Our women’s group has been reading through Jennie Allen’s book Anything. The book walks through Jennie’s experience telling God she will do “anything”. Full of reckless abandonment and risking everything, Jennie and her husband prayed bold prayers devoid of safety and comfort. In the process, God has done amazingly beautiful, albeit challenging things in their lives.
Some of my favorite quotes:
“Love is jealous…especially God’s love. He wants me and I want everybody else.” (Preach.)
“I was going to keep building the good life I had been building, and it seemed to be working, Because it was working for me, I thought it was working for God too. I appeared to be a good Christian. Isn’t that what he wanted? It was safe and comfortable and everyone looking in saw a family, a nice girl who loved God. Wasn’t that enough?” (Sigh, guilty.)
“Now that I have tasted being all in, I don’t want to be medium. We weren’t made for medium.” (Yes, yes, yes!)
Needless to say, I’m pretty sure I highlighted the entire book. And read it twice. Okay, maybe three times.
So I’ve started praying this crazy “anything” over my life. It truly is petrifying to say "God you can have everything, I’ll do anything for your glory.” Surrender isn’t easy, especially when you’re a control freak like me. Because now I’m subject to not only the great things He has in store, but the things I’m most fearful of. What if his "anything" leads me towards singleness or financial hardship or infertility or suffering? I’m so not down with that.
Heck, it’s scary to even pen those words.
But as I’ve thought about it more, I’d rather be be white-knuckling through “anything” than safely resting in “medium”. (that’s a tweetable!)
For the past two years, I’ve been stirring, pondering, brainstorming and dialoguing about a dream festering in the untidy parts of my heart. I’ve held on to the sheet of paper where I pieced together bits of this dream - it’s practically falling apart because I’ve carried it with me everywhere. And as I was reading Anything, unpacking how this was going to radically impact my life, that nudge to revisit that page came back. In fact, it wasn’t really a nudge this time - it was a full-fledged ticking alarm clock that kept getting louder. Like the one eaten by the crocodile in Peter Pan.
Naturally, the typical fears started swarming in my head. Because the call is super overwhelming. And vulnerable. And with the end goal in mind, I get anxious because I don’t even know where to start.
But with a bit of stillness, I’m directed to a blank page with the baby step to write.
So, I’ll write. Bit by bit, bringing that ragged sheet of paper to life. It’s going to be totally imperfect and subject to a lot of wrestling. But it’s my first step towards “anything”.
So, you know, prayers (and wine) are welcome.