ANYTHING

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My name is Jennifer Crist. I am will be a junior at Tabor College in the fall. I began this eight week study when it first began. I don’t remember how I heard of this book or how I happened to stumble upon this website, but next thing I knew I had pre-ordered a book and was ready to get started. I soaked up the words on the pages like a sponge. I always wanted to keep reading past the allotted chapters for that week. While in Arizona, on my family vacation, I wrote out my list of things I could give away for the week 5 project. I was very reluctant to place people I loved on that list, but I did anyway. Just one week later while leaving Zion National Park I received word that my best friend from college, Jenessa, was very ill. Jenessa and I grew up in small town Kansas together. We attended “sister churches” and reconnected every summer at church camp. Throughout high school we stayed connected through sports and school and somehow we ended up at the same college living right across the hall from each other. Jenessa and I quickly picked up right where we had left off from all those church camp summers and became inseparable. We had a connection that could have only come from the Lord himself. As I learned more about the situation through texts and phone calls it became increasingly more clear that she would need a miracle to survive. That night I prayed the most passionate prayer of my life. I begged for a miracle and pleaded for her life with knots in my throat, but in a split second I remembered the list I had written a week prior. In that moment I stopped, took a deep breath and prayed with tears streaming down my face, “but God, I know that Jenessa is not mine to keep. She is yours. I surrender her to You. You can have her. You can take her.” In that instant I felt a complete peace settle over me. The next morning I was informed that she had been placed on life support and they were calling the family. I began to make phone calls to our other close college friends. Later that afternoon Jenessa passed away. My heart was shattered, but a strange peace was over me the entire time. I cannot explain it other than to call it freedom. I never really understood what Christians meant when they spoke of the “freedom we have in Christ” until then. In my prayer of surrender I offered up the one thing that was closest to my heart, my dear friend, and He chose to take her home, but He has rewarded me with peace. I surrendered my best friend to God, but I have learned more about eternal life and what really matters in the last week since her death than I have learned in a lifetime. I miss her everyday and will continue to even more as I return to school, but His love is worth the cost. He will be glorified.