As I prepare for my upcoming visit to North Carolina to see my daughter Annika and her family, I am looking forward to celebrating the news of our second granddaughter due in November. I was secretly hoping for a second granddaughter. Annika and her older sister were the best of friends and losing Karina ten years ago to leukemia was devastating for all of us.
My prayer for Annika is that she be as blessed by the special relationship her girls will share as I was with my two daughters. I hope that she will enjoy watching the love and kindred relationship between her daughters blossom into something like she had experienced with her sister Karina for nineteen years. Annika had been a perfect bone marrow match and donated her stem cells for Karina during her cancer journey and they shared a sacred sisterhood. It would be a blessing beyond all measure to watch Annika raise two daughters and see my granddaughters grow up together with that special sister bond.
Annika & Karina in the spring of 1993
Annika & Karina in January 2009
The relationship of love and sacrifice between my daughters and seeing God at work during my daughter’s journey with cancer was the inspiration behind my book “Anchored”. I mention my book this week because of the timeliness of another book that was inspired by my daughters’ story. Debbie Macomber’s newest book “A Walk Along the Beach” will be available next week and I am flattered that she was so touched by our story. Debbie is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million books in print worldwide.
Meeting Debbie and her family has been such a blessing. It has been so fun to have a like-minded friend and I am thankful for her encouragement of my own writing. Finding out that Karina’s journey with cancer was the inspiration behind Debbie’s new book felt like such an affirmation of my desire to share my daughter’s story. I am honored that out of Karina’s life, Debbie would use her gift of storytelling to share the strength and love of the bond of sisters! I am hoping that the real-life story I wrote about in “Anchored” will bring hope and encouragement to any reader and will go hand-in-hand with Debbie’s fictional story “A Walk Along the Beach”.
It had been a dream of mine to write a book and I am still in awe of how the Lord helped to make it happen. I had prayed that He would direct me as to whether I should write a book. I’m not really one to sit writing for hours so I couldn’t believe it when the grief counselor I met with shortly after Karina passed away was so mesmerized by my stories that she asked me if I had ever thought of writing a book. What a confirmation for me! I told her I had literally been on my knees asking the Lord for His help and guidance. She and I immediately began to work together and seven years ago my book “Anchored” was published. It was an answer to prayer and an accomplishment that was more than I could have ever dreamt or imagined!
One of my family’s favorite parts of the book is the forward written by one of our favorite award-winning Christian musicians, Brandon Heath.
I didn’t know Brandon personally at the time but boldly called him cold turkey one afternoon to see if he would write it. I’ll never forget that day. I was shocked when he actually answered his phone on the first ring and said he would be honored to write the forward for me.
Shortly after my book was finished we held a fundraiser for the Young Life Camp Malibu girls dorm Nootka. We held it at the Seattle Yacht Club where my book was released for the first time. It was the perfect nautical venue. Our special guest musician was none other than Brandon Heath. He came all the way from Nashville to perform for us that evening — it was an amazing time. He stayed with our family while he was in town and at the end of his stay, I was honored to be the one to take him to the airport.
Brandon’s discarded suitcase that turned out to be an answer to a specific prayer!
As he got his things ready to put in my car, he informed me he had left a small suitcase behind. He told me I could get rid of it or do whatever I wanted with it. What he did not know was that I had actually noticed this particular suitcase upon his arrival and thought it was so perfect— a navy and khaki tweed vintage suitcase, exactly my style. He had no idea that his discarded suitcase would actually be an answer to a specific prayer.
Not long after Karina passed away, I discovered a book in her room. I hadn’t remembered ever seeing it before and wondered where she had gotten it. It was a short book of devotions by Corrie Ten Boom. I began reading and was especially touched by the chapter entitled “The Suitcase of Worries.”
“The Suitcase of Worries” — it was a very simple and thoughtful analogy on prayer that has impacted me ever since and I hope will encourage you as well. We can come to the Lord with our suitcase filled with burdens and anxieties and can unload everything with Him. Lately, I have been giving Him all my anxieties about the future as I picture unpacking everything from the suitcase and giving it all to Him in complete trust.
We can come to the Lord with our suitcase filled with burdens and anxieties and can unload everything with Him.
Sometimes my tendency is to put it all back in the suitcase and continue worrying and feeling heavily burdened again. But this analogy helps me to visually unload my concerns and just trust in Him. The Lord wants us to bring everything to Him and talk about it and He will hear us and help us. He tells us in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” So little did Brandon know that when he left that suitcase with me, he was part of an answered prayer! I was confident the Lord had heard me and I knew this was a very special suitcase indeed that I could use for Him.
I would like to close with a quote from Brandon’s forward to my book. He wrote:
“She has anchored herself to the Truth. She anchored her child to the Truth. There is confidence in knowing that you are tied to a loving God, who is unchangeable amid the ebbs and flows of this world.”
Brandon summed up the message and the reminder we need today especially with all of the uncertainty in our world. The TRUTH is that God loves us, and hears us, and is never going to leave us.
Let’s come together in sisterhood and encourage one other to hold tight to our anchor Jesus Christ. Sisterhood is defined as the close relationship among women based on shared experiences and concerns: a gathering of women. I am so thankful the mission of The Anchor is just that — a place where women of all ages can come together, whether it be in person or virtually, and we can be encouraged and share in faith, hope and friendship. We are working as I write on figuring out how we can safely gather together again… stayed tuned as our “Anchor Adventures” will be launching soon!
With love and light,
Sharing Strength & Hope
Now that our blog has officially launched (wow!) we’ll be sharing more content with you each week. Check your inbox on Tuesday mornings for content that will inspire you and grow your hope in Jesus, such as:
Articles from founder and director Katie Robertson
Posts featuring the Anchor Truths (with free phone backgrounds and art prints!)
Guest articles and videos from women anchored in their faith
Content to uplift you, encourage you, and help you anchor yourself in the hope of Jesus
We can’t wait to make the vision of The Anchor Blog a reality!