The Undeserved Favor of Anything

I almost didn’t write this down. After all, my anything isn’t flashy or impressive. It’s not even really outwardly visible. But when God tells you to love boldly by sharing your story, you obey. So here goes…my anything prayer was actually a few months ago, before I even knew who Jennie Allen was. But it began years ago. I was raised in a Christian home and was always a “good girl.” I went to college, did some ministry, and then attended seminary where I met my husband. But through my whole life, I never really felt usable. I would dream of being up front, of leading somehow, but I never ever thought I had the gifting for it. I’m a quieter introvert who loves to read and study, and I’ve never felt comfortable in front of large groups. I would look at the leaders in my church and other ministries and wish I could be like them, but I’d given up hope that I’d ever be good enough to lead. I wasn’t bold enough, charismatic enough, funny enough, etc. So I hid in the background, playing the good pastor’s wife role and working with the children and the youth. I was afraid, so I hid in the background. I was miserable and lonely. And then God started to wake me up. He put me in a position to participate in a women’s Bible study, shepherding a small group and guiding the discussion each week. And I started to really enjoy it; I remember thanking the Lord that I was finally happy and feeling content. And that’s when He did it, spoke right to my heart and convicted me. See, for years He’d put teaching and leading as desires in my heart, but I’d always dismissed them. I always figured there was someone more qualified, who would do a better job. But now, it was like He was shining a spotlight on my heart and showing me how disobedient I’d been to ignore His call. I spent a couple of weeks wrestling with Him, and it was during this time that a friend recommended Jennie’s Restless. God used that book to remind me of all the gifts and desires and experiences He’d given me, and He broadened my “anything” into leading and teaching women. Out front, and open to criticism, and bold. I am not bold, I hate offending people, and I tend to stay in the background, so this was a bit of a stretch for me! But eventually I came to the point where I said okay, Lord. Anything. I’ll teach, I’ll lead, I’ll do anything. And He put in my heart the idea of teaching women how to study His word. So right now I’m teaching a small group of college-aged women how to study Deuteronomy. Every week I get to see the light go on as they discover God’s word for themselves. I get to hear how God is showing them how His word is alive and applicable and amazingly connected to their everyday lives. It’s not something I’d ever have imagined I would do-I never saw myself as a teacher. I have no idea what the future holds; I only know that the Lord has awakened me to His calling for a reason. And I just keep taking the next right step He puts in front of me and trying to trust Him. I don’t deserve this grace, this favor He’s put upon me, and sometime the weight of responsibility of teaching weighs heavily on me. Anything seems like such an impossibly huge thing to pray, but I hope and pray that my daily obedience to step where He directs will point others to Him too. It doesn’t really matter if I ever actually lead anyone to do anything; what really matters is I’m following Jesus with all of me. That’s what draws other people to Him and brings Him glory. So my “anything” is ongoing, but it’s already changed my life. I am undeserving of His favor but full of gratefulness for His mercy in choosing to use me.