Posted by: Bonnie Anderson | March 22, 2011

My Ship Bound for Tarshish

January 2011 was not a typical January. It began in paradise and quickly turned the corner to the harshest reality of life.   In the midst of this, I’ve been challenged. Lord willing this will not be just another one of those challenges that I look at with wavering conviction knowing that it’s just what I need while reviewing a file drawer full of other challenges that were never quite completed but only embraced and released.

I am a part of a small writers group. In January we had our first meeting of the year, actually our first meeting since October. I had not written in that span of time. I had reasons, good ones. There was all that preparing for Christmas, and I’m sure other things that I can’t seem to recall right now. Then, of course, there was Christmas, which doesn’t take just one day, it eats up the month of December and spills into January. Then there was our trip to Hawaii and all the preparation that went into that, not to mention the recovery from the trip and jet lag.

These things are part of my ship bound for Tarshish. In Jonah 1:3, Jonah is running from God. He was supposed to go to Nineveh and proclaim a message from God, but instead he ran away from the Lord. It seems it was a calculated decision – a decision made while understanding the nature of God – a decision made while knowing God could find him wherever he went. Of course God did find him and things went pretty much as Jonah thought they would, with the exception of how God met with Jonah in such an intimate and individual way. I don’t think Jonah expected that.

God was merciful to Jonah and Nineveh and that night during our meeting, God was merciful to me. He woke me up while I was sleeping below deck. I’m not sure yet, but he may have thrown me into the ocean. At the very least he splashed water on my face.

This brings me back to the harsh reality of life. People die – people you love die. Seasons change whether you like it or not. My mother-in-law died on January 12. Even though she was 84, we didn’t expect it. There is temptation to use my new to-do list that has resulted from her passing as cargo on my ship bound to Tarshish. God isn’t going to let me get away with that.

During our January meeting I was confronted with many things. God was merciful to give me encouragement and correction at the same time, to show me how much I get in my own way and divert from the path that he keeps lighting up for me. The analogy of a tree clad in its autumn array of leaves ready to fall with the tree clinging to the first leaf spoke to me. It’s time to let a leaf or two go. Here’s my first leaf. I want to send it off into the breeze and see where it will go.  It’s time to get off the ship to Tarshish, even if it means swimming in water that I think may be a little over my head.


  1. Welcome to the blogging sea, Bonnie! I am so glad you’re here. Great post!

  2. Bonnie, I was pleasantly surprised to find this communication online. I feel like we had a little chat and you shared your heart. I hope to be on your list of recipients for future posts. As you can imagine, this spoke volumes to me. I am in the midst of the tsunami that hit with mom passing. I’m riding this wave and wondering where it is taking me. I miss seeing you and love you very much. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks, Barb. I know you are in the tsunami but I’m glad to know you are anchored to God. Isn’t that just so comforting?

  3. […] blog is titled, Ship Bound for Tarshish.  A strange name to be sure – makes you want to giggle.  But it is fraught with meaning […]

    • Thank you so much, Debi. I wouldn’t be here without you!

  4. That makes me a fellow traveler, I guess. To be honest, knowing I’m heading to Tarshish is the most direction I’ve had lately. Funny, God has been more evident in my life than I could even pray for, but for all the wondrous blessings, a rudder hasn’t been one of them. It’s been my experience that He means, “just way; go on with what you’re doing, but just wait at the same time.”

    Great blog! I’ll check in on the promenade regularly!

    • I am honored to be traveling with you, Rob. You really are a mentor to me. Thank you!

  5. Thanks for taking us along on your journey! I love getting an extra little glimpse into your heart and life! Keep up writing… I’m eagerly awaiting reading it all!

  6. Bonnie this is so exciting! You have always been such an encourager to me, so I look forward to be encouraged every time I read your blog. I’m excited to come along on the adventure…….once again 🙂 Love you!!

    • Thanks so much. We have had a lifetime of adventure and it’s not over yet!

    …lay hold upon the hope set before you. Which hope we have as an anchor of
    the soul, both sure and stedfast ( Heb 6:18-19)

    • What a great scripture! What a joy to have Jesus be the anchor of our soul.

  8. Cool blog site.
    I look forward to hearing from you as you continue your voyage.
    love you, sis!

    • Thanks! So glad your liked it. I plan on posting every Tuesday.

  9. I’m glad I saw the link for this on Facebook! Our pastors just finished a sermon series on Jonah, so this was especially relevant. ~~ Virginia Knowles

    • Thanks, Virginia. It’s nice to hear from you.

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