When I first heard about Jennie Allen's book Anything, I was both scared and intrigued. The central theme of the book is surrender.
Surrender...It's a scary idea...the concept of handing over the controls of your life.
I have been hesitant to read this book because of its very topic. I am halfway through. Here are some quotes that have struck me:
"God often seems unconcerned with helping us maintain same, simple lives, where everything fits and works." (chapter 5)
A friend of Jennie's told her that one of the most difficult things about infertility was feeling left behind. All of her friends were having babies and "moving on with their lives."
I can totally relate. I want to fit in. I wanted to be having kids when my friends from college were having kids. I want my kid(s) to be generally the same age as the kids of my friends. I want to be "normal."
But where in the Bible does God require us to fit in with the crowd? Nowhere! In fact, He requires the opposite. He desires for His children to be set apart.
For me, part of being set apart means having children later in life. It involves a struggle. It involves disappointment. It involves pain.
Ok, that sounded a little depressing.
But once I embraced the concept of being different as just being part of God's plan for me, I felt peace. I felt a burden lifted. I felt release. I even felt excited about what God has in store for me...not just as a mom, but as a child of God.
"God builds our lives whether we give Him permission or not. Do we really think we are better captains of our lives than a God who sees everything and deeply loves us?" (chapter 6)
On our adoption journey, we have gotten close to becoming parents again on more than one occasion. I have found myself thinking, "God, what are You doing? That child would have had a better life with us." Or "That child would have fit in so well with our family!"
At the heart of those statements, there was a part of me that thought that I knew better than God.
Yikes...that is tough to admit.
I was doubting God's goodness.
Trying to understand things that I am not meant to understand.
I was assuming the role of "captain" when it isn't mine to assume.
So on days when I am tempted to think that I know better than God, I remind myself of how much He loves me. I remind myself that He knows all and I DO NOT!
As I continue to read this book, the question lurking in the back of my mind is this:
Am I ready to tell God "Anything"?