My testimony, as given tonight at Weekly Meeting:
The day of my graduation open house, my sister (who was living in a former room of mine) came down with a box. “Do not open until my open house,” it said. How I wish it were never brought to the light. Most time capsules include things like prices of gas during the current year, current events, or other things you can look back on and see how time progressed. Not… predictions of my future. Too embarrassing to repeat, and I don’t even WANT to remember some of what I put in there. The fact that I “knew” the occupation of my future husband, the number of kids we’d have, and my occupation. All of these things which I will not provide specifics. Ever.
I believed and trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was young, but I had issues trusting God with my future. Unless, you know, it was how I wanted it to go. I was SUCH a control freak, and I had to have as much in control as I could. When something went wrong, I freaked. “Anna,” my cousin told me the day of my open house, “I do NOT want to see you on your wedding day.” Complete Type A. I was a scheduler, a list-maker, a has-to-know-what’s-going-on-er.
When I was 13 years old, I was diagnosed with MS. Because there was nothing controllable about that, the control in other areas of my life tightened hold. For two years, no medicine that was tried worked. Sometimes I would wake up, and I couldn’t make it up the stairs on my own. Nobody understood. I was the youngest person by 50 years of anyone else I knew with the disease. There were so many struggles. I felt helpless, I wanted to cut my leg off cuz it made me limp, I wanted it to be fixed and just be normal! I believed in God, but I wasn’t trusting him with my MS. I just wanted him to make everything better. But, God showed me his provision, or the providing of what I need, when we found a medicine that did work. I trusted him with everything else. Well, except my life, cuz I wanted to be in charge of that. I saw God at work, but I didn’t fully comprehend everything he was doing for me.
The spring semester of my freshman year, I was asked to be the drummer in the worship band at Campus Crusade, or CRU’s weekly meeting. So, I started coming to CRU, even weeks when we didn’t have enough for a band. It was in that semester when God took my by the shoulders and said, “Anna! Look! This is what I did for you! I sent my only son to die for you, for all your mess-ups that you keep holding onto. I forgave them so you would be perfect in my eyes. You are my child and I love you!” And that is when I got serious about my relationship with the Lord. I began to let go of things I had such a grip of control on. I started going with the flow a little more and more.
Last year, at Fall Retreat, I learned about full surrender, giving it ALL to God. So I gave God my MS, as well as my future. It was actually on a whim that I even took a jump, not knowing if it was doable or not, to apply to be here this summer on a missions trip called Summer in the City. I kept thinking that if I was wrong, he’d stop it. But he didn’t, and here I am, in Milwaukee for the summer. I have found myself letting go and just going for things, whether I know the outcome or not. I don’t plan as hard as I used to, and I’m okay with not knowing what’s going on tomorrow or the next day. Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I keep having to hand back the reigns when I try to take over, which is something I still try to do a lot of. Like a few weeks ago, when the stress of finding a place in Milwaukee to get my medicine drove me to the point of tears. But I took it to God, and he worked everything out. I can’t to do this on my own. So, I’ll take this MS that God gave me and use it for him. I’ll do what he wanted me to do this summer. I will follow him with my future, going where he tells me, not where I think he should tell me. God is in control.