“I love the word ‘impossible’”, writes the late Ann Kiemel Anderson (1945-2014) in her bestselling book, I Love the Word Impossible (1976). “It’s one of my favorites because I have a giant of a God inside of me.”
Considered one of the most talented and influential Christian speakers in her time, Ms. Kiemel offers heartfelt thoughts and reflections that inspire, motivate and challenge us to believe in a God that is “bigger than any impossibility.”
She writes in the book’s preface:
“I love the word impossible because my God believes in adventure and extraordinary mountains, and He dares to be alive in a world crawling with terrible situations. He promises to be bigger than any impossibility because He is love…and love always finds a way through, in time.”
A short, uplifting read in its entirety, below are some of her messages of hope and encouragement.
We have Christ dwelling inside of us:
“Only a strong Christ in me can give me what it takes to become and do all He had in mind for me to swing with poise and steadiness with the pendulum of life.”
And we are capable of doing all things through Him:
“I’m a simple woman – young, believing – believing in our impossible world because I’m linked to the extraordinary Christ. I believe that He and I – through love – can do anything. Because love builds bridges, love crushes walls. Love breaks through barriers. Love moves the world.”
In fact, we are called to let Him shine through us:
“I am Jesus to the world around me. You are. 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.”
Loving one another is one of the most important things we can do:
“Loving one another – that’s where evangelism begins. How can we change our world…if we cannot even care about each other in our own circle?”
Part of loving others is learning to forgive others:
“Love is diluted if there is a need of forgiveness between two people. Jesus says we are recognized as Christians by our love for each other. How sad He must feel when He sees people sitting side by side in church pews and choir lofts and board meetings who have things deep inside they have never forgiven.”
Forgiveness often stems from looking at our own failures and wrongdoings:
“People who have the most compassion and the greatest capacity to forgive are generally those who are honest enough to recognize their failures, who are brave enough to have internalized their values and plunged into seeking truth – not necessarily taught them by others, but real for themselves as God unfolds it.”
And remembering that God planned each of us:
“God planned people. All of us. Under the skin or the type of dress or the difference of language or drawl…under the façade of house and neighborhood and ‘what does your father do?’…similar hurts and feelings exist.
At different times, everybody cries and laughs and fails and feels embarrassed and insecure and needs warmth and someone to call a friend.So when all the outside layers are peeled, prejudice gets tossed out, too. Love made me reach out again and again growing up. Not shoving, pushing love…but love that says simply, with affirmation, ‘I am a person with purpose and value. I will be patient as you work at remembering that…’
So we are not called to judge:
“Jesus, after all You have said, over and over, about the Pharisees and the law…after all Your pleadings to be bound by love rather than law…please help me and others, as Christians, to see people separate from their behavior that we don’t understand or condone. Be strong in us so we can always love people for being people…and the leave the judging to You.”
God is never ashamed of our imperfections:
“He comes with outstretched hands, and strokes and smooths the rough edges in us, and isn’t ashamed of where we are or our weaknesses and flops. He is ready to recognize us before the world. He has staked His life on what we can become. He is the source of our inner security, our coming to peace with ourselves.”
Because He sees our potential:
“God willed me and planned my being. He sees my uniqueness, dedicated to Him, as promising. And yours!”
So, whenever you get down on yourself, consider praying this:
“Jesus, I like what I am because it was Your idea. Help me to find adventure in my uniqueness, and not want to be what someone else is. God, if I lose sight of the fun of being me, then Your dreams of what I can be in the world will die. Always help me to remember that this is Your way of being creative.”
And remember that God always has our best interest at heart:
“Christ’s tenderest extending of Himself to us is His ability to take us as individuals, to know us through and through, and to choose, out of extraordinary love, His highest gift, separately, uniquely.
Sometimes life. Sometimes death. Sometimes an added portion of love. But always what is best for us and those who love us. Yes, Lord…the mysteries of life belong to You…”
Sometimes God’s plan includes suffering:
“If I want to love deeply, I should expect to suffer deeply. That means I more or less choose, for myself, what I want to put in and take out of life, nothing great or noble or deep comes cheaply.”
We all have a cross to bear – and how we carry it depends on our relationship with Christ:
“I am not afraid of my cross. I would not choose a polished, small one.
How I carry my cross will depend upon the quality of my relationship with Christ. An extraordinary one is my desire. Why compromise for mediocrity when all of heaven and earth were brought together to make God personal to us?
I cannot achieve this in a day or ten years. Or a lifetime. But it is a pursuit that must be continually active. No matter how many times I fail in my humanity.”
Surrendering to His will is an act of faith:
“No matter how much I may love anyone or anything, God’s feelings and choices and wishes for me and for those I love must DICTATE.
How do I know what His will and choices are? I don’t, always…in black and white. At first, that scared me. I have learned to think it is special that He gave me a mind to think and discern and sort things through. He made me a person, and treats me like one. Jesus Christ puts confidence in me. He must enjoy the learning process. Mistakes must not scare him. He is not threatened by all we must go through to grow in His name.”
But saying ‘Yes’ to His will is not always easy:
“The motto of my life is YES, LORD. Anytime. Anywhere. ‘Yes’ to whatever He wants, wherever He leads. Sometimes I have kind of died inside, saying ‘yes.’ It has meant, ‘God, you can put anything in or take anything out of my life…anything You wish…if you will help me.’”
Whenever you grow weary, consider praying this:
“I feel tired of pain and mountains and grayer skies. I so long for brighter, more brilliant tomorrows…yet I know there is climbing to do yet to reach the peaks, and I’m wondering, God, can You help me keep pushing?”
And remember that God always heals:
“that God always heals (but sometimes by death –)
that God’s ways are not ours.
His ways are right, more strong and wise.
Time reveals that.
And maybe ‘acceptance with joy,’
Healing of attitudes,
A sturdy spirit,
Is the truest healing of all.”
And that He can make something beautiful out of all our pain, confusion and messiness:
“Something beautiful, something good.
All my confusion He understood.
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife —
but He made something beautiful of my life.”
As written on her website, “Ann Kiemel penned her first book, I’m Out to Change My World (1974), in her twenties. Millions of readers were moved by her simple faith and her desire to share Jesus in everyday, divine appointments. Despite the lack of any formal publicity, her first book became a bestseller through word-of-mouth.”
“Although Ann shared the stage with some of the most well-known and influential Authors and Speakers in the world, she is remembered most by her humble presentation. Quietly seated on a stool in the middle of a large platform, she would begin…’Hi, I’m Ann. I am one simple woman in the world. I have never shaken hands with the President. I cry. Sometimes I am insecure. I am only one, but I have come tonight to tell you I am one… and Jesus and I and love are out to change the world.'”
Ann is the author of 17 best selling books, including I Gave God Time (1982), Taste of Tears Touch of God (1984), Struggling for Wholeness (1986) and Seduced by Success (1998).
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