Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Heart of the Matter: Anything means ANY thing

I did it--or I should say, I'm doing it. I'm praying ANYTHING. "God, I will do anything. I will give anything."

I thought it would be scary, but it's not. It is unbelievably freeing. Because the things I've been holding onto... they're not mine to hold onto. I have been clutching so tightly onto the idea of control, when I knew deep down that I didn't have control. THAT was scary. THAT was stressful.

It has been coming slowly. I have been finding ways to simplify. I have, as you know, cut out television for the past month--and while I will probably start watching some things again in November, I am glad that I took the time off. I learned the joy of following through with a commitment that, in and of itself, isn't "important." I learned that I have developed all sorts of ways to waste time and avoid some deeper issues in my heart, and I have worked to cut those out as well. I learned that the world keeps spinning even when I miss "major" events in the lives of, well, people who don't actually exist. (And I've learned that I don't even really care nearly as much as I thought I would.)

But it's not just about TV. My heart has been softening toward my children in areas that I didn't know it was hardened. I have been gracious with my husband when I wanted to be defensive. I have said "no" to things that were good because I knew that they weren't the best for my family right now.

Slowly, I have--after almost 30 years of being a Christ-follower--been turning my life over to Jesus in all new ways.

And so it just made sense to begin praying "anything." This morning I was literally on my knees praying "anything." I can't even REMEMBER the last time I got on my knees to pray.

At first I thought God wasn't answering me, that He wasn't leading me. In her book (called Anything, if you haven't been following along in this blog series) Jennie Allen says that God started leading them immediately. Where was MY leading? I think deep down I expected to wake up in the morning and find a baby on my doorstep or check my e-mail and find a message begging our family to move to Africa. No such leading.

But He was leading. Is leading.

Jennie says, "Daily abandon would prove to be more costly than the reckless kinds of obedience."

And this is it. This is where He is leading me. In the day-to-day dying to self. When I pray for God to change my husband's heart about something, and He says, "Why don't we change yours?" When I think my plate is already full, and Lamb announces, "Mommy, guess what! I volunteered you to be in charge of my fall party at school!" When someone gets upset over something that I did--something that I thought was good and helpful--and God whispers, "Just say, 'I'm sorry.'"

ANYTHING doesn't mean "any big thing." It means anything. Big or small. Letting go of being right. Letting myself be inconvenienced. Being gracious when I feel I have been wronged. Being patient when I want a few minutes to process and my kids just.won't.stop.talking.

Will there be big things? I think so. I hope so--with a hope that is both excited and a little anxious. But right now, anything means going through my day with my hands open, not holding onto an illusion of control or an idea of entitlement.

God, I will do anything.

No comments: