My Anything Story
I think my Anything story started when I read the book Seven by Jen Hatmaker. I had been wanting to read it since my husband read it, but I also was nervous to read it because I saw what changed in him because of it. Through reading that book I now asked God what to do with my money, with my “excess”. I wanted to know what God wanted for my life not just in general but with every day decisions down to the smallest things like food I ate and things I bought. I tell this story a lot to give an example of how much this change infiltrated my life…
My family was moving from one house to another that was just a couple streets away. Our hall bath now had a creamy tan color of tile rather than stark white. I really wanted to buy a new shower curtain, but I lost my mind a little thinking about how I didn’t really “need” a new shower curtain. The one I had was in good shape and wasn’t terribly dated, it just didn’t go with the room anymore. I fretted with this for a couple of weeks… I ended up buying the new curtain. 😉 I don’t know if God was pleased with my new purchase or not, but I do know he was pleased that I didn’t take the old one for granted and that I considered how much I’ve been given by his grace. You know, we had a lot of people come through the new house those first couple of weeks and I had so many positive comments about my new shower curtain. It was by far the most talked about thing in the house, and I got to tell that story of how I fretted over the decision because I had been coming face to face with excess around me. I don’t know if God used that conversation to get others thinking about it as well, but I think maybe he did.
…Anyway, that’s where my “Anything” started. God I’ll do anything even deny myself I new shower curtain if that’s what you want. LOL! Fast forward about 2 years and God was making my “Anything” more costly than a shower curtain. My husband who had been in youth ministry for about 15 years was now changing into a teaching/coaching career. We were leaving a place that we’d lived in for over 7 years. My girls were leaving everything they’d ever known. I was devastated. I desperately wanted to stay, but I knew I had said “anything” God. So I went quietly.
The quietly only last until we entered the new town we had been called to live. I was angry, sad, and bitter. Why would God do this? Why would God take me from a place where we were established, comfortable, and life and marriage was easy to a place where life was much more difficult financially, relationally, and spiritually. For a short time I was so prideful that I said, “If this is what you do to people who have served you faithfully for years then I want NO part of it. I tried to turn it off. Everything I’d learned about God, everything I’d taught about God, everything I’d sung about God, I wanted it to leave me alone. It wouldn’t. I’ve walked with God for about 25 years and even under all my anger and pride, God was there and I knew he was in control (whether I wanted him to be or not). He would send me encouragement from friends at just the right time, or give me a word from scripture that spoke gently to my heart. Yes, I had tried to turn off my walk with God, but I still read scripture each morning. I could turn off my Christian radio when I didn’t want to hear what they were singing, but I couldn’t NOT read my IF:Equip for the day. I was young when I gave me life to Christ, and honestly I don’t know how to walk through life without him completely. Even in my ugly rebellious heart, there were disciplines of life with Christ that I couldn’t shut down.
I kept serving him because that’s who I am. You know the word says you are not your own, you’ve been bought with a price. I wanted to walk away because I was mad at where God had taken me, but I couldn’t walk away because I am his. He’s been slowly healing my heart, and opening my eyes as I repent of my pride and selfishness. Everyday I struggle to say I really do mean it, “anything”. He’s making me live the words that I have said to so many that he is better than my comfort, my easy life. He is better than friends or a ministry. He is worth it even when life is hard.
Tonight I get to be a part of leading women through the “Anything” study. I am so excited to see what God is going to do through the women that surrender everything to him. I have only read the first three chapters, but I know these women and many in this town know that ache for more. I pray that women find it in telling God they’ll do anything, and that those around them will see that our God is great and worth following.