Friday, March 18, 2011

Reporting from outside my comfort zone

Even the most familiar places can be foreign and strange
when blanketed in a dense fog.  

I have a story to share with you, it is about how God answers prayers and it isn't going to be what you expect.  At least it wasn't what I expected!

My last post was about moving outside your comfort zone as a Lenten exercise.  Giving up your comfort zone as a sacrifice and a builder of character.  Well let me tell you what have I been outside mine!  For the past few weeks I have struggled with and dealt with things that were so far away from my thoughts when I wrote that post!

God answered my prayers indeed He did!  I got to experience some things in my life that have been scary, stressful, hurtful, isolating, freaking me out hard and I've been struggling with depression.  I'm the confident one and I'm our family anchor.  

Settled firmly on the sandy bottom of our life and in my faith.
My little ship bobs and hangs on the waves but never really feels like it is going to swamp, or sink.  These past few weeks have had me submerged and gasping for breath and while I started out fearing it and even hating it some.  I also started to paddle, to swim, to reach out to Jesus who has calmed storms before.

God didn't take the storms away.  He showed me how to sail for the weather.  He taught me how to chart an unfamiliar course and avoid the rocks, how to pull off of the shoals when my bottom was dragging stuck in the sand.  He is bringing me to more time in prayer, into the Word and He is also bringing my family with me.

I thought, wrongly, that I had to have a choice of either or.  Instead God is showing me I can have, in balance, that which I need for all the roles I play in life.  I was wrong in my comfort zone about so many things, and yet in others I was right, deeply right!

God knows me so well, He crafted me for the tasks I have, and I'm thankful for this time outside my comfort zone.  I'm not super happy to be here - do not misunderstand me!  My comfort zone is very, well, comfortable and this place is not!  But it is here, in my personal wilderness that I've found my quails and manna and I've not felt my spirit hungry.  

My comfort zone won't feel the same when I get back.  I'm certain it will have some big holes and some tears and even a few new windows knocked in.  But that is okay!  By learning to give this time and these fears and this worry to God I've learned that my illusion of control was always serving me at MY pleasure, not for God's purpose.

The fog which makes even the most familiar things seem strange and foreign has become less suffocating and more lovely.  I've relearned things, and I've discovered things new and anew.  I feel blessed by this time and while I won't want to get in line to repeat it I also won't forget its lessons either.

I started reading my Bible more deeply, more prayerfully.  I have been diligent in my prayers and in keeping my gratitude journal.  I've brought my son into reading and praying more with me and he inspires me with his beautiful faith.  I've learned that my hours of worry and my streams of tears do not, in the end, change things.  Prayer does.  Actually doing things does.  Stepping out in faith as imperfect as I am at this.  Those are what brings movement and the only way through something is to KEEP GOING!

God has blessed me and I trust that He has blessed you as well!

I've rested on a number of verses but none so much as this one...and I've prayed it, sang it, shouted it and claimed it for myself, for my family, for us all.

Psalm 121

 1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from? 

2 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.

 3 He will not let your foot slip—
   he who watches over you will not slumber; 

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.

 5 The LORD watches over you—
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
   nor the moon by night.

 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
   he will watch over your life; 

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
   both now and forevermore.


  1. SOO much I want to say, but wait... you already said it! Especially with Psalm 121 at the end.... HUGS and LOVE and PRAYERS and here's to stepping out of comfort zones into the everlasting arms of the Lord.
    What a blessing these words are to me today, not just a blessing but rather life giving sweet water. Thank you.
    Oh, and btw, Sons of Korah, an Aussie group that sing psalms, have a lovely version of that Psalm - my favourite way to rest in those words.

  2. thanks Zoe, I must try and find their songs - are they on iTunes? Bright blessings...