I imagined an area surrounding me. I called it my “comfort zone”. This is the area I felt safe, happy, and, well, comfortable. I enjoyed life in my changeless routine. Day in and day out my introverted lifestyle was working for me. I thought to myself, God can use me right here in my comfort zone. He knows that I’m shy and not a good people person. He wouldn’t want me to do anything I’m not comfortable with. So, with those thoughts supporting me, I set up camp in my comfort zone. It worked just fine for a while. I actually really enjoyed it. Each day, I strived to be the best I could be for the Lord. Things were going really well…for a while. But, once you get too comfortable, then you start getting lazy. That’s what happened to me. I noticed my walk with the Lord wasn’t as strong as it used to me. I didn’t have the same passion that I used to have. My changeless routine became comfortable complacency.
One day, in an almost audible voice, I heard God say, “It’s time to move out of your comfort zone. Whatever makes you uncomfortable, do that.” With a deer-in-the-headlights look, I replied, “What was that? Let me make sure I heard You right. You want me to move out of my comfortable little area that I’ve enjoyed for so long? And do things that me UN-comfortable? But, Lord, You know that I like the comfort this spot brings me. It’s brought me this far. Why break the cycle?” Yet, the Lord continuously chided with me, “It’s time to move out of the comfort zone.” So, with a hesitant heart, I said, “Yes, Lord. I’m willing to do what You want me to do. Just show me how.”
Little things started happening that started bringing me out of my comfort zone. My two best friends that I was comfortable with more than anyone else moved 3,000 miles away. Who would I hang out with? I’ll have to make new friends? *gulp* Then, my pastor asked me if I would be the lead piano player at church. Before, I was just the keyboard player. No one really listens to the keyboard player. I was just there for backup. I could control the volume and play only what I really felt comfortable with. But, ME be the lead piano player? Everyone would notice when I make mistakes. They would hear every note I play. This definitely made me uncomfortable. But, I, hesitantly, said “Yes”. *gulp* Then, I came into contact with a wonderful, Christian lady who works closely with foster children in our area. My husband and I were already talking about adopting and had even talked to a couple of adoption agencies. But, the Lord clearly showed us that wasn’t the way to go. This lady kept telling us about the foster children in our area and the desperate need for foster parents. I talked to her for about 2 months and asked her a million questions. I began thinking, How could I be a foster parent? It’s too hard. I’d have to deal with so many people, including bio parents. That sounds way to uncomfortable. What would I say to them? All these doubts came pouring into my mind. Yet, the Lord kept saying, “Get out of your comfort zone. This is where I need you.” So, after much prayer, my husband and I said, “Yes” and began the process. *gulp*
I’m still working on completely moving out of my comfort zone. But, I feel like I’m about 3/4 of the way out. There’s still things that come up that make me want to curl up in my comfort zone and hide. But, I’ve realized that when I do the things for the Lord that make me uncomfortable, I see Him work through me more.
The very first time we met one of our foster kids’ bio mom (I’ll call her Kay) I was so extremely nervous. I didn’t know what to say to her or how she’d react to us. We met at the DHS office and the caseworker put us all in a room ALONE together for about 15 minutes. At first, it was so awkward. I avoided eye contact and just kept looking down at my phone. Kay kept staring at us with a look that could kill. I was so uncomfortable. But, Kay’s mom started asking us questions and we all began to loosen up. At the end of the meeting, my wonderful, extroverted, Christian husband, asked if he could pray with everyone. Caseworkers, DHS supervisor, bio family, everyone. They said that was okay and he said a prayer for each person in that room. My heart was filled with such gratitude that the Lord gave me an extroverted husband who is not afraid to be what the Lord wants him to be. Because of him following the Lord’s leading, the relationship with the bio family has been much smoother. The next time I saw the bio mom she gave me a HUG! After that, at the next court hearing, in the middle of the courthouse, my wonderful husband asked the bio family if he could pray over the hearing. We all gathered hands and prayed right there.
I’m not saying any of this to lift us up in any way. Trust me. In my comfort zone, I probably wouldn’t have even gone to that first meeting, let alone, pray with everyone. But, over the last couple of years, the Lord has worked to move me out of my comfort zone and into my uncomfortable zone for this purpose. He knew that I was too comfy where I was and I wouldn’t be able to do the things that we’ve had to do.
I’ll end with this thought from A.W. Tozer, “When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it resolves a great deal of anxiety.” That’s once consolation that I’ve had through this whole “move” is that it’s making me more like Jesus. That’s all that matters to me in this world and I would move to the moon if that’s what He wanted me to do.
I encourage you, if you’re stuck in comfortable complacency, move out! Ask the Lord where He wants to take you and be willing to go there.
I have to admit, I kind of like the view from my uncomfortable zone.