Growing up in the church world, it was commonplace to hear people tell God that they would be willing to give up anything for him. For all that I know, I would say my odds of doing this would be quite high with all the youth camps, revivals, and countless relationships that needed mending. “God, I’ll give up anything you ask me as long as you let this one person hate me less,” would often be my words. If we are being honest with our heart, we know that it happens all the time.
I have made a concentrated effort to start reading books written by women. I have nothing against women authors, it is the simple feeling that I could relate to men better. While that is a true statement, I took a chance and could not be happier. The words of Anything by Jennie Allen wrecked my world. It seemed as if she was speaking directly into the situation that I had found myself in for a specific season of life.
I had told God that I would gladly give up anything for him to use me, but what happened when he took those things away? What happened when things in my life were removed by force? Could I still cling to the word “anything” when we were ecstatic with news of a baby only to suffer a miscarriage? Were my words true even when I lost my job? Could it be that I really didn’t mean anything, but rather I wanted to bargain to God for an anything but scenario?
Hear me out before we get too much farther, I don’t believe God took the baby from Leighann and I but rather things happen as a result of this fallen world we live in and there is nothing we could do to change that. The job, on the other hand, could have been God answering a prayer. I had prayed for God to provide a way out of the company I worked for and He provided, just not in the way I wanted. There are things we will never know this side of Heaven and even there some questions will be left unanswered. I try not to think about those things.
Jennie tells her story of how she came to say yes to anything. She also goes on to recount the times that God has asked her family to say yes to giving something up for his glory and the struggle of continuing to do this. Like Jennie, I would not say that it has always been easy process, but the payoff has been spectacular. Through the encouragement and challenge she provides, I have learned to give things up when God asks rather than holding on to them. I have learned that what we need will be provided in due time.
If you have not read this book, please do. The impact it will have on your life will be one that will last decades.
As a side note, I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. The words contained in this review are my own and have not been manipulated by the publisher in any way.