I am very late with this review. Oh dear, so late. Why? Not because I didn’t read it in time. No, I started the day I got it. The deadline approached but I was having trouble. And it has nothing to do with Jennie Allen, her writing style, the number of pages or anything else. It has everything to do with me, where I was at in life and how much the words on the pages were/are speaking to me. I have never read a Jennie Allen book before even though I have been following her blog for a while. I wasn’t sure if this would be “just another Christian living how-to book” or what. WRONG. Jennie Allen and her husband have gone where few dare to tread.
So we prayed. As sincerely as I have ever prayed any other thing, I prayed in my heart as Zac spoke:
“God we will do anything. Anything.”
Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked my God and my Soul
I knew this was going to be a different book when I started ear-marking and underlining on the first page. And then the second. And then….. well….the book is a mess. It will be mine for a long, long time because I have claimed and cried over the words of someone who has walked and is walking where I feel I am . And it finally validated so many of the things that I thought we had messed up on. I figured we had missed the point. Missed what God said or where He was leading . But in these pages I found a friend and a hope. And I realized, that we too had prayed “Anything” and it has wrecked us in a whole new way.
From page 9: “To risk is to willingly place your life in the hand of an unseen God and an unknown future, then to watch Him come through.” Wow.
From page 47(and this is where it starts to get uncomfortable) “I don’t know what God’s plans are for you, but I do know that we don’t hear from Him until certain things die. He doesn’t compete. And when He does speak, it typically costs something. ” ouch.
From page 53: “What if he lets me suffer? What if He asks me to sacrifice? What if none of my dreams come true? The very thought of doing anything demands everything. We have to face our fears. If we believe He is real, if we believe He has an eternal heart, we have to face the fact that a God like that may mess with our temporary comfort and fictional scrapbooks. ” Yikes. (getting pretty personal for me at this point)
And then from page 93: “If God is really real and we are going to live with Him forever, shouldn’t He be the ONLY thing?”
And my friends who know our journey will laugh at this. HELLO!! From page 103: ” We press through the doubts and the fears and we trust because God is trustworthy, and He knows how life is best lived. The more we jump and see our God come alive around us, the more we jump without fear~and the bigger the cliffs get. ” AMEN!
Okay….are you getting it? This book MESSES with you! It takes living the kitchy little story-book Christian life out of the suburbs into the slums. It takes you off of your leather couch, away from your Sunday football and propels you into the filthiness of a world dying and in need. If you pray “anything God, we’ll do anything.” Expect HIM to take you up on it and then hang on for the ride.
THE MOST CHALLENGING book I have EVER EVER read. And Jennie writes out of her own pain, fears and failures. It’s not easy. It’s not fun a lot of the time. It is hard. And she admits that. I love the honesty and openness in sharing her life, her heart and the struggles she and her husband have faced in the process of giving God EVERYTHING.
Get it. Read it. Give it. Live it. Anything. Best book . Why is there this theme happening with books this year? I mean…it’s like God is awakening the sleeping giant that is His church. There is something happening people. This book is proof. It follows well after Brandon Hatmaker’s Barefoot Church, Jen Hatmaker’s 7, Pete Wilson’s Empty Promises, Bob Goff’s Love Does….it just goes on and on and on. Radical. Life Changing.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson“.