FOUNDING THE ANCHOR
(and The Anchor Finding Me)
The month of March marks the anniversary of The Anchor’s founding in Gig Harbor, Washington ten years ago. It has been an amazing journey to say the least! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be founding a new women’s ministry that is spreading across the country! What I have really discovered over the past 10 years is that The Anchor has found me.
After the biggest storm hit my life — losing my daughter Karina to cancer in 2010 — my faith in Jesus held so strong that I developed a driving passion to share how real Jesus is and the anchor He has been. It still amazes me to look back on the story of how it all began and see the faithfulness of God and how He has worked to accomplish more than I could ever ask or imagine!
A picture of Karina
Little did I know that when I invited some friends into my home to dream and pray about launching a gathering for women to hear about Jesus it would grow to what it is today. My experience with Young Life inspired my desire to create a non-threatening environment where women could gather to hear and see first-hand the message of Jesus and the love He has for us. In March 2012, we decided to launch the gathering and named it The Anchor, after a pillow on my couch.
The pillow that inspired the name
We came up with the mission statement of The Anchor: to gather women of all ages and backgrounds to be encouraged and anchored in faith and friendship. Our founding verse is “We have this hope [Jesus] as an anchor for the soul firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)
Our First Meeting
We held our first meeting in a net shed along the waterfront of Gig Harbor. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect in that the very month we were looking for a place to gather, a refurbished net shed opened in the harbor. This particular net shed is a small building that was built around 1910 and was a place where fisherman could go and rest and be equipped — a place to repair their nets and prepare to go back to sea. I was reminded of the significance of our harbor, this net shed, and how it symbolizes our mission: a place for women to come off the stormy seas of life to rest a little while, be restored and encouraged and leave better equipped to go back to life.
The original netshed in Gig Harbor
My Anchor Moments
As I prepared the first message for The Anchor and began to think about the times in my life that I remembered the Lord to be real, five significant moments came to my mind, hence the anchor moments of my own life. Each life event correlated with a truth and verse from the Bible that have helped me to live each day.
He loves you, hears you, never leaves you, never forgets you and He always holds you.
I crafted my message around these moments and was excited to share.
The Confirmation I Needed
The confirmation of my message and the ministry of The Anchor happened just a few days prior to our first gathering on March 20th, 2012. I was on my routine run (a course I had run for over 15 years) and was practicing my message aloud. I prayed under my breath for a sign or something I could hold onto to help make my point. When I glanced up about 100 yards in front of me, I noticed for the very first time a huge, rusted anchor chained around a fir tree! It blended right into the surrounding trees, and I was amazed at the timing — I had never noticed this in all my many times of running this route. That anchor sighting confirmed what God was doing and I am still in awe every time I pass it now. It is a sure sign and reminder for us all that Jesus is the true anchor for our lives.
The anchor that was a confirmation and an answer to my prayer
More significant than anything else was the correlation between this anchor chained around the tree and my daughter Karina’s last words to me before she died. She woke in the night to tell me about something she saw, “a metaphor”. The word “metaphor” caught my attention (my children didn’t use that word). She went on to explain that she saw, “a tree standing tall and strong, and many other trees uprooted and blowing around in a storm.” I have treasured these words in my heart and hope and pray that The Anchor will be firmly established as a ministry and encourage and inspire us all to grow “strong and tall” in the Lord, anchored and rooted to His truths.
She went on to explain that she saw, “a tree standing tall and strong, and many other trees uprooted and blowing around in a storm.”
I’ve also been reminded of a special memory during the last year of my daughter’s life — she was 19 at the time and a student at SPU. She had changed majors a month before her last cancer diagnosis. She wanted to study communications. I dreamed with her about being an “Anchorwoman” as a profession. She loved to read and write and had a passion for news and reporting.
I envisioned her as the perfect Anchorwoman. As I am reminded of these thoughts it brings a smile to my face — who would have thought that The Anchor Gathering would be broadcasting the good news through the Anchor at Home YouTube channel, sharing the greatest news of Jesus Christ and the relationship He desires with each one of us. Recently I recognized the remarkable significance of our trademarked logo design. It incorporates the woman symbol with the anchor swoosh and cross thus the “anchorwoman”.
Our trademarked logo
As I look back on the faithfulness of God, I am so thankful for how much The Anchor has grown and am excited to see how it will continue to grow. Our ultimate goal is to reach 1 million women for Jesus and share the great news of His hope, love and light impacting lives and our world.