Great people don’t do great things…God does great things through surrendered people.” -Jennie Allen
I grew up in a world where I had to be the best. Good wasn’t good enough, great could have been better. A never ending cycle of feeling like no matter what I did, I would never measure up. I always said that if my life had been a screenplay, I would have been cast as the role of the best friend. The sidekick. The Robin to your Batman. The Ron Weasley to your Harry Potter. At no point in my life, did I ever feel like a lead role.
I remember a very prominent part in the movie The Holiday where Iris (played by Kate Winslett) is having dinner with Arthur Abbott, explaining to him why she did this crazy insane house swap (I mean, seriously? Does anyone do this? ) and he tells her point blank: “Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.”
That’s essentially how I have felt my entire life. I have always been the best friend. In high school, in college, as I started working…and I’ve come to realize that I was keeping myself in that role of “best friend” because it was SAFE. It was comfortable. The best friend always plays enough of a role in a movie to where you think you might, kinda, want to get to know her, but then she’s never super important and there’s really nothing special about her, so you just pass on by. And for me, as long as people kept passing on by, I wasn’t being forced to do anything different.
Until God showed up.
My story with God and Jennie’s are much the same. Grew up in the church, always sang the songs, did the VBS, taught the 3-4 year old class when I was 15 by myself, did the youth trips and the lock-ins and had one of those really rad original Newsboys Captain Crunch shirts (anyone know what I’m talking about?). I’ve see Jars of Clay and DC Talk before they split and went to every single event that my parents could afford to send me to. I always knew that there was this God…that he was up there somewhere…that he sent Jesus and he was crucified and rose again and now I’m saved. Boom. Bang. The end.
But, I’m going to be real honest with you folks. I never got the real power and majesty and goodness of God until he made my MS disappear.
Many of you remember me writing about a whole lot of medical issues that I was having when we lived in Kodiak, Alaska. That instance in which God answered…visually and knowingly answered…that prayer that we were begging and praying for was the game changer for me.
I think part of me always just had this idea that God had taken so many people from me in my past and that he wasn’t intending to heal me. I know now, that I had such a bitterness for God because I didn’t feel like I was worth listening to or that my prayers weren’t worth answering. I once again felt like that best friend. Someone, somewhere else was getting the answers to the prayers and I just got whatever God might have left.
Since that time, I’ve been on a journey to matured faith and discover of who God is to me. Who he REALLY is. Not who the Sunday School teacher says he is. Not who the media says he is. Not even who my husband says he is. But, who I know and discover him to be. This book that we are starting, was one of the key jumping off points for me. It forced me to ask questions, to dig for answers and wait expectantly for Jesus to show up and reveal himself to me.
For the next 8 weeks we will be reading & discussing Anything by Jennie Allen.
I have to warn you though. This book isn’t for everyone. This isn’t for someone who is kind of teetering on the rim of whether they want to do this Jesus thing. This book is a CHALLENGE to go deeper than you’ve ever been and live a life of both expectancy and full surrender.
On the eve of writing this introductory post, I took on very terrifying and gut-wrenching step toward my anything that I will be sharing in the coming weeks. I’m hoping that you will do the same!