Tuesday, August 20, 2013

(Almost) Anything

(If you haven't already, it might be helpful to read yesterday's post before you start in on this one...)

I probably should have seen this coming. Last fall I road tripped (Yep, it's a verb now. I just declared it so. Take that, grammar.) for a weekend with a friend, and as two women are likely to do when they have hours together and no children to interrupt, we talked. A lot.

In the course of conversation, the book Anything by Jennie Allen came up. My friend had read it, but I had never heard of it. By the end of the weekend, her copy of the book was in my bag.

I have to admit, it sat for a few weeks untouched. But then I was listening to Family Life Today (my favorite radio program), and they were interviewing none other than Miss Jennie Allen herself about her latest book, Anything. As I listened to her, I could feel God tugging at my heart. I wanted to be able to pray the same thing she had prayed, that I would give God anything in my life that He wanted.

But I didn't want it enough. I listened to Jennie and I started reading the book, and everything in it resonated in my heart. And I felt God calling me to make some small sacrifices, so small that I am too embarrassed to even type them out here... because I wouldn't do it. I wanted to convince myself--and God--that I would be willing to give Him anything, and I was already saying "no" in the small things.

I justified it by saying, "Well, that's just silly. I don't need to give up that. There's no reason for it. If it were something important, I would do it." But come on, that's like saying, "It's silly for me to practice playing basketball. We're not even in a real game! The baskets don't count for anything! I'll shoot the ball when we're playing an actual game--I'm sure I'll make it through the hoop, no problem." Not likely.

And since I knew I was in the wrong, I did what any reasonable person would do. I stopped reading the book. If I couldn't convince myself that I was in the right, then maybe I could just stop thinking about it. That seems like a logical conclusion, right?

That was MONTHS ago. Close to a YEAR ago, as a matter of fact. And in a lot of ways, I actually had forgotten about that whole inner turmoil. But the sense of longing, of looking for something more, has been there. And maybe that strange mix of a desire for and avoidance of a deeper relationship is the source of my discontent.

So a week or so ago, I picked it back up. And it still hits me right between the eyes. Again I felt myself pushed to step out of my comfort zone. This time I was determined not to shove it away.

So do you know what I did? I kept reading the book... but quit reading my Bible. I found a new way to avoid God. I didn't even realize I had done it at first, but that's exactly the pattern I have been following. I will read one or the other, but not both. It's too convicting.

And now here I am, trying to get down to the heart of the matter. And I know that it is time to stop avoiding, time to stop refusing, time to stop pretending that I don't hear God's voice. I don't want to feel this constant discontent. I don't want to wonder what could be in store for me, if only I would let go.

So I'm not sure if I've really said much today, except that this is step 1 for me. I will be spending time daily in God's Word. I will be poring over His book and this other book that He has laid on my heart. And I will be back to share what I am learning.

What are you reading that is inspiring you right now? Is it exciting? Scary? A little of both?

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