THE WHATEVER MOMENT
When I was 9 years old, I walked the aisle at a church and gave my heart to Jesus. In retrospect, I had no idea what I was doing. Nevertheless, I had the foundation laid in my life, and I held to the values and convictions my parents had instilled in me throughout my adolescent years and into my late twenties. When I was about 26 or 27 years old, I became very lonely, restless and dissatisfied with my life. In loneliness, I met men over the Internet and went out on a few dates. I desperately wanted a relationship because I felt so lonely. It was the kind of loneliness that physically hurts, and it didn’t let up. At times, it was so bad that I didn’t think I could stand it. I thought a relationship would bring me happiness and fulfillment, but with every new man I met and went out with, the feelings of loneliness, restlessness and dissatisfaction remained. I became jaded and disillusioned.
I had a master’s degree and was working in my chosen profession, but I still didn’t feel satisfied. These feelings plagued me for months, causing me to examine my life and myself. I began to wonder what my purpose was, what was I supposed to do with my life, and why I didn’t feel fulfilled. I started praying and seeking God and telling him about the storm of emotions inside me. I remember thinking there had to be more to life than what I was experiencing.
One night, out of exasperation, I knelt beside my bed and prayed what I now call a “whatever” prayer. I told Jesus I was his. If I never made a lot of money; if I never got married; if my dreams never came true. I was his whatever. There were no conditions attached. As I prayed, I began to feel so free, and peace like I had never known filled my heart. I had finally found what I had been missing. I had found the only One who could satisfy and fulfill me. I had found the One who could give my life purpose and meaning. I had discovered the One who is Life. I had found Jesus, and I counted the cost and realized that I wanted Jesus whatever it required and wherever it might lead.
Since that night, I have had many other whatever moments. Moments when I forgave deep wrongs when I wanted to hold on to the hate. Moments when I gave up something I really wanted because I knew it wasn’t what God wanted. Moments when I let go of my dreams to pursue God’s dreams for me. Moments when I did the right thing even when it cost me. God has led me to countless whatever moments. Those whatever moments have often been hard, uncomfortable and painful, but every one has been worth what God required of me. Maybe you call those moments surrender or dying to self or defining moments. But, no matter how you label those moments, the only answer God requires of you is “Whatever.”