Did you join us for the Anything Kickoff? We had such an amazing time with Jennie Allen and event host Jamie Ivey — and so many of you! It was so inspiring to hear from the special guests, Rachel, Kelli, and Danette, about their Anything stories, too.
Here’s the replay video of the kickoff event in case you missed it. The only thing this doesn’t convey is the excitement of the live chat room (we had more than 1500 people in the live chat at once!), so if you want to see the archive of all the comments, watch the replay here.
At last, we are at Week One! This week, we will:
- Watch the video for Week One
- Read Chapters 1-3 of Anything
- Study 1 John 1:5-10
- Go through pages 199-201 (introduction) and 203-207 in the Study Guide at the back of the book.
Each week we’re going to ask ourselves tough questions and this week is no exception. Jennie wastes no time and goes deep from the start… This week, we’re reading about the following three things: unbelief, pretending, and shame. They all keep us from surrender. Which one do you fight the most?
What keeps you from surrender? Is it unbelief? Pretending? Shame?
I think I’ve dug my heels in each of these surrender-blocks during different seasons, but I’ve no doubt spent the most time in pretending. As a Pastor’s Kid, pretending came easily. It wasn’t that I didn’t love the Lord and want to spend my life in His will. But for a long time I got lost in performing and that seemed like enough. Sort of. Plus, it was a sure-fire way to keep God at arms-length over there while I was being “good” over here.
The problem with pretending, the problem with being “good”, is that it works. It does. It benefitted me, my marriage, my family, and the church. It made a good impression and felt do-able. For a long time, it worked… until it didn’t any more.
It wasn’t until the edges started to fray that I started to notice that I really hated plastic God and plastic me and began to desperately thirst for a real-live God, not pocket-sized Jesus. I needed a safe place to be real, and people who were authentic about their own weaknesses, challenges, and sins, too.
Because I’m determined (aka belligerant at times), it took life falling apart as well as emotional, mental, and physical desperation for me to un-dig those heels and finally wholeheartedly seek for the real-live God and search for a safe place and safe people.
The battle since then has been with shame. Shame over how broken I am. Shame over the hurt I have caused. Shame over what people think of me. For a long time I felt radioactive and pulsing with shame and sometimes I still have to fight it.
Those three surrender-blocks can be cyclical — unbelief, pretending, and shame. First, we don’t really believe in or put our full weight on Jesus, which in church culture so often leads to faking faith, and then when really bad stuff happens (and it does) and we do really bad stuff (and we do), shame takes over.
The key to letting those go is understanding who God is, how huge His love is, and how fiercely He pursues us even if we’re running in the opposite direction, and then embracing who we really are…. Loved. Chosen. Adopted. Redeemed. Bought with a price. Forgiven. Made holy (set apart as special). (Ephesians 1)
What about you? We would love hear from you on our Anything community page. Come share your Anything story with us!
Remember to join the conversation on social media as well using #AnythingProject!
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