i am going to change my world.
because i have a giant of a Lord
inside of me,
and He and i, with love,
will push through the barriers.
i'm not afraid.
i am Jesus to the world around me.
His heart and hands and eyes and voice
and spirit of honesty and care.
you and God and i . . . a team.
we can love the world to joy, and meaningful and
brand new tomorrows.
Jesus dreamed we would.
i stand before Christ and the world.
my heart shouts an affirmation:
"Jesus, i am a humble, lowly servant woman.
take me . . . all of me.
add anything. take away anything.
at any cost. with any price.
make me Yours. completely. . . wholly.
may i not be remembered for
how i wear my hair
or the shape of my face
or the people i know
or the crowds i've addressed.
may i be known for loving You. . .
for carrying a dream. . .
for building bridges
to the hurt and broken and lost in the world.
make me what You would be be if You lived
in Person where i do.
may everything accomplished through my simple
life bring honor and glory to You.
take my human failures and flaws,
and use them to remind these who know me
that only You are God,
and i will always just be ann.
i'm going where He goes . . .
out into the world of lonely people.
"sir, can i take your hand?
or yours, ma'am?
can i walk with you?
can i laugh with you and cry with you
and love you to Jesus?"
you just can't stop love.
it crushes barriers.
it breaks and builds bridges.
it finds a way through.
it never gives up.
it's hard work.
it walks ten extra miles.
it's something you do.
Jesus did it for me.
He died to set me free.
He lives to share my life with me
and i go to His and my people
and love wins.
i celebrate you.
determined, faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
people who believe. who are not ashamed to say so.
who will not quit. who remain pure and uncontaminated
even when others beg you to compromise. who follow
your dreams and fight for them and die with them
so deeply enrooted in you that they spring up in
other voices and other hearts for centuries to come.
i celebrate because we stand together.
without being united, dreams cannot live.
as long as i breathe and move, and even in the
darkness when i cannot move,
i will celebrate most of all
the power, grace, patience and forgiveness of
my loving Savior, Jesus Christ.
He is the author of all my dreams, of every song.
"surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the
days of my life..."
excerpt from "I'm Celebrating", 1979