What Sailing with my dad taught me about clinging to Christ

September 17, 2022

What Sailing with my dad taught me about clinging to Christ

My dad was a sailor to his very core.

He loved salt air and ocean waves more than anyone else I know. I spent many summer weekends with him sailing around the North Carolina coast. We’d bounce around the barrier islands, stopping to watch the wild horses on Shackelford banks, docking in Beaufort for an onshore lunch at Clawson’s, and finally anchoring overnight in the cove at Cape Lookout. 
He loved to teach as much as he loved to sail. And that’s how I learned how to steer a 42-foot sailboat. Sort of. When the water was smooth, I was a fine sailor. But when the water was choppy…well, that’s another story. 
One day we were making our way through the Intracoastal Waterway – the channel of water between the NC mainland and the barrier islands. And our depth monitor was not giving us accurate readings, which can happen when the waters and sand around you are constantly churning. It became clear that we were at risk of running aground. 
As I was trying to steer us to safety, my dad yelled, “drop the anchor!”

Have you ever been in a situation where your circumstances were swirling around you so much that you couldn’t make sense of which way to go? 

I can think of more than one example of this in my own life: when my mom died when I was eleven, when my dad died when I was thirty, and when I received my Vascular Ehlers-Danlos diagnosis when I was thirty-eight. 

One of the reasons I cling to God’s Word is because it keeps me steady when my circumstances feel like they are out of my control. When I can’t figure out which way to turn, I turn to the book of Hebrews. 

The author of Hebrews has one goal: to point us to Jesus in everything that we do. Hebrews can be summarized with this statement: Jesus is better than everything.

When my dad charged me to drop the anchor, it gave us time to assess our location, figure out our next steps, and move forward with confidence and security. Hebrews 6:13-20 beckons us to do the same.

When we are walking through seasons of change, we can find hope in dropping our anchor. Cease striving. Take a breath. Assess where you are. Remind yourself of the truths found in God’s Word:

God is unchanging.

He cannot lie.

He will not fail you.

He will keep His promises.

He is faithful.

He will see you through this.

Jesus is better than everything.

Keep your heart focused on Him.

He will light your path.

Move forward in baby steps.

This is our hope: in an ever-changing world, God is unchanging. He sent us His Son so we might have salvation through Him, eternal life, and hope everlasting.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever:

Hebrews 13:8

If your circumstances are swirling today, drop your anchor:

  • Dust off your Bible and get into the Word – start with the book of Hebrews.
  • Reach out to a friend or your pastor and ask for help: a listening ear, wise counsel, or a prayer partner.
  • Remind yourself of God’s truths – He made you. He loves you. He has made a way for you to receive hope, peace, and eternal life through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for your sins. He comes alongside you and equips you for all that you face in the coming days.
  • Join my No Dusty Bibles club  for daily reading plans, encouragement, and accountability to stay in God’s Word.
  • Leave a comment below and I will pray for you.

And never forget, I am rooting for you. Always.

Much love,

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  1. Jennifer Marshall says:

    I needed this today. The word Anchor caught my attention as I have a dear friend that just purchased a beach cottage and she named it My Anchor. I’ve been thinking about what that means today and trying to apply it to my upside down life. I’m having bussiness difficulties, family tensions, sleepless nights and severe anxiety. I feel like God has forgotten me or is punishing me for something I did or didn’t do. Your little story did bring a glimpse of hope to me today…thank you.

  2. Nancy Thomas says:

    Hello Heather,
    This message came across to me so loud and clear, I am in a season of great change and discovery, learning to listen too and pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit. I am forging ahead as an entrepreneur/solopreneur after many decades of helping others build their businesses, I feel like God is calling me to share my gifts however I must admit that I feel alittle anxious and confused.
    Please pray for me to have charity and peace of mind, my nights lately are sleepless:)
    Thank you!

    Nancy T

    • Heather says:

      Hi Nancy,

      Thanks so much for leaving your comment here. I am so glad God used this to encourage you! May God give you peace and clarity as you move forward in His will!



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