen!
I thought it was only appropriate to look back on where I was, where I’ve come and what I have before me. Last year I posted a litany of resolutions, or what I called Purposeful Intent. Something that I intended to do with purpose. While I did some of the things on my list, I failed completely at others.

Instead of a list that will just show me how futile human attainment (for me at least) can be, I opt in instead for a word to focus on, and a verse to pray over. I’m also in the process of writing down A Thousand Gifts – things I love to show me how I’ve been blessed and loved by the Lord, and of course my trip to the BWCAW.

Way back in 2013 I had chosen a verse for the year to focus on. I wrote it out on scratch paper in pen, and taped it to my electronic calendar which was Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in a person’s heart,but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Each day since, I’ve looked at that verse and repeated it to myself. This verse gave me such a great deal of comfort while we waited to find out if our daughter was going to get into the school we desperately had hoped for, and in the aftermath of my dad.

This past summer while my father was still clinging to life in the hospital Proverbs 3:5 just would not leave my mind. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. This was my mantra – and still is. There is no way for me to understand what happened, and all I can do is trust fully in the Lord and know that this is not the end of the story.

After hearing this amazing song by none other than Hillsong United (Who brought us Oceans) I could not get the word ANCHOR out of my mind. In fact I almost named this blog –  littleblessedlife.com with something to do with an anchor.  It seemed so powerful with both me and my dad having served in the Navy and then with this overwhelming desire to go to the BWCAW this upcoming spring I knew that this word was going to be it for 2015. It wasn’t until I started looking for a stock photo of an anchor for this exact post that I came across Hebrews 6:19 and my jaw dropped to the floor.

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The lyrics of this song which will not get out of my head was ripped right from Hebrews 6:19. Oh how I believe in this verse with my entire being, my entire soul! When I came across this song late this fall, the lyrics immediately gave words and real structure to what I had been feeling in my heart these past few months, but could not say myself.  It felt deeply like my postlude to Oceans in a way and to my story. I had been led out into the deep waters, walked on water and am now holding so tightly to my Anchor, my God to keep me from blowing away. I find it difficult at times to explain what I am feeling inside, but this song and its lyrics do it so beautifully.

On any given day when I felt the tides rise up, ready to wash over me I listen to this song with arms stretched out and face lifted, and immediately feel the Lords presence surrounding me. Its strange in a way to me how deep my faith has grown since July. Its not as though I grew up with unbelief. From as long as I can remember I believed in the story of the cross, but some how I now just know its true. Every time I sing to God, and pray I feel my dad right next to me.

In these storms it is so easy to drift, and be consumed with the rains beating down on you –  but with the Anchor holding me in place I will not drift, I will not fall I will not be consumed with fear and despair, but consumed with faith, hope and love. Love that was nailed to the cross.

My Father has been so present in my life these past six months, its overwhelming to the point of tears when singing worship songs. I can’t imagine how my father feels being face to face with Him.  “He gave everything to save the world He loves”.

Hope. What brings joy to the heart, which brings light to the world, and the laying out of full trust in the Lord. Drink in these words with me. Let them wash over you, and I wish you each a blessed and remarkable 2015 where you grow closer to the Lord.

These words are my anthem, my battle cry.

I have this hope
As an anchor for my soul
Through every storm
I will hold to You

With endless love
All my fear is swept away
In everything
I will trust in You

There is hope in the promise of the cross
You gave everything to save the world You love
And this hope is an anchor for my soul
Our God will stand
Unshakeable

Unchanging One
You who was and is to come
Your promise sure
You will not let go

Your Name is higher
Your Name is greater
All my hope is in You

Your word unfailing
Your promise unshaken
All my hope is in You

I am such a sucker for acoustic versions of songs- so when i found this there was so much joy and elation in my heart! I hope you enjoy!

 

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Proverbs 3:5

Since my last post I have gone out to see my dad’s grave site which now has a marker on it. It sets things in, and makes this whole ordeal real. My daughter and I laid in front of the marker, and stared up at the heavens. I asked her what she thought “Poppie” was doing at this moment, and she thought perhaps that he was watching Snow White with all the kids that were already in heaven… (a favorite past time of theirs).

“I sat at his grave and cried for my missing friend and for all the lost opportunities.
God is good and God is sovereign, but sometimes he’s so hard to understand.”
-Sam Childers ‘Another Man’s War’
Compliments of Danielle Conley

Proverbs 3:5 comes immediately to mind, when reading the quote above –  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. (NLT). Isn’t that so true. In these precious moments I have nothing BUT to trust in the Lord with all of my heart. I dare not depend on my own understanding because nothing about what happened makes sense. But I feel a sense of calm come over me anytime that I just repeat to myself that God is good… and God is sovereign. He is in control and someday I will too will understand.

I honestly try hard not to think about it too much. – the why’s and the what ifs… It hurts my head, causes me anxiety and puts in me a fearful heart. Do not confuse this with “stuffing it down” which I certainly am not…I’m being a realist. I could search this world until the end of time, and I am convinced I will never have the answer. So why dwell on it and waste emotion on unanswerable questions.

I’m currently living with forgetting. Not forgetting my dad in general of course and not flat out denial that he died, but just forgetting that he did die. Just yesterday a friend of mine wrote a post on Facebook about a housing inspection she needed to get through and I almost commented stating that I would ask my dad if he could do it… In a blink I smirked to myself forgetting for a moment that he was no longer on this side of heaven.

In his book “A Grief Observed C.S. Lewis talks about this. “Its not true that I’m always thinking of H. Work and conversation make that impossible. But the times when I’m not are perhaps my worst. For then, though I have forgotten the reason, there is spread over everything a vague sense of wrongness of something amiss. Like in those dreams where nothing terrible occurs – nothing that would sound even remarkable if you told it as breakfast-time – but the atmosphere, the taste, of the whole thing is deadly. So with this. I see the rowan berries reddening and don’t know for a moment why they, of all things, should be depressing. I hear a clock strike and some quality it always had before has gone out of the sound. What’s wrong with the world to make it so flat, shabby, worn-out looking? Then I remember.”

Each day brings me something new. Most days I have purely blissful moments, and now, more often than not I am generally happy. But I still feel this cloud looming over me, as if it is following me, raining down, getting me wet, ruining my plans, and being generally annoying.

I’m learning to dance in the rain though… and make the most of it. It’s my new normal as my cousin’s wife pointed out to me shortly after my fathers passing. She shared,

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but, you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and John Kessler.

So what am I learning from dancing in the rain? I have grown so much closer to God in this place. Though I am wet, and damp, and frustrated that my plans didn’t turn out how I thought they should go there is a beauty here that I wouldn’t have known had I not been here.  I feel a sense of newness in my relationship with Christ that is stronger than ever before. I feel so deeply dependent and in love with Him, not as a crutch, but in gratitude that I don’t have to figure any of this out on my own. I don’t have to do this by myself, or try to understand it. I can cast all my cares on to God who will sustain me, and not let me be shaken. ~ Psalm 55:22. (My paraphrase from NIV)

I am learning through Philippians 4:13 (NLT). “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”. I can get through this grief and see the sunshine of tomorrow behind the veil of the rain. I can rest assured that my father is joyfully praising our Creator face to face. I feel strengthened by Christ, and closer to him and more thankful to Him than ever before. I will pour out praise to Him over and over again because it is His breath in my lungs.

You give hope, You restore

Every heart that is broken

GREAT – ARE – YOU – LORD