It was fathers day weekend exactly three years ago, not coincidently I am writing this on fathers day weekend, I remember finishing the book Anything by Jennie Allen as my husband drove us to visit family for the weekend. I can’t remember every word of my prayer that day in the car, but it would be the first time I would pray “God, I want anything you have for me, for us”. Nothing felt different at that moment and God didn’t lay out my life’s plan all at once right after I prayed, but it would slowly change everything.
Only three weeks after praying my anything prayer on a hot summer day, I would encounter God in real and tangible and intimate way.
Here is my anything story…
I usually want things to be scheduled, predictable, comfortable and not too hard.
I strive for a comfortable life, safety, and reasonable expectations.
And I live in a culture that says we deserve certain things, when we want them!
We all want the will of God, but we usually want it by our own terms . I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion. It should fit into the reasonable expectations that we have been hardwired to expect.
Yet, what if the things we desire most are not part of the plan? What are we focused on most? God’s plan for our lives or our reasonable expectations that are sure to be happy and comfortable, or at least we hope.
God won’t relent getting us to surrender fully in every area, every desire, and every plan until we want his plan MORE than our plans.
Was I willing to leave those desires & expectations to want what God wants for my life, even if that means suffering, inconvenience and unfulfilled desires?
The story of my Isaac
I was twelve days without a period. A few days into my late period I had an honest yet bratty conversation with God on my bathroom floor. I reminded him that I had been faithfully and patiently waiting on his timing for our little miracle (like it was all about me!!) and he could not and should not mess with my out of control hormones by giving me three negative pregnancy tests a week late!!
Something was out of God’s perfect balance within me and he knew the perfect time to reveal my desire that had elevated itself above the God of the Universe was during our summer vacation just a couple days away. I woke up extra early each morning to have time alone with Jesus. Home life had drained me and I was running to the alter for a refill with the ocean in the background and the sight of a sunrise. In those moments God began gently revealing my little gods.
“You can usually tell when something has become an idol because you have an extreme reaction when it’s threatened”. Jennie Allen
It had been a long day of fun and lots of sun when I heard the Father ask me that night in the shower, What if I never give you a baby? He wanted to know if I would trust HIM with HIS plans for my life even if I never get the very thing I desire most. Right there in a shower turning cold he asked me to lay down every fear and vulnerability I had and give him my deepest desire. A baby from my womb! It took me a little longer and I finally surrendered those areas early the next morning.
Nothing spectacular happened when I did, the sun still rose and my belly still grumbled for breakfast, but I knew that for the first time I had peace about God’s will in my life over my own. For the first time I was able to stop building my life without asking him. Those steps led me to surrender many more areas to God and ask him what HE wanted.
He is an awesome God, and I am honored and privileged that he loves me and loves all of us so much that he will gently nudge us to align our hearts and minds with his will. We can only be fully used by him when our lives are surrendered, when the desire of our heart is to desire the will of God above anything we can imagine. His plans are great for us, they may not look anything like we picture, but they will bring him the greatest Glory.
What happens then? What happens when we are fully surrendered? It was a question I asked…
We eat the fruit, he said. God’s will in our lives is like fruit. Our favorite fruit may be strawberries, but when we are surrendered to God he may give us fruit we do not particularly like, but we can trust that it is the best fruit for us in that season. When we eat the fruit he gives us it produces in us the spiritual nourishment to walk out God’s specific calling in our lives during that season. It is the perfect recipe for our lives!
It’s when we want God’s will MORE than our own desires and plans that we are fully surrendered to God in that area. When we honestly want what God wants for us MORE, then we can plug things like hope, faith and desire into the spiritual equation and they will work because God’s promises are yes and Amen! We can trust in the plans of God.
We are not to stop praying for our desires, we have a Father that delights in giving us the desires of our hearts, yet we must be sure that our desires do not rise above the very desire for God’s perfect will, and we must trust in God’s perfect timing.
My prayer now is that God reveals every area in my life not fully surrendered. He is such a gentle God and sometimes the process may hurt but the outcome aligns us with the perfect will of God each and every time!
That was it!
My one simple prayer whispered in a car would begin to change our lives forever. Since I read Anything for the first time it has meant surrendering our dreams, desires and time-table of adding to our family completely to God. It has meant extreme obedience in our finances and extreme obedience to share my story to hundreds of women when MANY times I have felt like Moses at the burning bush, completely unequipped. But there has been a freedom and a passion and a purpose in all of it! I wouldn’t take it any other way.
I continue to pray anything, and to be honest and real many times there is still fear, and unbelief and the desire for comfort that holds me back from fully surrendering. But He is patient and gentle and he knows that I don’t want to miss anything he has for us, so He waits. He waits for me to get it together, to let go of what holds me back as He gently whispers, “You can trust me”, so I let go little by little and hang on tighter and tighter to Him because I don’t want to miss it, I don’t want to miss what He has for me.