Jesus, Our Anchor in Suffering

While we believe the gospel provides hope to women suffering from PPD (and other postpartum issues), we recognize the sensitivity and nuance required in discussing these topics. This article is not meant to replace professional medical help. We encourage anyone who is experiencing or has experienced symptoms of PPD to reach out to your husband, a friend, a licensed counselor, or a medical doctor.

I don’t think it was postpartum depression—not quite, anyway. But does the “diagnosis” matter in the midst of the fog?

I didn’t think much about the tears during the two days following his birth. My body had been through a traumatic experience, so a little adjustment was expected. But after we returned home from the hospital, the tears made less sense. I remember sitting down to a meal with my husband, my parents, and my sleeping baby boy. What could be better? We bowed our heads to thank the Father for all he’d done, but I was overshadowed by a heavy cloud. And that cloud didn’t fully lift for weeks.


It wasn’t only that I magnified the hardships of having a newborn—I did. It was more than that. All of life seemed bleak. Doing simple household tasks required robot-like determination. I cried every time my husband left for work. I dreaded nights. I was sleep-deprived, as every new mom is, and yet, night-time seemed like my enemy. The darkness was oppressive.

Even when I could point to nothing in particular, I felt a heaviness in my spirit. What discouraged me most was the effect this cloud had on my relationship with God. I felt numb. Reading scripture was a chore, and prayer only highlighted how distant I felt from God. I wondered if I’d ever recover my joy in Christ.

As believers, we all face times when faith is no more than getting up one more time, taking one more step, resisting the urge to give up in this moment. We can’t see God working behind the cloud of despair, depression, or doubt. It’s in these times we need an anchor.

The book of Hebrews presents Christ as our anchor. An anchor prevents ships from drifting. At the beginning of his book, the author of Hebrews urgently warns that “we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Heb. 2:1). There’s a danger of drifting in our faith, but Christ will anchor our souls in the dark clouds of the storm.

Jesus Understands Us

Jesus endured life’s hardships in a frail body of flesh like ours. He experienced sleepless nights, gnawing hunger, and burning thirst. Though he was betrayed, rejected, and ridiculed, Jesus completely resisted the sharpest arrows of Satan’s temptations.

Why is he an anchor for our souls? The book of Hebrews puts it this way: “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

We have a High Priest who fully understands us. Gravitate toward Jesus. Draw near to him because he understands your pain and offers you mercy and grace in your time of need.[1] He can relate to your struggles.

Jesus Will Never Fail Us

The Bible teaches us Jesus is our eternal High Priest. The priests under the Law were limited because they were finite and sinful men. Therefore, their sacrifices were acceptable to God but not able to atone for God’s people eternally. But because Jesus is eternal, “he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25).

An anchor is valuable is because it stays firm continuously. One weak link in the chain is all it takes for the boat to break free from the anchor. Our perfect, eternal High Priest is the anchor which will never fail. Look to Christ. He is totally reliable, eternally trustworthy, and perfectly strong.

Jesus Prays For Us

The role of a High Priest includes prayer and intercession for God’s people. When we enter the storms of life where the clouds of feeling or circumstance hide the light of God, prayer becomes a gasp for air. We despair that we are not able to vocalize all that is in our hearts. We may not even understand all that is going on inside.

It anchors our souls to realize Jesus is praying for us without pause.[2] His prayers flow from his heart of understanding. When you feel that you can’t pray or don’t know what to pray, cling to your Anchor—your High Priest standing in God’s presence. He’s praying for you.

Are you currently in a storm? You have an anchor. In the midst of postpartum depression, morning sickness, a scary medical diagnosis, or shepherding a rebellious child, you have an anchor. Even if you feel you can do nothing else, cling to Jesus. And believe that he is clinging to you. His grip will not fail.

These are truths we must engrave on our hearts and share with our sisters in Christ. Clouds my hover over our hearts. The storms on the sea of life will come. Now is the time to anchor our hearts to these truths.

[1] Heb. 4:16

[2] Heb. 7:25


Jamie Charles is a youth pastor's wife and mom of a ten-month-old baby boy. She was born in Idaho, grew up in California, married an Indiana boy, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. She spent her summers through college and graduate school going on overseas mission trips, and her heart still longs to be part of God's church all over the world. This new phase of motherhood has brought challenges, excitement, and fresh evidence of God's care for her. Follow Jamie on Facebook.