I’m finding that during the different seasons of life, remaining anchored to the Truths of the Lord has held me strong and secure. The Anchor Truth for this month is “God always holds you” and it is this Truth that I have held tightest to over the years. Knowing he is steadfast in spite of uncertainty has given me the most comfort and peace, especially during the storms I have faced. The month of September (and September 6th especially) is such a sacred time for me: my daughter Karina who passed away 10 years ago would have turned 30 years old this year. This week especially is always sentimental as I have joy and sorrow filling my heart remembering my treasured girl.
Anchor Truth: God Always Holds You
This Anchor Truth became tremendously real for me when Karina, at age 19, was diagnosed with leukemia for the third time. She had just finished a successful fall quarter at Seattle Pacific University and had really enjoyed her studies and her new friends on campus. As a family, we were just settling into that chapter of life when one of our precious children leaves the house to adventure off to college.
Karina’s 19th birthday
It had been smooth sailing as we made the transition. I know many of you can relate to that empty chair at the dinner table. Karina’s daily presence was deeply missed but we knew she was just an hour’s drive north and I treasured her daily routine phone call—one of the highlights of my day. If you’ve had a child leave home, you know what I mean: it is an exciting chapter but it takes some adjusting to.
Karina had just headed back to school for winter quarter in January 2010 when she noticed a cough and heaviness in her chest. We took her to the doctor not expecting anything too serious but then were told we needed to take her to the emergency room for further testing. In the hospital, after much waiting and wondering, we were given the news late that night. Her leukemia had returned.
This was so unexpected. We were shocked and so scared. Since she was now nineteen years old, we were no longer in the children’s hospital as we had been previously. This time around, Karina was considered an adult and she was treated much differently.
There was no more catering to family members in the adult wing of the hospital. There the rooms are stark and the tone much more somber. It was 3:00am by the time she was given a room. There was one bed and one small chair in the corner. As we surveyed the scene, I decided the best thing for both of us was for me to crawl into the bed with her. We snuggled up with each other for comfort as we digested the harsh news and our new surroundings.
As we lay there in the dark room pondering this horrible news, we both sensed a great feeling of calmness come over us. We felt as if we were being held in God’s sure and strong hand and felt a peace that surpassed all understanding. I remember saying, “Karina, there is nothing we can do; the Lord has us in His hands and He will carry us where He wants us.”
It was a sense of complete surrender and trust that came with an incredible peace. We completely and literally put our lives in His hands.
I envisioned myself holding up a white flag of surrender, giving up my entire life to the Lord and trusting Him with everything. I thought I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I was initially filled with so much anxiety but as I envisioned myself settling into the Lord’s hands, we both drifted off to a peaceful sleep.
There have been many, many times in my life I’ve wanted to panic: relationships have gone awry, financial crises loomed, important decisions had to be made, so many times that things didn’t go the way I’d planned. Just like there is not smooth sailing on the ocean indefinitely, neither is there ever smooth sailing in our lives indefinitely. Storms will come; count on it. But they don’t need to drive fear into our hearts. We can be confident, anchored in the truths that hold us strong!
I held up my white flag of surrender.
Recently I have been so encouraged by this specific Anchor Truth. It reminds me of God’s presence in my life and the words to NOT FEAR. I have been amazed as I have researched the phrase “Do not fear” in the Bible. It is mentioned over 200 times.
I also discovered that the phrase “Do not be afraid” is in the Bible 365 times — that is one verse a day a year reminding us God has us in His hands!
This is such comforting news that God knows us and the feelings of fear we are facing right now or are going to face in our futures. He is saying to each one of us “Do Not Fear!”
Why should I fear when we are in God’s hands? He is the Creator of the universe and wants our complete trust and dependence to be on Him. He will guide us through every tough situation and direct us on the right path.
I like to picture myself nestled in the giant palm of His hand, like I was in the hospital that night with my daughter, completely at rest and letting Him carry me where He wants me. He has proved Himself faithful over and over again. God is always holding you. This truth is so great to set in our hearts. We can be confident that He is at work in our lives — holding us and carrying us where He wants us.