finding Purpose | a poem

I can see her – my dear Purpose,
bobbing franticly in blackened waters as I skip rocks
on the shore. I’m afraid
to care so I settle in
to pass time with empty lungs, aimless hands.
After all, here on the sidelines
without her it’s safer and more
safe, really.


But, I still see her – my dear Purpose,
hanging on out there, straining
because she believes there is meaning in it all.
Minutes or days or years wear on but
I don’t count and don’t define because
without knowing, it’s simpler and more
simple, really.


And then
this Lifeline – too powerful to dismiss, too gentle
to dread – speaks Himself into existence beside her where
He was from the beginning.


And Purpose breathes again, breaths that move
me to my knees and startle my heart into belief.
For she has found salvation
and will not drown. Or, I should say, it
has found her and does not let her go.


I can see her – my dear Purpose,
rising up, stronger now
than the waters that afflicted her,
stepping out of the pit with grace that defies
her past disaster and muddied dress.


I can see her – my dear Purpose,
lifting up her arms in victory,
face, once filthy, now sanctified in the light.


She turns to gaze fully at me. And
I recognize her, finally.


She brushes away my skipping
rocks, dusts me off, embraces me –
“You never lost me, Child,” whispers Purpose. “In the presence
of fear and despair, you abandoned me.”


I feel her now – her hands on my shoulders, pushing me
toward the path. Her voice repeating the words
I had failed to remember
when those deep waters loomed before us:
“forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
you      press       on
toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

Anne Dahlhauser

Anne blogs at Front Porch, Inspired about surrendering everyday living for sacred purposes. She and her husband, Jay, are founders of a ministry called The Bridge of Storm Lake, focusing on missional living and advocacy for youth in vulnerable places of life. She holds an MA in Teaching Languages (TESOL and Spanish) and is a lover of words and the Word, culture and communication. Jay and Anne have five kids, a front door that can't stay closed, and an abundance of messy, holy chaos at their neighborhood center/home in Iowa - of all places.

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1 Comment

  1. Anne! I love this! I may have to share some poetry too. So happy to see God using the gift of poetry in His ministry to other women. Love it.


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