This song was really years in the making. What started off as an online study turned into a prayer that turned into a lifestyle that turned into a song, a challenge and so much more. In 2013, I did an online study called “Anything” by Jennie Allen with Good Morning Girls. And the prayer that Jennie was challenged with herself and that I started praying was this…”God, whatever You want me to do, I’ll do it. God, I will do anything”. It is one thing to say those words or pray those words, it’s another to mean them, to trust God to say, “well, okay then, here’s what I want you to do”. I even shared this prayer with my husband, and he was like, “no way am I praying that!” (you know I asked him to join me in it) but that was alright, I knew God was moving in my life and wanted more from me and for me.
This post is probably going to be long because this whole “Anything” is such a big part of my life. In September of 2017 I ran across a page of this study (from 2013) and was just in awe of God.
In the Fall of 2013, I started playing the piano and keyboard using chord charts, etc (I had a year and a half of piano lessons as a kid and played by note – less than intermediate) So this new thing, being able to play for myself and sing with myself was a big deal for me. In December of 2013, I went into prison for the first time. In 2014, I was doing jail ministry with the ladies in Pettis County. In 2015, James and I began the process to become VICs (Volunteers in Corrections). In 2015 , I was still saying “yes, Lord, I will still do anything” and taking care of my mother who had “officially” been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. There were many overnights in the hospital, doctor visits, and more. And God gave me joy and peace through all of it. (She is now doing so well, God is so very good). In 2016, I was leading worship in prisons, revivals, worship nights, and women’s retreats. And in the Spring of 2016, Sing for the King Ministries was born. During all of this I was working full time at my church, going to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary online to obtain a Worship Ministry Certificate, doing prison ministry, and I knew the Lord was telling me to quit my job. I knew I was called to more prison ministry and song writing and I hadn’t written a song since our vacation when I wrote the first three (and a few lyrics of another).
I want to give you a glimpse of my heart at that time because our perspective and emotions and feelings change and grow over time. Here’s an old blog post from July 7, 2016.
I quit my job….a job that I’ve had for almost 6 years, a job that provided a substantial amount of my family’s income, a job that I have loved and sometimes complained about but mostly loved. I am feeling a wide range of emotions, I feel like I need to grieve over leaving yet I’m excited for what the future holds. I know this is the right decision, God placed this on my heart long ago, but the follow thru has been and is still surreal to me. I’ve never been more thankful for my faithful and trustworthy God. He has appointed this time – His timing is perfect and I know this is the next step of obedience for me, the next step in my “anything” journey.
I am still in awe that this Bible study (I was leading the Anything Bible study at this time!) and big act of obedience have coincided like they have, I honestly didn’t plan it that way.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
If I get too caught up in thinking in worldly terms or just fleshly selfish terms, fear and doubt start to creep in and the tears threaten to come. In fact they haven’t just threatened, I have sobbed over what I have lost. But who am I to say what’s best for me, God knows far better than I, I just need to be obedient, even when it’s hard. It’s in those moments that Jesus surrounds me with His peace and reminds me that this world is not my home, that these “things” don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I am sure thankful that I serve a holy, righteous, transcendent yet near and loving God. I can put my hope and trust in Him. I marvel at that, at who God is, how He cares about me, a rotten, self-centered sinner. I love that word – Marvel. Jesus used it seeing the centurion’s faith, the Pharisees, His disciples and others used it seeing the wonder and majesty of Jesus. Marvel at the awesomeness of Jesus Christ, He has great and unthinkable plans for you. Step out in faith, in obedience to His calling on your life, He is worthy of our trust, our obedience.
Guess what the first song was after I left my job? Yes! Anything! Here’s my scribblings from our Spring vaca, lol! Novice songwriter, remember?
My last day of work was July 22nd and I finished this song in August. As I sat down to actually write this song I wondered if the songs I wrote in April were a fluke thing and if I could even write another song. It was crazy and I was so overwhelmed and in tears at the result. So many scriptures to point to – John 3:30; 2 Cor. 12:9; Mark 16:5; Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 John 5:1-5; Hebrews 11:6; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; Matthew 16:35. I have to talk about some of the lyrics, look up these scriptures and you will see them there. Jesus brings new life when we get brave and share our faith. Christ calls us to more than just being Christians, just going to church and when we trust and obey Him, He will open the doors to walk through. Surrender and sell out to Jesus!
Here are the lyrics and a video from a women’s conference where I had the honor of leading it.
You become greater, I become less
When I am willing, You do the rest
In my weakness, be glorified
Through my boldness, You bring new life
You in me, calls me to more
I will trust, You’ll open the doors
Anything, it’s all for You
Surrender, sell out, that’s what I choose
Your ways are higher, Lord take my thoughts
You paid the price, I have been bought
You call me out to give You away
This world’s not my home, how can I stay?
Let my faith, overcome my fear
Anything, You call me to
Anything, I’m here for Your use
Anything, this life I’ll lose
Anything, how can I refuse?
©2016 Christy Hoagland (ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing)