Anything

dwn_459I’ve been living comfortably. Not that I haven’t had tearful nights and stressful, hard days—I have. But I’ve been clinging to my comfort. My desire to be in control. To know what’s next. To not risk too much because I know how deeply painful it is. I don’t like change. I don’t like challenges or hardships. I like to laugh and cuddle on the couch and wear my yoga pants. To rest easy.

But where in scripture did God say that’s what I’m called to? Where in scripture does God say that is the core to life? Nowhere. (Now, let me be honest. I’m on the couch in my yoga pants right now. I love to laugh and cuddle, and will still do that! But I’m realizing that  I can’t find my peace there. I can’t find my rest & fulfillment there.)

I use to pray all the time for God to use me, however He wanted. I was surrendered. I was courageous. I so longed to be used by the Lord to do His kingdom work. And it was incredible. What opportunities! Spending summer days with little kids who don’t have good homes, camping throughout Europe to proclaim the gospel, adventuring on my own to college, teaching English to 4-5th graders in South Africa, studying abroad in Israel, discipling high schoolers in Maui, counseling kids here at school. And not just the big things, but the small, mundane things too—eating lunch with someone who doesn’t have a friend, writing notes of encouragement, coffee dates, yard work (ok, I didn’t do that much yard work…). God does amazing things when we’re surrendered. But somewhere along the way I stopped surrendering. It was painful. I went through dark valleys. It hurt. Stung. God led me through, made me more like Him, drew me into His loving embrace—it was beautiful in the pain. And yet, I stopped living courageously, and somewhere decided I was going to live comfortably because it was easier. Which is true. But who wants easier? When we know the God of the bible, our worlds drastically change. We can only live courageously for Him.

I didn’t realize any of this until this past week. Jeff had bought me this book last spring at Catalyst, and amidst all of the wedding planning this summer, I wasn’t able to read it until now. And boy, did it shake me. Convicted me. Encouraged me. Changed me. The premise: do we really trust God with anything? With anything? Do we trust Him? We weren’t called to live comfortable, safe lives, but rather, we were called to live every moment breathing out, “Lord, you are my Lord. Anything you ask I’ll do. Anything you want, take—it’s all Yours. Anything you want to do in and through me, please do! I trust you.” Wow. Even as I write that, I know deep down I’m scared. Anything? But how could I hold anything back? He created me, saved me, keeps me—He is God. I’m but his servant. And I desperately want to live for Him. Surrendered to the God who is almighty, all wise, all loving and good. My maker, sustainer, grace-giver, redeemer.

So I’m praying, asking, seeking- have my ears open—for whatever God wants to do. I want to be available, ready, open, free. Some of it may be painful, yes. Some of it will probably be uncomfortable- out of my comfort zone, awkward- okay. But it’ll be beautiful, glorious—it’ll knit me closer to His heart and will help this world to see more of Jesus. And that’s what I want. For people to see and know Jesus. To know how wide, how deep, how long is His love. How He is worthy of all praise and adoration—of our whole lives. He alone is God. There is no other.

I don’t know what my anything looks like yet. But I’m getting myself ready. And the beauty of it is that everyone’s  “anything” is different. He will pair it with each of our gifting. Not to say it’ll be easy, but He’ll give us exactly what we need for every task He calls us to.

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and grace” || 2 Peter 1:3

Check out “Anything” here.

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23 comments

  1. You have just named my next book to read…thanks for sharing…I felt really bad this morning…mentally…thinking I’m doing too much I’m giving too much I’m working too much…my comfort zone was tainted not too long ago around the time the hurricane hit NEW JERSEY and then the 7.5 earthquake hit GUATEMALA…I’ve been trying to search for my comfort zone…my place in life…and reading your blogs and listening to Jeff, you both seem to tell me something, or make me see things with different eyes…thanks. Mia

  2. Amazing…exactly what I needed to hear:) Thank you.

  3. Sounds just like me. The easy things will always remain easy. It’s the “hard things” which are the “anythings” which we have to do in order for God to do what He wants in us.
    Thanks so much for your words;-)
    Love,
    Claire

  4. Thank you for sharing your heart! This was a very timely and convicting post for me!

  5. I was thinking about my comfort zone – just today. Reading a book, drinking coffe, feeling kind of tired, but safe. Safe place, known place. I was thinking, was it the place that I like the best – transating – do I long for comfort and safe in my life? Yes I do. Am I afraid of anything new? Yes I am. You are right Alyssa, there is comfort zone that I know – but there is whole else that I need to open myself for. I know that in my heart I long for anything also. 🙂

  6. Thank you for this soul searching, heart felt blog post. This is the first blog post of yours I have seen, and I’m glad to have landed here. This is the heart of the matter, the stuff that really matters. Right now, I’m struggling with some pretty unsure health concerns, and people keep asking how I’m at peace right now. It’s simple. I trust in and serve a God larger than life. He created me, and He knows how to take care of me – no matter WHAT the situation. (Sorry, didn’t mean to hijack your comments…just thought I’d share that, as it’s not the same, but seems to fit.) Thanks again for sharing what’s on your heart.

