A few years ago, God was leading me down a path that I wasn't sure I was ready for.
And I fought like crazy to keep that path hidden. It was full of strangers, full and open to the world. I preferred to stay still, quiet and uninterrupted. It was safe here.
I'm an introvert and staying at home (or hiding in my safe cave of darkness) has been where I feel the most comfortable. The idea of breaking my habits and getting out of my daily routine was not pleasant nor did I want anything to do with it. In fact, I spent most of my time, convincing the rest of my family that the outside world was unpleasant and harmful. Why go outside when home is right here, warm, familiar and safe?
Making friends has been difficult because that also requires change. I actually have to *gasp* talk to people. It's taken me years to gain enough confidence and bravery to just speak to people I don't know. I prayed to God for a long time for guidance. Why was it so hard for me to do this? Why is it so easy for others? I knew that these feelings weren't normal or right, but I didn't know what to do about them.
However, a few years later (after counseling and medication-dealing with anxiety, depression and OCD), I find myself ready to face challenges I couldn't even think of before. God has opened many doors for me and that path, that once seemed so wide open and frightening, now fills me with hope.
Suddenly, my husband and I find ourselves in a church that feels just like home. Filled with people I feel honored to call friends or even family. I wouldn't change it for anything. Although, I've recently discovered that the church can become another safe cave of darkness, if I allow it to be so.
It can be a safe haven, but it can also be a place for me to hide and not meet new people. I feel comfortable there and now that I feel comfortable, I don't want to reach out and invite people in. Things are going so good, I don't want that feeling to change. Once again, I think I'm building walls up and, instead of keeping bad things out, I'm just trapping myself inside and locking out all the good that could be.
Yes, there's lots of evil and bad out there, but locking ourselves away from it, is also locking out all the good that's out there. Instead of hiding, I need to reach out and help the world find more good, by being part of the good. Instead of searching for good out there, I want to be part of the good that's out there.
God keeps pushing us, doesn't he? Before I can even put up my giant, thick walls, I feel myself being guided down another path. Just when I get comfortable, walking down this first path, that took me so long to reach, there's a slightly less worn path that needs to be taken.
It's almost like he's saying, "Don't get too comfortable here. That's not how you build relationships. And I need you to build relationships so that you can lead people to my table."
Change is hard to face at certain times. We get complacent and know that change may bring a disturbance and shift in our daily world. It may bring in people that might not be so friendly, that might not like me or maybe we will face difficult decisions. I cannot live in fear constantly anymore. I know God wants more from me, in my short time here.
I've been praying so much lately for the ability to find where my spiritual gifts are, where I can make a difference. As much as I ask him to, God has yet to come down here and just tell me where I'm supposed to be and how I'm supposed to help. (Although, it would really make things easier...)
And, as much as I hate to admit this, I feel that the only way to find my path, is to get out of my comfort zone. That's the first step. I don't think we can get too far in life without getting out of that safe zone that we build around ourselves. We work so hard to fill our lives with "safety" that we don't realize the effect we could have if we only broke free of that.
It's not going to be easy. In fact, I have been fighting this for a very long time.
However, God keeps pushing me down this path and I need to stop fighting him and just trust in where he's pushing. There's a rhyme and a reason for each thing he has planned and I can either accept it or hide from it, but I want to find my way in this world and serve Him.
I think it's time for me to stop fighting so much and get my feet moving. And because that reminds me of a song, I had to share it with you:
I know that this is a huge change from where I normally head in my posts. But once again, I found another fork in the path and I need to gain enough courage to walk down it. I will still talk about my kids and I still use humor and sarcasm, but every now and again, I might actually need to be serious. Shocking, I know.