Saturday, January 1, 2011

Giving It Over

2011: Here we go.

I’m in Findlay, OH once again. Each year, a few Echo Ranch Bible Camp staff members host a counselor reunion over the New Year’s holiday. I came last year after counseling during the summer of 2009 (for more on my time in Alaska, check out my other blog). I remember bringing in the wee hours of the new year sitting on the living room floor with four other girls… praying. For each other. For ourselves. Dedicating 2010 to God and to what He would have us do. I remember being in a rough place around that time. I was floundering in my faith, frustrated by all those questions and doubts with no logical answers. I felt depressed, having obtained a college degree but no real direction for my life. My prayer was essentially a verbal throwing up my hands in the air and saying, ‘Whatever, God. I don’t know. I don’t even know.’ It was really a beautiful experience, though. Skeptical as I was, I was challenged and encouraged by the faith of the others. And I wondered – hopefully – what the coming year would hold.

So now I’m here again, but the situation is significantly different. I’m physically in the same location, yet so much in my life (and in the lives of each of those girls) has changed. None of them are here with me, but I’m still trying to offer up this year of my life to God (in much shorter and less eloquent prayers). I don’t think I’m as skeptical this time, for which I am grateful. I do think I’m learning to expect God to do the unexpected. I never would have guessed what my life would look like right now. And it blows my mind to think about what could be different this time next year. But I want to hand it over… And yet, I can’t.

I am the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-27), the one who saw himself as flawless in God’s eyes, wondering what else he could possibly do to earn the kingdom. And so Jesus told the man to do the very thing he could never accomplish in his own strength: to sell all he had, give it to the poor, and follow Him. And the rich young ruler became sad. And he walked away. Because he couldn’t let go. It was impossible.

It’s impossible for me to hand this year off to God on my own. It’s impossible for me to give up control, to live with open hands, to not worry about tomorrow.

And yet, I’ve learned that that is exactly where God wants me to be. Because, with Him, all things are possible. If it were possible for me to do what I could never do on my own, I wouldn’t need Him.

I can’t.

He can.

He will ask you to do the impossible because He knows you can’t do it without Him.

It scares me to think about what that might mean – what He might ask of me. But a life of faith is characterized by walking in the footsteps of Christ – and doing it in such a way that, if God doesn’t come through for you, you’re screwed. Throwing in the towel on your delusion that you can control everything that goes on in your life. Understanding that “earth has nothing I desire besides You” (Ps. 73:25).

So here I am, praying once again that this year will be a year lived for Him. Letting Him decide what that should look like. Asking Him to do the impossible.

And, really, I don’t expect anything less.


  1. I remember sitting on the floor and praying that night. It IS crazy to think that was a year ago. I LOVE seeing how God answers prayer and looking back at how he's helped us to grow. : )


  2. Deeply encouraged by your post! it is an amazing thing to stare back at your previous years and see where God has brought you from. it is even more amazing to stare out in front of you and look into the unknown with all faith in him that if he brought you this far, He will take you the rest of the way!

    BTW, my name is Juan, just out looking for new blog friends, please feel free to check out my blog and comment on stuff. God Bless!