You asked the question, “What is your anything?”
Let me answer as I tell you where I was the day I heard about a study called Anything.
My Anything happened on a warm, sunny, summer day. A pile of dirty dishes stared back at me from the kitchen sink. A melody played on the radio nearby. I turned it off. I was tired of songs, yet tired of silence too. Tired of thinking…and praying, honestly, for my prayers were not being answered the way I expected.
Instead of spiraling in my emotions, I called a friend. My closest one. The one I can not talk to for 6 months, then pick up the phone and pick right back up where we left off. Thankfully, she picked up. Fighting back tears, I shared my story with her. I shared the struggle going on inside of me. She said, “Ya know, it’s funny, this conversation reminds me of the on-line Bible study I’m doing this summer.”
My heart pricked up a bit, listening to her words.
“Yeah, it’s about when you tell God you’ll do Anything, but you don’t really know what that Anything looks like!”
YES! That was exactly where I was.
Let me explain. Two months prior to that phone call in the kitchen, our family was purchasing luggage that would hold a month’s worth of clothes and belongings that would board a plane bound for Kenya.
By “our family”, I mean ALL of us. Me, my husband and our 3 children ages, 11, 9 & 5 (almost 6!) We had just told God we would do Anything. We would follow Him anywhere. He said, “Go to Kenya.”
This wasn’t a new journey for us. My husband’s been going to Kenya yearly to build churches with Lighthouse for Christ for 5 years now. I joined him in speaking at a ladies conference 2 years ago.
Honestly, though, we felt the Lord ask us if we would follow Him there – permanently. Would we leave everything behind and be willing to trust Him across the seas like we do at home in East Texas? It was something my husband and I prayed about daily for two years. We own our own business, so Adam leaving his job isn’t as easy and simple as turning in his two week notice.
For a year now, Adam’s talked to his Team Members and shared his heart for Kenya. He’s discussed the possibility of us moving there and what that means for the company he would leave behind. We shared tearfully with family members about this prompting, saying we just have to keep following Him. We were trying to brace them, hoping to lessen the blow a move like that could make.
Taking our kids was the next logical step in the process. The only problem was, we didn’t have the funds to purchase 5 plane tickets to Kenya. So, we prayed. We prayed that if this was the route God had for this family we believed He would provide for it.
That very week, we got a phone call from a friend we had been business partners with in the past. They had sold the business and as a result had a check for us! Yes, the amount completely covered 5 airfares to Kenya with a little left over. Contributions didn’t stop there. People we didn’t even know donated to our trip. The stories left us all in awe! God confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt He was calling us to Kenya. I expected amazing things on this trip!
The trip was amazing, but not amazing how I expected. From the day we boarded the first flight, my plans took a back seat and God sat down as the driver. We missed our connecting flight and had to stay over in Turkey for a night. Later, we came down with a stomach virus that made us miss our scheduled visit to our Compassion child. Even down to little things like our favorite pizza place being closed for the month showed us God had some plans up His sleeve. We began to pray for Him to reveal what they were.
Through those times when things were not going as we planned, the Lord spoke to my husband. He shared with Adam that He wasn’t finished with us where He has us – in East Texas. He swelled Adam’s heart with gratitude for all the things back home and said quietly, yet clearly, “Go home.”
So we’re home. And I’m not planning how to pack up my house and move to Kenya. Instead, I’m washing dishes in my sink and not wanting to listen to the radio. Not wanting to hear the dead air space either. Not knowing what to pray anymore.
I said I would do Anything. I said I would go Anywhere. I thought He would take me up on it. But instead, He told me to go home. So now, I’m left with a bunch of luggage and dirty clothes and wondering, “OK, so what now?”
I’m not disappointed that we’re not called to move to Kenya. I’m so thankful to be home. I’m just not sure what I’m supposed to do now.
I’m trying to find “normal” in these four walls, but it feels like I’m in a strange house and keep bumping into the doors and walls trying to find the bathroom – yet it’s my house. I know where the bathroom is.
Honestly, it’s taking more faith for me to be back home and live here, than if we went back home to prepare to move to Kenya.
Maybe that’s where God wants me. You would think the “ultimate” walk of faith would be to leave everything and move to a 3rd world country.
But it’s not for me. To return home and face again the mound of unanswered prayers and step around the shards of shattered dreams requires more faith for me.
To look at the puzzle I thought was taking shape and now to have to undo it and return to my knees about where this piece goes is humbling.
But I’m here. I’m waiting. I’m listening. I’m learning. And I’m looking forward to what’s next for our family. It’s all part of the process of surrendering my Anything to Him.