Wednesday, August 28, 2019

My Anchor Holds

This past weekend we attended a conference at a camp. I was told multiple times that I was brave to go with my children without Ed. But the encouragement I was given from the sermons, small group prayer time, and fellowship was worth any effort. 

To gather, and sing, and pray, and hear from God's Word with hundreds of believers from around the US was soul medicine. 

The theme of the weekend was Heroes of the Faith. We learned about men and women from Hebrews 11 and in church history up to the present time who followed Christ even in very difficult circumstances. Their stories were both convicting and inspiring.

Our family stayed in tents and enjoyed the perfect camping weather, not too hot and not too cold. Most of our meals were eaten in the dining hall, but we had brought some bagels for an early morning breakfast. Toaster cords are too short for campsites.

On Sunday morning the youth sang for us. One of the songs they sang was "Will Your Anchor Hold."

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior's love.

I needed the reminder this past weekend to plant my faith deeply into God and His Word since we've been hit by another storm. I don't usually like to be attached to my cell phone, but this weekend I kept it close to get updates on Ed's niece Kimberly.

For the past three years, Kim has been getting progressively weaker. Even with multiple doctors and endless tests, her disease remained undiagnosed. Those who were at Ed's funeral may have noticed Kimberly in a wheelchair. It seemed impossible that an eighteen-year-old could have deteriorated so much. 

Last week Kim contracted pneumonia. In her weakened health, the doctors didn't give much hope. Kim started asking for songs of heaven and saying that she just wanted to see Jesus. She was able to be stabilized and return home where she passed away peacefully early this morning.  

We never imagined three months ago that our family would face another funeral so soon. Long-time readers may remember that this is the fourth death in Ed's family in less than ten years. (Ed's dad in October 2009, Ed's brother-in-law in June 2011, Ed in May 2019, and now Kim.) Ed's mom is taking this hard. I'd like to rant at the unfairness of it all. 

But then I remember the faith of believers through the centuries who suffered unimaginable pain because of their faith in Christ. The God who helped them not deny their Lord and bring Him glory will help me do the same.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
Be still, and know that I am God...I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46: 1-3, 10)


  1. I so enjoyed visiting with you last week and am glad to hear your weekend was enjoyable and refreshing! We enjoyed the beautiful weather as well. So sorry to hear of Kim's passing. When a family from our church lost an infant son I remember Pastor Dave saying "Life is not fair but God's love and faithfulness are". I pray you and the family can find this to be true as well. Praying for all of you!

  2. Tears. May the God of love hold all of you closely. Because whatever else it may feel like? He IS love. ❤

  3. I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Kim. It makes you wonder, how in the miracle of modern medicine they couldn't figure out what was wrong. I will be in prayer for your dear family, especially Ed's mom who has endured so much.

    I love the song that you shared. It and the verse from Psalms are dear to my heart.

    On a happier note, I loved the photo of the toaster holder!!! He looks so patient.

  4. So glad you were able to soak up this refreshing time at campmeeting together as a family, and that toaster photo...will hold the toaster for a bagel! :-) So sorry to hear of yet another death in your family, but praying Jesus' peace will be especially real to you and esp Ed's mother. Love & prayers, ~Eunice

  5. Hi Gina! This is the second time this morning that I heard about the Kingdom Fellowship Weekend! I watched the video from Tiny Notes from Home (Bracken & Lindsay) who sang at the conference. Now, I read about it through your blog. Sounds like a very spiritually uplifting gathering!
    Sorry to hear of Kim's passing, so young but now in the arms of Jesus! Best place to be!
    God be with all of you, filling your hearts and minds with His love, peace and comfort.

    1. I saw the Kirkland's there but didn't get to meet them. They didn't sing there but have plans later this week, I think.

  6. Surrounded by the long perspective of nature is a reminder of how ephemeral our earthly lives are in this existence we share with illness and accident. I remember words from a funeral of a teenager..."when we want to ask, where is G-d, we know the answer. He is in the power that makes the mother get out of bed and go on the next day. He is in the power of a silent embrace that somehow strengthens us for the moment...." May you continue to listen to the whisper of the still small voice (and the toaster!) in the midst of the storm.

  7. Today I heard a father of a 36 week stillborn baby say "I didn't get the prayer that I wanted but I got the PRESENCE that I needed." So much truth. God be with you!

  8. So sorry to hear about your niece! God be with you all and esp. give your mother-in-law comfort and peace.

  9. I am so sorry to hear of more heartbreak for your family, Gina. Big hugs.

  10. I'm so sorry to hear of additional trial and pain for your family - only the sure and certain Hope gives protection. Your conference sounds like such a wonderful opportunity for fellowship to strengthen and support each other in these truths! - Suz

  11. You managed to make everything about this post beautiful and peaceful, even the sad news of your niece's death. <3

  12. Gina I'm sorry about Kim passing away. I'm going to keep her family in prayer. I have My Anchor Holds on CD and the lyrics are so beautiful.

  13. So sorry for your family's loss Gina, you've all been through so much this year :( You continue to inspire me with your rock solid faith, bless you and may 'He' comfort you. ~ Linda

  14. Oh, I am so sorry to hear this. Praying for the whole family.

  15. My prayers are with you all, I remember when we had four funerals in a short space of time and my heart goes out to you all, and one so young as Kim bless her. The fellowship that you had at the camp was so very good for you all. Sue

  16. I was glad to get to chat with you at KFW, Gina! A weekend full of inspiration, to be sure. I'm sorry to hear about Kim, and sorry your family must walk "through the valley of the shadow of death" yet again. Praying for you all, that you'll continue to feel God near and find His grace sufficient. I can see God's grace at work in your life - but I know that doesn't mean there aren't hard times. Blessings to you!

    Mary Beth Martin

  17. I am so sad to hear of another loss for your family. Only the Anchor can keep us trusting................
    Words do, indeed, fail.
    Praying on.

  18. GOD BLESS YOU!!I don't know you except through your blog. God says he won't give you more than you can bear. I have found that you and your Mother-in-Law must be the strongest that God can create.


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