Searching for an Anchor to hold you firm in tempestuous seas?

This January, if still this side of the grave, Virginia would have made it to her 101st birthday. Alas, I instead mark my mom’s memory some 38 years beyond her passing. It’s what I do every new year. I had tried so desperately to stave off her inevitable death. It was not in my power to achieve that.

Yes, I lament she was taken suddenly, long before I was ready for her to go. But I rejoice, too, in the Blessed Assurance that she rests peacefully. Thank you, Jesus.

In Jesus Christ, Virginia deeply knew Peace the last decade of her mortal life. Sadly, her life up until then had been anything but peaceful. I know the story of her life all too well, being her young son and intimate confidante to her struggles with self-worth. I spent my adolescent years—from age 12 until 20—’propping her up’ emotionally any way I could.

Please understand, I write those last words not in a vain attempt to earn credit. Rather, I write those words to explain the desperation I felt in holding onto the only parent I had left. In 1967, Virginia’s significant other—my father—deserted her and four pre-teenaged children without so much as a look in the rearview mirror. The desertion of the only man Virginia had ever truly loved was almost more than her mind and heart could stand. Trust me, I do NOT exaggerate in saying this.

For more than five years, I witnessed her deep, personal heartache unleashed by his departure. It was the last stone in an overtaxed mental dam. The foul waters of her poisoned mind tore through the remnants of her inner defenses, rushing downstream with violent force. She was no longer able to stand firmly in the torrent.

The walls of her inner dam almost entirely gave way. She was a hair’s breadth from taking her own life—and I was the ‘hair’ back then. And I knew I was not going to be enough. But I was going to try. I had no other choice. I needed Mom!

I became her anchor in life. I realize that today. I am grateful of being there for her. I am also grateful to God. Before I ever knew Him personally, He was upholding mom and me. I know that He loved us long before we loved Him.

Thankfully, the pressure to hold her firm against the tides, was relieved when she gave her life fully over to Jesus Christ. It was 1972. The waters of strife immediately subsided, only to return whenever Virginia took her eyes off her Anchor, Jesus Christ. But with every temporary ‘flash flood’ of emotion, the Lord brought her back ever stronger each time.

I encourage you, my readers, to read from the Gospel of Mark, Chapter Four, which contains the story of Jesus calming the sea. It is a passage with great personal meaning to me. The passage could also help you. This I know first-hand from sitting at the Feet of Jesus. — FM


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