“When God moves us out of our comfort zone, into places that are way bigger than us, places that are difficult, hard, painful, even hurt, this is a gift. We are being given a gift. These hard places give us the gift of intimately knowing God in ways that would never be possible in our comfort zones.”
So often lately, I have felt ready to tell God "Ok, enough already. You have pushed my limits for long enough. Put me back in my comfort zone." I am a woman who longs for comfort. I always have, and I think I always will. I love being home, the places I know, the people I love. I love seeing new places and meeting new people, but traveling often wears me down. I just want what I know is safe, predictable, secure. But God knows better, and pushes those limits. It feels like God has continuously been pushing me out of my comfort zone for the past four years. First, the move to college. I was terribly homesick, even at my small private school not far from home. I called my mom every day, and cried each morning, dreading the day of new faces and challenges. And then my mom died. I was forced to grow up over night. Grief matured me and challenged every belief I ever thought true. My mom, my ultimate source of earthly comfort, was gone. Then a trip to the Middle East. My comfort zone was completely smashed to pieces. My worldview and thoughts on God's plan for the world were challenged. Then I graduated college, and got married, and moved to a new city, and got my first "grown up" job, all in the matter of one month. Whew... It feels like since I was 18 years old God has constantly been pushing me forward, nudging me, urging me to take a step into the next unknown. As soon as I have gotten comfortable in a situation, the next change has been right around the corner. Most of these changes, I have wrestled with God and fought him tooth and nail along the way. Some have come more easily than others. But looking back now, through the struggling, wrestling, tears, frustrations, and fears, I can see how the Lord was shaping me through each experience more into the woman he made me to be. I don't even feel like the same girl that left home for her first semester of college over four years ago. Who is that girl who stood grieving at her mother's fresh grave? Who is that woman who left on a plane, headed for a country that was the epitome of unknown to her? Yes, I am longing for a period of comfort, of safety, of knowing what is coming next, of predictability. Yet I also know that it isn't coming, at least not for awhile. As scared as I am for these upcoming comfort-zone-pushing experiences, I can look back on what God has done in the past, and know that I am going to come out of them refined and matured. I am beginning to be able to approach the hard places as a gift; a gift of intimacy with God that wouldn't be possible any other way.