It’s amazing what lack of sleep can do to a person, isn’t it? I’m generally a fairly even-keeled gal throughout my day. (Some of my family members are laughing because they might disagree with that sentence.) Let me make a more truthful statement. As long as I’ve eaten (stay away HANGER -> hungry + angry), slept, and things are under control, I’m really pleasant and easy-going.
I just reread what I wrote. So maybe I’m not as even-keeled as I would like to imagine. Having a child has illuminated this fact to the nth degree, because my friends, I HAVE NO CONTROL. This is a good thing. It brings me to a place of humility, dependence, and empathy for others. But I don’t really like it. I don’t like waking up in the middle of the night and hanging out with a teething baby for two hours. My emotions run the gambit during that period. First I’m calm and caring. Then I’m tired and desperate. Then sometimes I’m weeping and asking WHY ARE WE AWAKE ALL THE TIME, FOR THE LOVE? Then I can drift into a prayerful and thankful phase. . . but if this phase continues for an hour and my child isn’t getting any closer to calming down, then bring on the bitterness and desperation again. It’s quite the cycle.
I’m not in control. WHAT?
The sleepless nights over the past week were compounded by a busy schedule and lots of speaking and writing requirements. Exhaustion + high expectations = tears and prayer and more tears and more prayer.
After some soul-searching and talking through why I was actually feeling upset, I came to the root of the issue. I don’t like when I’m not in control. Not at all.
But if I try to hang my days on an anchor other than the Lord, I will find myself adrift. As soon as I turn to my own resources I end up frustrated and overwhelmed. Nothing else is weighty enough to see me through the challenges. My performance, recognition, perfection, roles; these are a one-way ticket to a meltdown.
“I’m a bad mom.”
“I’m not cut out for this.”
“If I just try harder.”
“I can’t let them see me fail!”
Enter Hebrews 6:16-19. The phrase “anchor for our soul” came to my heart one challenging morning and I pulled out my Bible to find the verse and context. I have been reading the passage repeatedly every day since.
“People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie,we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.“ (NIV)
During one of those nighttime parties last week, I began singing my old favorite, Come Thou Fount. After about 15 minutes of singing every verse at least three times, I determined a new song was required. The first hymn that came to mind: On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand. I couldn’t remember all of the verses, but I knew enough to get me through that night.
As I sang I began to see the connections with Hebrews 6 for the first time. A smile crept across my face in the dark, early hours of the morning.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
The anchor was showing up everywhere I turned. We sang this hymn on Sunday. My research for a lecture led me back to Hebrews 6. The echo was loud and clear. Margaret Feinberg describes the echoes this way,
“I call them sacred echoes because I noticed that throughout my relationships, daily life, and study, the same scripturally sound idea or phrase or word will keep reappearing until I can no longer avoid its presence.” (The Sacred Echo)
As I walk through my days I now find a new course of action for my heart.
Rather than, “Am I good enough?” my question is simple. “Ginger, what is your anchor?”
What is your anchor?
When I’m desperate for approval or recognition – His anchor holds.
When I’m exhausted, frazzled, and worn – His anchor holds.
When you feel less than – His anchor holds.
This is a truth I will tell my soul a hundred times today and then a hundred times tomorrow when we wake up at 3am to do it all over again. . . because let’s be honest, the waves just keep on coming. But thankfully, His anchor holds.
Following and learning,