Name: Taylor Vander Well
Occupation: Program Assistant
Favorite verse: “Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us.” – Hebrews 6:19-20 (NLV)
Why this verse is important to Taylor:
I went through a divorce this year. It feels surreal to write that. It’s not something I ever wanted or imagined would happen in my life. I endure difficulties well. I’m strong. I can take it. I pour all of myself into something I want, and I wanted to spend my whole life with this person. Through all the ups and downs, back and forths, broken promises and missed opportunities, I hoped. I hoped for new love to grow, for restoration, for reconciliation, for healing, for overcoming addiction, for all the things I believed God wanted for us. But I don’t think God always gets what He wants for us because God is gracious enough to let us make our own choices. And we don’t always make good choices. A good friend recently read me the verse, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12) and told me that maybe it was okay to finally stop hoping for something that was making me heartsick. The Spirit really moved in me through that. I invested a lot in a relationship where choices were made that constantly deferred the hope I wanted to cling to. I think in that moment, I needed permission to grieve the permanent delay and to know that God grieves that with me.
It is easy to understand why someone might feel bitter about hope. What is the point of hoping for something if it only ends in pain and disappointment? We all hope for things that may or may not come to fruition. We hope for jobs that we get. We hope for a healing that miraculously happens. We hope for a new adventure or fresh start and one comes along. But then sometimes we hope for violence to end that doesn’t. We hope for relationships to work that don’t. We hope for wombs to be filled that remain empty.
But I am learning that I must not grow weary in hope deferred, for Jesus IS the embodiment of hope. He is the refuge. He is the cure. He is the adventure. He is the relationship. With him, I can endure anything. When Christ is my anchor, I can survive the storms; I can handle any of life’s delays or disappointments because my hope is secure in the fulfillment of God’s faithfulness and promise. Without this anchor, I drift through a sea of hopelessness. Jesus paved the way for us to enter into the very presence of God. I, like many of you, am in the middle of a storm. Meditating on this verse reminds me to embrace a newfound boldness in claiming God’s presence over my life and to recognize that I have hope in this anchor to keep my soul steadfast when the waves want to pull me under.
Artists and Writers My Living Letter Taylor Vander Well