I’m learning that comfort can be a bad thing. That’s hard for someone like me. I love comfort. Sweats are my favorite things to wear, especially when they’re soft and warm. I’ve always believed that the best thing about life would be security and knowing everything would be okay. To know that life wasn’t going to throw me curve balls at every turn was a dream I’ve held on to most of my life. Security wasn’t something I was familiar with but I’d always wanted to experience it. In some ways, I’ve had a bit more comfort in the past few years. It’s different than I’d imagined. Unfortunately, I’m finding that comfort doesn’t bring security or intrigue. What would change if I took a step of faith?
Life as a single parent is anything but secure. It seems like there is always something breaking or not working. When things are fixed, they seem to have not been fixed or installed correctly. It’s frustrating. The frequency of the problems make me feel like I’m under attack way too often. I never know what problem is going to come up next, but I know it will come. I don’t have the luxury of just living and being because, even now, things can blow up if I say the wrong thing, which could be anything. I’ve just been surrounded by too many volatile people. I’ve never even been comfortable in my own skin. That’s why I’ve always wanted security, to be comfortable and at ease. I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting these things.
The only security I’ve ever been assured of having is my faith in God. I know what will happen after I take my last breath here on earth and that I’m never alone. I know personally that there are a lifetime of promises and blessings God brings into your life when you follow Him. There is so much good that God gives. For some, it is all they want to focus on. They practice what is called the Prosperity Gospel and only look to the good God can give to their lives. There is no denying that God gives so much, but comfort is not what He brings into life.
To be a Christian is to step into the unknown. The more you turn your life over to Him, the more you step into the unknown. Over the past month, I have been aggressively asking God what His plans are for me, what I’m supposed to be doing for a living or even for the moment, and what steps I need to take each day. I feel I know some of what He’s saying, but there are no specifics on how to get there. There is no comfort in anything I’m doing now. I have no idea where this road will take me.
To follow God’s leading, or a dream, is to step out of your comfort zone. That is a very scary place to live in. It seems counterproductive to step into a place that is not secure or to never know what is coming to find something better. But it’s actually the only way to find something different or life changing. Greatness can come from stepping out of your comfort zones. To keep it in perspective, though, bad things and difficulties can come as well. It’s a huge decision to take step of faith. Doing so can be very exciting or very rough. It’s hard to understand why walking in faith has to be so difficult. Why can’t we just walk into our purpose without so many questions and insecurity?
I think one of the reasons for the insecurity is so we can grow and learn. We become stronger, learn new skills, and become more confident the more we step into the unknown. I can’t even tell you how many obstacles I’ve faced and the new skills I’ve had to learn since my husband died. At times, it seemed like God was throwing me into the fire without an extinguisher. For example, in just a matter of three days, my sewer system backed up again for the third time in five months and the wheel on my van seized up and won’t move. The sewer line was just put in four years ago when we had to link to the city sewer instead of septic. The problem is happening now because they didn’t put the line in correctly. When I tried to call the the company that installed it, I found that they went out of business after 36 years. Sigh. I had a plumber scheduled to come out to scope the line in three days time, but it couldn’t wait to happen until then. On the other hand, the wheel on my van had just been “fixed” two weeks ago. Fortunately, the shop is sending out a tow truck to take it back into the shop today and it will hopefully be fixed soon at no cost, I hope. But with the sewer system, I have shelled out a lot of money to have the drains cleaned. The first two times I wasn’t home, so a company was called out to clean it before I got home. This time, though, I looked online to see if I could do it myself. Turns out, I rented an electric auger and did the work myself. I saved about $160! I had learned from the previous experiences and was able to handle the problem better.
As I’ve contemplated the reasons for the difficulty in taking a step of faith, I realized that God isn’t taking us into a place He hasn’t been before. When Jesus came to earth, He left paradise with His Father, fully knowing the horrors of His death that would come. He knew He had to do this to fulfill the purpose set for mankind before the creation of the universe. Jesus went from majesty to a manger! There is no move we will have to make that will ever compare to what He did.
So, as I look where I am right now, I feel I’m at a fork in the road. I can either take the easy road with assurances and predictability, or I can take the unknown road with no assurances and no roadmap. I seem to remember being at this road a few years back, but I took the easy road then. However, I feel like my life has grown stale. There are still unknowns, but there’s no sense of adventure or direction for the future. What would change if I took the step of faith in the other direction? I think I’m ready to find out.
~ Joanna Lynn