Dragged out of my comfort zone . . . kicking and screaming   Leave a comment

You know those days that you feel like crawling up in a blanket on your couch and watching a good movie or reading a book?  Those days that just scream for grilled cheese and tomato basil soup, chased down by hot chocolate with whipped cream?  Well, who doesn’t love those days?  We all love comfort.  The problem is, somewhere in the past few years, I seemed to have crawled up on the couch of life, surround myself in a cozy blanket . . . well, I guess more HID UNDER that cozy blanket. . . and decided that my comfort zone is where I needed to stay.    I wasn’t always like this.  In fact, most of my friends I grew up with would never describe me as a “play it safe”, “minimize the risk” kind of person.  I mean, I moved from Canada to Texas in TWO WEEKS, yes, TWO WEEKS!  Somewhere in the past 10 years of being in Texas, I’ve gotten stuck.   If you knew some of the things I’ve faced in that time, you would probably agree that my new approach to life was reasonable, or at least justified.  But is it really?  Is that all there is to life . . . minimizing the risk? Keeping the status quo?

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10 (NIV)

I’m not convinced that life in the comfort zone is living life to it’s fullest.  In fact, I KNOW it’s not.  So why do we stay there?  There can be lots of reasons:  laziness, fear, ignorance.  If I really got to the source of my adoration of all things comfortable, it would be fear.  There are rules to minimizing risk:  avoid risky people, avoid risky situations . . . avoid LIFE?  Not exactly living like Jesus is it?

I met with a friend a couple of weeks ago.  She challenged me to journal the things that made me uncomfortable in a given day.  The discomfort could be large or small . . . small disruptions to my routine, conscious decisions to face fear, or awkward situations that I find myself in.  It didn’t stop there.  She challenged me to see the opportunity in each situation; to see where a divine plan interjected in my well-planned routine.  Easy enough, I thought.  I had NO idea what I was in for!

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

I thought I was relatively spontaneous.  I’ve come to the realization that I really have my course well planned out.

Are you curious?  Do you want a glimpse into the results of this exercise? Here’s just a sample:

A planned outing with two friends:   My “comfortable” friend is sick.  “New friend”‘s husband comes along.  My thoughts “I have no idea what we’re going to talk about, but hey, I’m not stuck in my comfort zone”.  The result, an AMAZING time with two fabulous people!  Shared information that I would never have otherwise!  Opportunity!!!  A divine appointment!  I see that I had my course planned but the Lord established my steps.

Issue comes up at work: My work process is questioned.  Normal reaction:  Defend myself.  NEW, UNCOMFORTABLE reaction, bite my tongue and look for the solution.  The result:  the solution is found, and it’s obvious it wasn’t my error.  I see God as my Defender.

Helping with a fundraiser: My car battery dies in front of the event tent.  Soooo uncomfortable!!!   I HATE being in the way, and I was PHYSICALLY in the way with my SUV.  I HATE asking for help.  Several very nice people assist me in getting my car started, I make it to ABC on time, and they change it out.  I rarely have the room in my budget, but I had it.  I have to humble myself enough to receive assistance AND I see God as my provider.

There have been several daily.  In each moment I see an opportunity.  Sometimes it’s an opportunity to make new friends or try new things, but most often it’s an opportunity to look in the mirror and re-valuate.  I had NO idea how many rules I had about life . . . rules about where to sit, rules about appropriate responses, rules about how long I need to beat myself up if I make a mistake.  In asking God to be a part of the mishaps of life, the unplanned moments, there has been a door of opportunity opened.  The opportunity to give and receive love; the opportunity to take down my defenses; the opportunity to heal.  I realized that so many of my rituals and plans were attempts to protect myself, to hide hurts and to keep myself from experiencing more hurt.  I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LIVE LIFE AND LIVE IT TO IT’S FULLEST.

I have to admit, lately I’ve had to be dragged out of my comfort zone kicking and screaming.  But it turns out that once I am . . . it’s very freeing and even FUN!  Ah, transformation!  It really is UNCOMFORTABLE.  Thank God that I am not alone, that He is with me every second of the way!

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deut 3:16 (NIV)

Even writing this blog is a practice in pushing myself out of my comfort zone.   I’ve only ever shared my writing with a select few, and only after I’m satisfied that it is flawless.  This blog is a place where I am pouring out my soul, sharing my experiences, but it isn’t nearly as edited as I am comfortable with.  There would simply never be a post . . .  it would never make it past my incessant editing.  I’m determined to post regularly, even if it’s an imperfect sentence.  You are invited to watch the process . . . but please know, it’s imperfect and messy. But transformation always is, isn’t it?


Posted November 6, 2013 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

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