My Anything

If you want to be challenged and to bring your faith to the next level, then this book is a must-read for you! I must admit, this book messed up with my faith the first time I've read it earlier this year. It has revealed a lot of hidden fears and idols in my heart, truths that I wasn't ready to face yet.  Last February, I finished this book with lumps on my throat -- those lumps hindered me from praying this prayer from my heart: "Lord, I will do anything." 

The first few chapters of the book made me realize that in my four years of walking with the Lord,  I thought was surrendering my all to Him. It turned out that all the while, I was giving God the access to most parts of my life, but inhibiting Him the trespass to those areas that I've held most dear -- my anything. My anything are the pictures that I have painted in my mind for my (and my family's) future: A comfortable home with blue curtains, throw pillows, nice dining set and an all-pink bathroom... a passive income business... my ultimate dream of raising kids and decorating our home school room with them... I realized that I wasn't ready to surrender all of them to God. I was afraid to give Him the access to that part of my life. I was afraid that He would mess up with my plans and divert it to His.

"The idea that we would actually hand it all over to God and say, "Go. Build it. Do whatever you want with all I have"... it is terrifying... What if He lets me suffer? What if He asks me to sacrifice? What if none of my dreams come true. The very thought of doing anything demands everything."
Anything, pages 52-53

So you see, it wasn't really easy. I kept trying to convince myself that I can pray this prayer... "Lord, I will do anything..." which would also mean, "Lord, I will gladly accept anything that you will allow to happen to my life." I was amazed by Jennie Allen's stories of close encounters with God after praying this prayer, and I wanted that too! I wanted to experience that kind of relationship with Him! But I knew that it may mean more financial problems, or more miscarriages, or longer waiting seasons... And honestly, I wasn't ready to accept them if that would be God's answer if I would pray Anything. And so each time I tried to pray that prayer during that season, I felt the lumps in my throat, I felt like choking as I tried to utter those words.

"God builds our lives whether we give Him permission or not. It is the fight for control that has us all tied up, while it's really an illusion anyway. We control because we are afraid of what may happen if we let go. Do we really think we are better captains of our lives than a God who sees everything and deeply loves us?" 
Anything, page 60 
In the months that followed, God made drastic changes in our lives. It wasn't all that easy. Despite my choking, and half-hearted  prayer of Anything, despite God knowing that I wasn't ready to go all out and all in, still trials came. Difficult circumstances, financial struggles, relational conflicts, unanswered prayers... they shook my faith, and sometime in June, I was even tempted to doubt if God is really good and if He indeed sees us and loves us.  I realized, I will never be in total control of my life after all. The surprising thing was that, every time I felt that I was on the edge, it was during those times when I felt much closer to Him. And every time I tell Him about my shaking faith and my doubts, He would always answer me through His Word, and I would feel His warm embrace, and suddenly, all my fears would vanish, and I knew deep down in my heart, I am loved... with an everlasting love. 

We've experienced a lot of these so many times. Times of hurt, doubt, and confusion... and then later on, as we continued to hold on to God and His Word, He replaces them with healing, restoration and serenity. And as I look back, all of those difficult moments in our lives left us with a more strengthened faith and a deeper knowledge of God's love. So I began to think, why am I really afraid to hand over my Anything to a God who has always been there with us, and who is always for us.

Just recently, I found the courage to re-read this book. This time, with a deeper understanding of God's Love. Reading this book and focusing on God's Great Love and eternal plans for me has made all the difference. I can't say that it's easier for me to pray Anything this time. Like Jennie, I feel like riding the Space Shuttle Roller Coaster as I pray this prayer -- with clenched fist, tightly closed eyes, and a trembling voice... still terrified, but this time, willing to go through the thrill of the ride... because just like her, I don't want to miss the great things that God has prepared for me just because I'm afraid. He loves me, and through all the highs and lows, the hoops and the loops, I know that He will always be with me.

[Photo Credit]

How about you?
What are you most afraid of surrendering to the hands of God?
 What is your Anything?