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. After reading that book I now asked God what he 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 and what I threw away. 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 (My things are functional but not impressive, obviously, if a shower curtain is the topic of conversation.) 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 a 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 lasted 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 were 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 my 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.