Monday, March 10, 2014

Uncomfortable comfortability

A few days ago I started to feel a little homesick for my tiny town of New Wilmington.  I was missing enchiladas and salsa from El Canelo, my favorite Jazzman's worker who always knew I wanted an extra shot of espresso, seeing Amish buggies on my walk to class, my home church service, being able to drive home for a bubble bath if I had a rough day, and generally meeting up with lifelong friends and family for dinner or study dates.

Even though it was a fleeting moment, maybe lasting an hour or so, I still got that feeling in my stomach where it was as if I'd just done an upside down loop on a roller coaster.  I was aching for comfort, the normality and usual feeling of home life.  Sometimes I think we get so caught up in comfortability that we don't let ourselves live life fully; we get too scared to take that one step off the beaten path because we don't know what's on the other side of the woods (or in my case, the ocean).

I struggle with living in the uncomfortable moments of life.  I found out on my first trip to Scotland that I have a hard time functioning in those times that are foreign or don't make sense.  I would always get frustrated when friends and family from home would claim I had so much "bravery" for leaving little old New Wilmington and completely immersing myself in a new culture.  Maybe I had the courage to make the jump, but I wasn't initially embracing the bravery everyone claimed I had once I reached the British Isles. . .until I started to realize how much I was growing from being an American, recognizing that I didn't know everything about the country I was staying in.

I'm still constantly challenged to live in the present, open myself to unknown adventures and not fret about the consequences of every single decision. Over the past year, my identity as a woman of God has helped me realize the number one thing I needed to work on (and still need to work on every day) is living in uncomfortableness.

Joshua 1:9 says "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

As a Christian, I recognize that I'm not called to be content with my life, even once I've found my niche, found my home or discovered my calling.  Every day I should be working toward fulfilling His purpose, whether it's simply making someone smile, doing well on an essay exam, or volunteering on a Habitat for Humanity summer trip.  A life of comfortability isn't enough.  Yes, I am happy and thankful every single day for all of the blessings I receive, but to solely rest in those gifts isn't enough.  I need to constantly work toward bettering myself-and that means leaving my flat, getting out into the world, and discovering how else God can work in my life.  Because watching Netflix isn't going to make me a better person (hence the cancellation of my beloved account during Lent and for the rest of the semester).

Being uncomfortable is not always fun, but it's in those moments of awkwardness and confusion that we find further comfort in previously foreign situations and understanding in previously unknown concepts.  We grow, we learn and we expand our knowledge of what else the world has to offer and how else we can be a blessing for others.

Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known."

In the spring of 2012 I made the decision to take one of those leaps of faith without realizing it would lead to immense growth in my independence, individuality and spirituality.  I left my comfortable home to face discomfort in a parallel universe known as the United Kingdom.  Never did I think I would feel reverse homesickness when I returned to New Wilmington, missing ceilidhs, a real cup of tea, cobblestone streets, Tesco runs and friends that became extremely dear to my heart.  I was missing a new comfortability that I never would have known if I hadn't decided to feel awkward and foreign for 4 months. And I am so thankful for that fear!

Embrace discomfort, enjoy awkwardness and learn to love new people and places.  Don't rest in the stagnant pond which sits in your backyard, float down the rocky river which travels along the unknown. 


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