A couple weeks ago, I posted a video from the I Agree With Anna outreach that the Kingsland Student Ministry was doing in Katy, TX. Just thought you might be interested in how the event turned out.
What started as a youth ministry event was quickly embraced by the entire church. White yard signs popped up all over the community, proclaiming in black letters, I Agree With Anna.com. Cars sported decals with the same message. And whenever I went shopping, I saw more than a few teal-colored t-shirts that said, I Agree With Anna.
I’ve known Anna as my son’s friend for a couple years now. My husband taught her how to use a weed-eater on a mission trip the summer before last. We watched her softball team play last season. If I could choose another daughter, Anna would be one of the girls at the top of my list. In fact, my husband teases her mom about wanting to adopt her. (To which her mom agrees, providing he pays for her college education.) I knew she was an exceptional young lady. But I was never so proud of her as when she gave her testimony before 1,100 students.
Normally, on a Wednesday night, about 300 junior high and high school students gather for worship and Bible study. Some of the 1,100 who attended this event came with a friend who belongs to the youth group. But many more students came to find out who Anna was, and why everyone agreed with her.
With poise and confidence beyond her years, Anna told how she’d been raised in a Christian home. Her parents taught her to pray and encouraged her to trust God. One day when she was in junior high school, her best friend’s mom took both Anna and her friend out of school and brought them home with her, saying only that they couldn’t ask any her questions. Sensing something was wrong, Anna began praying in the car. She felt completely at peace for the rest of the day, including that evening when her mom came and broke the news that her dad had committed suicide.
Unlike many who experience heartbreaking situations, Anna didn’t blame God. She knew this was her dad’s decision, and she spoke of her confusion. She knew her dad loved her, but why did he choose to leave her? Though few of her friends saw it, she struggled with anger toward him.
Anna spoke of encountering a classmate who was dealing with depression but refusing to get treatment for it. She shared the result of her dad’s depression, and the impact on her life and the lives of everyone who loved him. Her story encouraged the classmate to seek treatment, and Anna began to see that God could use the tragedy of her life for good in the lives of others.
Through it all, she learned that God is her eternal Father who will never leave her or forsake her. And like David in Psalm 46, she learned that God is a refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Yes, trouble will come, because we live in a fallen world. But God promises to walk with us through it, and to bring good out of the bad. She read from Isaiah 40:
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint.”
Anna also spoke of God’s plan for each one of us, as stated in Jeremiah 29:11.
Clearly, Anna is a young woman who has experienced God’s strength and power over the circumstances in her life. I pray that my faith will be as certain when I face trials.
Do you agree with Anna?
A video of Anna and her story can be viewed at http://www.iagreewithanna.com