  7. Bloom where you’re planted…I pray the Lord shows your desire.

  8. I’ve also recently been confronted with this in a very real way. I was in a car accident last year that has kept me from being able to do any of what is considered normal work, and I am a very action oriented person. The major theme for the last year of my life with the Lord has been him asking me if I will surrender. Will I trust him, will I accept his provision instead of what I would consider my own, will I lose my life for his sake to gain it. Counting the costs. I am constantly awed and infuriated at the same time during this, infuriated that I, in fact, actually can’t do anything but in awe of the fact that despite my rebellion and fear that “He who began a good work in me will continue until the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:6).

    Something that has struck me overwhelming about this is that, I am not called to do this without precedent. Regardless of the fact that he God, and I should be subject to him, even in this he asks me to follow. Not to go out and do on my own, but to follow him, as he did. Even Christ emptied himself, set aside the use of his divinity and completely relied on the Lord and trusted him in everything.
    Phil 2:5-8
    5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
    6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
    7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
    8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    It is amazing to me that in everything God calls us to, it is a calling to follow in reliance on a God who is not only sovereign and just, but loving and merciful, a great high priest who is able to sympathize with us in everything. (Hebrews 4)

    This was a lot longer than I intended, I was struck by your blog, and enjoy reading it when I have the moment. I feel blessed knowing that I have a sister working through similar things with the Lord, and knowing he is as faithful and loving to each of us in his infiniteness as if we were each the only one.

  9. Thanks for the share. This was encouraging.

  10. BRILLIANT and convicting! Love it! Happy New Year! 🙂

  11. I was about to delete the email from you when I thought, “No, I have time. I’ll read the blog today.” And I’m very glad I did. This was exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve been trying to do my own planning and I get so wrapped up in bein the one in charge: I have three kids, a husband, a dog, and work full-time in the Governor’s office. NOT EASY. Couple that with the fact that my husband is the full-time Student Minister (youth and children) for our church and you can only imagine how hectic and frantic our life can be. So thank you for your enlightening words today.

  12. You just asked yourself a question, that I was asking myself since last year. I feel like doing so many things, that I can’t even organize them in my head. I know I don’t trust God with anything and I should, but I also know that I try to do it with small steps. I definitely would like to read that book.
    Thank you for your input.

  13. Thank you for sharing! My heart has been longing for direction and I think I just found it. I got the kindle version on amazon for just 1.99…Truly a blessing!

  14. Definitely adding this to my collection of books!

  15. Just got this as a free ebook today. After reading ur review I can’t wait to read it!

  16. Serving God is easy, because He’s done all the hard part and He will show us and give us and He’ll work with us to renew our mind so that we think like He thinks and we talk like He talks, and it is the Father that dwelleth within us He does the work. <3

    I love you! Much love, love forever in Christ, Hope!

  17. I think everybody has those moments in life!
    Always good to remember 🙂

  18. I love how honest you were. I recently was thinking about the same topic last night after hearing Francis Chan at Passion 2013. It really scares me also. I been praying for The Lord to use me anyway he can.

  19. Thank you Alyssa for sharing. This has been my heart, and your words have helped me make this my own prayer. For God to use me, in a completely surrendered state to His will. Praying He continues to keep you strong, encouraged and close to His heart.

  20. What God wants is for you to remember Him. Rememberance of God is service. Indeed the external act of service does not always correlate. Where is the mind? That is where the heart is.

    Examine yourself. God is seeking those who worship in truth. Love is rememberence. That person who is remembering God always, is a saint, worthy. I put my head at that persons feet.

    The easiest way to remember God is by remembering one of His wonderful names. Jah! Or the name of His son, Jesus Christ.

    God bless.

  21. I feel God has called me to go to Africa this summer on a missions trip, and I keep thinking about how I can make my trip safer and what if something happens? I said yes to God’s call but now I have to let go of my fears that something might go wrong. My “anything” is fear of the unknown, I have to remember that I serve a great God and He will take care of me. Thank you for this great post, it was exactly what I needed to hear today.

    1. That’s so awesome He’s moving in you to go to Africa! I remember my professor telling me when I went on a mission trip to Africa that we are never more safe than in God’s arms, wherever He has us. So we can rest in Him- He’s our security.

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