What It Means To Drop Anchors

Our first foster placement had been with us for several weeks and I was worn. We were dealing with mental illness and what seemed to be a lot of it. Add to that a communication break down about her case, and it was the perfect storm. In my naivety, I did not know that a child so small would be capable of such deep, dark thoughts and actions to follow. I did not know that it would impact my two boys as greatly as it did. I did not know that we were in danger. I did not know how my heart could love this child so much and still feel so conflicted about raising her. I simply didn’t know what to do. My husband and I were both at a loss.

Sweet Pea

 

I turned to the Word for answers. For anything, really. I was feeling pretty desperate for guidance and if it came as a crumb, I would devour it. But in His faithfulness, God did not toss a crumb onto my plate. Instead, He overwhelmed my soul and fed to me the fullness of Acts 27:29, which was exactly what I needed during that time…and always.

Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.

There are different types of storms.There are storms that we cause, storms that God causes, and storms that others cause. The storm that we were in was of the latter and the most difficult thing about it was knowing that our sweet foster daughter had no idea what she had done. A child of the system who had moved several times, she was in a constant state of fight and her mind was turning on her. The storm that blew into our home with might and power, was of her doing but not of her intention. That gut-wrenching reality was nearly impossible to grasp at times, and even harder to control. So we didn’t. We embraced Acts 27:29 and dropped anchors.

In that scripture, Paul was on a boat and headed toward Rome. He was a prisoner then, but not out of touch with God’s voice. Isn’t it amazing how, no matter how deep we get into a sticky situation, we are never removed from His love? He goes with us.

During the journey, Paul and the sailors stopped at an island and while there, God told Paul not to press onward. There was a storm coming and God wanted to protect Paul but the sailors were impatient so they ignored the warning and left the island. The storm came. Big, fierce, aggressive—just as they had been warned, it took over the sea. The sailors freaked out. They panicked. Their ship was blown off course and in their flurry of fear, they began throwing cargo overboard. But not just cargo. They threw food and eventually, they leaped over themselves. The whole situation just seems so desperate to me and I feel sorry for those sailors, but I also know that God spoke. If only they had listened.

When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. – Acts 27:20

But Paul remained calm. He had hope in a hopeless situation because He trusted God and we are called to do the same. When a situation feels out of control, it is human nature to do everything we can to right that awful feeling. So we hustle. We react. We throw everything overboard, thinking that will save us. And when it doesn’t, what option do we have left?

Are you prepared to jump into the frigid water to swim to shore? Do you think you will actually make it to shore? And what will you do when you get there? These were questions I was asking myself as I sat with my Bible, locked in my van, on the weekend when I knew that our foster daughter would be moved out of our home and into a treatment facility. I was devastated, and everything felt out of control. I had to decide if hope was enough.

Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.

I dropped anchors. It was all that I could do. I knew, from past experiences, that running from the storm was only going to make matters worse. I also knew that God was not far, that He knew what was going on, and that He loves that sweet little girl more than I ever could. So I left my pity party and my panic in my van and joined my family inside our home. My husband and I began to drop anchors and as it turns out, we weren’t limited to four. Problem at work? Drop an anchor. Social media ate my homework? Drop an anchor. Hurt people are hurting people? Drop an anchor. Foster care beating you up? DROP ALL OF THE ANCHORS.

image

We became practiced masters of this, to the point that it was almost comical…except that it isn’t. It saved us. Dropping anchors in the storms, waiting for daylight and trusting that God will calm the seas, saved us. It saved our boys. It saved our marriage. It saved our ministry. And it saved our foster daughter, too.

The beauty of our foster care group that is behind this blog, is that we have all learned to drop anchors. And when one of us is too weak, too worn, the rest rush in and help to muscle the anchor overboard. We are, in many ways, in the boat together. We live in different states, we have a variety of occupations, our children (biological, adopted, foster or furry) all have different stories, and yet still, we share a boat. We know first-hand the beauty and the brutality of foster care and we have more days that feel out of control than those that are calm, but we know to drop anchors. We know to hope. We know that the storms will calm, that God will give us strength to press onward in His timing, and that nothing is impossible with Him.

image

The safest thing that you can do in a storm is to drop anchors and be still. Don’t panic. Don’t chuck your supplies and food. Don’t jump into the frigid waters, hoping to out-swim the waves. Just drop anchors and be still. Pray for daylight and trust that it will come. It always does.

It is our hope, as you read this blog, that you will not see perfection or figured out foster parents. Oh, the hilarity. What you should see is a variety of weathered and worn women who have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:19) and that when the storms come, we drop anchors and wait for daylight (Acts 27:29) not because it is easy, but because it works. Every time, He works.

kate

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4 Responses to What It Means To Drop Anchors

  1. Jay says:

    Perfect description of us. So thankful we’re all in this boat together. Love you!

  2. Melissa says:

    “to the point that it was almost comical…except that it isn’t. ” Totally describes how I have felt many times in this fostercare journey. Like how many storms can be piled onto the storm I’m already in, it just seemed too much to be real. Praise The Lord that he stays with us and for the fruit that comes through persevering to the storm’s end. Thank you Katie for your words!

  3. Pingback: Where The Anchor Lands | Dropping Anchors

  4. Kameha says:

    Hi Kate! I would love to read your blog, but it looks like I have to be invited. Is that possible?

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