Anne, What do you want?
huh? Like, what do you mean, what do I want?
Anne, what do you want?
Jesus, I don’t quite understand. I want what you want. I surrender all I am for you to use me for your glory. I say yes to whatever it is.
Anne, what do you want?
Jesus, I, …..I don’t know.
This past year has been one of answering this very question. It began when a very dear friend posed this question to me. It was just an ordinary day, having a conversation with a woman I considered a mentor, and mid-conversation she stops and says, “Anne, what do you want? I believe Jesus wants to ask you that very question.”
Of course I was a little taken aback by that question. Jesus was asking me what I want? No, no…it’s always been about Him. I know this. I had long ago surrendered control of my life to Him, He was free to use me in whatever way he saw fit..I just wanted to be near Him and in His presence. But later that night, I began to ponder this question, what did I want?
We hear often that it’s about relationship with Father God. We aren’t just little puppets on strings that God puppeteers around for fun, but He desires to know us, and us to know Him. This was made evident by His extravagant love displayed through the cross. So if we believe that we are called to have relationship, why wouldn’t this area of our lives-the area of figuring out “His will for our lives,” as some say, be relationship based as well?
I’ve had this discussion with many people lately, as we talk over coffee or food I’ve listened to friends pour out the passions and desires in their hearts, but at some point the conversation drops with phrases such as, “maybe one day,” or “who knows, it’s whatever God wants.”
So many have God-given dreams and desires, but are paralyzed by fear because they are not sure if that is what “God is calling them to do,” and they want to make, “the right choice.” I lived like that for many years, constantly stressed over the decisions I would make from one season of life to the next, because I wanted to make “the right decision” that would bear the most fruit in my life. One day as I sat by myself, I audibly cried out,
“Jesus! Is this how it’s supposed to be forever? The constant stress of trying to figure out your will for the next season of my life??!”
“No, My dearest Anne. It’s always been about relationship. What do you want? Don’t you know that I am sovereign and able to make your choice the best choice?”
And just like that, I felt like 100 lbs had been lifted off my shoulders. As long as my heart’s desire is to know Him more, and to love others, believing my choice will fulfill those aspects and I feel peace in my heart, He is able to make my choice the best choice.
I don’t want to live stressed out for the rest of my life, constantly wondering if the choices I am making are the best ones, or live in fear, eventually paralyzing myself from doing anything because I’m afraid of failure.
Now, do realize that in this process, you may be led to do things you don’t necessarily want to do. Example: You want to bring medical care to tribes in Africa. But in the process of achieving that, it involves 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of med school, 2-4 years of residency-not necessarily things you want to do all the time but in the end is worth it.
But it starts with wrestling with that question that our Lord is asking, “what do you want? Not in the sense of, “I want to go to college, or I want a nice job” but THINK BIGGER.
Habakkuk 2:2 says,
And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.”
So that’s what I’ve been doing. Writing the vision. Once I have the vision, figuring out exactly what I’m supposed to do isn’t such a big deal anymore. As long as it points me to Jesus, and points others to Jesus, then it’s a go. It’s now been 10 months since Jesus asked me that question, and here are a couple I’ve put into language 🙂
- I want to see people begin to dream again the dreams that God has placed inside them. I want to see them walk in freedom and fullness into those dreams.
- I want orphans and prostitutes to know that they are loved, valued, and treasured and see healing and restoration in the lives of those who have experienced the tragedy of losing a parent.
- I want to teach and share the Gospel. That all who feel unworthy or undeserving of love or forgiveness realize that there is freedom and restoration in Jesus.
- I want to worship my guts out to Jesus through music, dance and singing, and see Jesus worshiped in the hardest and darkest places of the earth.
- I want to be able to show extravagant hospitality and create a place where people can come and feel like family, and know that there is always a place for them at the table, no matter the “baggage” of life they may bring with them.
- I want to bear fruit that remains.
And presently, I want to go to Chipotle, so those are just a few. Now it’s your turn. What do you want?
– ANNE NEUHAUS
via Refined Like Silver © Anne Neuhaus