This Hope

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls” (Hebrews 6:19a NLT).

When I read those words, I picture a heavy anchor held fast to the ocean floor, and at the other end of its chain, I visualize a ship not simply rooted in place but instead swirling with a massive current until it goes ’round and ’round in a circle, but it holds fast.

That just gets me. If my life is a ship on an unpredictable sea, an anchor is one thing I don’t want to be without. When the storms come, I don’t want to be carried willy-nilly. I want to be held fast by something stronger than my own strength and determination.

It reminds me of a chronic condition I have called wandering-itis. I’ve been looking for something my whole life. Even I don’t know what it is. I catch glimpses of it, but I’ve never caught it in my own hands. This ship of mine has been there and back again. She doesn’t have a home port, and sometimes her rudder gives out. If any ship needs an anchor, it’s the U.S.S. Wanderlust.

Like you, I’ve seen my share of storms. The sort my faith wouldn’t have made it through if it didn’t have an anchor. It holds me when I don’t have the strength to steer on my own.

The verse before verse 19 says, “Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope before us.”

It’s God’s irrevocable promises that give this hope which is our anchor. He has promised eternal life, hope, mercy, advocacy, forgiveness, and so much more, and because He cannot lie, this hope is the only thing we can anchor ourselves to. It’s secure. Completely.

I have to admit, an irrevocable promise is something I need. In this temporal world, where even the best fades and the closest fall away, certainty can feel like the fiction I write. But it’s not. We can dare to trust. And dare to hope.

Imagine a hope that doesn’t hurt except for the longing of its fulfillment.

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What Moving Has Taught Me About Living

Moving can teach a thing or two about life.

I’ve seen a fair share of new addresses. While there are military and missionary families that have much higher stats than I do, I’ve moved abroad twice and lived in rental houses, permanent homes, guest houses, basements, and campers. And as I’m in the middle of a move right now, I’ve been reflecting on my last five years in this town and on all the moves I’ve ever done.

One thing I’ve realized: while it’s the time in between moves when we do our living, the moving process can show us how we’ve lived.

Here are the top ten things moving has taught me about living: Continue reading

The End (There’s More series, pt. 9)

I’ve decided, here at the end of 2017, to wrap up the “There’s More” series.

But the journey isn’t ending—just the blog posts.

This series began with hope, and it’s ending with hope. It began with a life-long desire to understand God’s love. At times throughout the series, especially when life got messy, that goal was not at the forefront of my mind. But it seems like the less I’ve blogged about there being more, the more I’ve witnessed it. I haven’t posted consistently because I wanted this series to come from the overflow. I didn’t want my posts to be dry words from a dry heart. Honestly, for most of 2017, I’ve been churning with more questions than answers.  Continue reading

There’s Still More (There’s More series, pt. 8)

When I stood on the safe side of a recent decision, it looked daring; on the other side—the 20/20 side—it looked crazy.

This whole series has been about knowing there’s more than what I (or we) typically experience and/or understand about God, His love, and our relationship. I know there’s so much more to the Christian life, a richness of love and intimacy and adventure and meaning and, well, even craziness that most of us do not typically touch on any given day. Life gets so hum-drum and we get so short-sided, when, all along, there is a current of deeper importance running parallel to this thing we call “living life.” Only every now and then do we glance over at it, dip our toes in, or take pictures of it. But I know God meant this Christian life for so much more. Continue reading

God’s Love is Like Skydiving (There’s More series, pt. 7)

You and the tandem partner strapped to your back—whom you’ve known for only five minutes—shuffle toward the back of the narrow airplane, where the door is open wide. Everything you’ve ever learned through commercial flying has been defied in the last thirty seconds, especially as you’ve watched the three other tandem teams stand in the doorway and immediately disappear.

Now it’s your turn to plummet. As you hang out the door, there is absolutely nothing between you and the ground, which is more than ten thousand feet below. Even though you’ve traveled by air all your life, the sensation of looking so far down is not the same as that moment you let go. Continue reading

Spiraling Down, Inching Closer (There’s More series, pt. 6)

Image courtesy of Rawich at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It was as if an old version of me stood before the current me, whispering a lesson I’d forgotten.

I was kneeling next to my bookcase, an old Bible study guide in my lap. Moments before, out of nowhere, I’d gotten the overwhelming urge to clear through my bookcase. I’d pulled all the donatable books two weeks ago, but today, I’d decided that wasn’t enough; I had to get rid of some others. They wouldn’t be donated, just put out of sight.

Even though I was being rather fast and furious in my “everything, be gone” spree, there was one book I had the urge to flip through. I’d been doing shockingly well not flipping (as book lovers are often wont to do), but I couldn’t resist this urge as I held the old Bible study guide, even though it evoked bittersweet feelings. Continue reading

A Confession (There’s More series, pt. 5)

Image courtesy of samurai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you ever tried walking a straight line in the snow? No matter how much you think you’re walking as straight as a compass, when you turn around, you realize your path is comparable to that of a dog on a sidewalk full of fire hydrants.

Well, that’s been me the last few months. I set out on this blog journey to pursue God’s love and I feel as if I’ve lost sight of what straight and true is. I think the end of last year derailed me. Continue reading