My freshman year of college was by far the most eye-opening year of my life. I learned the hard way that life can come at you fast. The chains of my sheltered and protected upbringing had broken, and I was shoved into the real world, whether I liked it or not. I struggled with temptation, sin, my self-worth, and my relationship with Jesus.
Long story short, I still struggle with those things. However, my sophomore year has brought a new theme of struggle.
A new year brought new chains that were binding me in every way possible. I was terrified more than anything to let the Lord take complete control over my life. And I’d be lying if I said I’m not still terrified. For the longest time, I have asked myself what it would be like if I said the most daunting and frankly, quite overlooked, four words: Jesus, take it all.
And you know what’s funny? You may be thinking that that it’s really not that difficult. Well, it’s probably because you have nothing to lose! What gets hard is when you’re scared to lose something. This time last year, I prayed the prayer for Jesus to empty me of me so I could be filled with Him. I asked Him to take away everything that was distracting me from Him. And guess what? He did exactly that.
I guess I can say I didn’t have much to lose. I had great friends, was happy in school, wasn’t homesick, and was overall filled with joy. How easy and selfish it was for me to tell the Lord to remove my distractions when I honestly didn’t have any.
Over the past few months, I’ve figured out why I’m so scared - it’s because He has the power to take it all. So it’s dumb of me because anyone who knows The Lord knows that those thoughts “in the back of your head” are just as loud as your normal thoughts. God sees our thoughts like he sees our physical actions. He knows that I’m finding myself clinging onto my relationships harder than ever before. I’ve found myself trying to half-heartedly pursue the one I should be pursuing most. I’ve justified my actions, and I’m trying to base my relationship with Him on what’s convenient for me. How incredibly selfish of me?
So basically, I’ve found myself trying to buy a one-way ticket away from Jesus. I still pray to Him every day and go to church, but I know way deep down that I don’t want to fully surrender to Him because of what I have to lose. As much as I’ve tried to run away from Jesus, He plants the seed of desire to come running back into His arms. As much as I’m trying to hold onto my worldly possessions and relationships, He reels me back in. It’s as simple as that. We can’t do any of this life on our own, and how beautiful is it that we serve a God who actively pursues us during the times we don’t deserve it most!
As I’m in a season of life where I’m gathering the courage to surrender every aspect of myself to Jesus, I need to remember that he is a good father. He takes things away from us when they aren’t good for us, not because he’s cruel. When we engrave that into our minds, we can let ourselves go and give it all up, not just the things we don’t care losing. I know it’s absolutely terrifying, but what’s more terrifying? Thinking we’re capable of navigating this life on our own.
So start with those four words: Jesus, take it all. Then he’ll take it from there.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” // Proverbs 19:21
Annie // @anniemilbourn
Hi! My name is Annie Milbourn. I'm 20 years old and go to the University of Alabama. Writing is my passion, and my dream would be to one day write about the places the Lord takes me and the people the Lord blesses me with. I'm the youngest of three siblings and love my dogs more than almost anything! My happy place is sitting on any beach, anywhere.