Monday, August 25, 2014

New Beginnings.

“But God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through.”
-Francis Chan, Crazy Love 

It's been a year since I made the move. One whole year since I packed up my stuff and moved 700 miles away from my friends, family and established life. I was now standing up from what I was building and starting all over. New state, new community, new chapter in my book.  

I know many people may look at this change as a grand adventure. I know I sure did! God was calling me to something greater! It was going to be greater, or so I kept telling myself.

It's taken me a whole year to somewhat grasp a sense of what God is doing in my life. Oh yes, I got married to the love of my life and am loving every second of that! What I mean, however, is in regards to what God is doing in me personally. 

I stumbled upon this quote by Francis Chan, not too long ago. God was talking. I didn't have the usual "aha!" moment, I didn't even have the occasional "oh wow I totally understand!" moment. No, it was a foreign "yeah, that makes sense" moment. 

To avoid a glob of unnecessary details, this past year has been rough personally. It would definitely land in the top list of hardest years yet. So many wonderful, wonderful blessings filled the year but some how I was struggling day to day. I had to literally fight to keep moving forward every morning. "Why did God call me to move here? Why couldn't he work through my relationship from where I was.... comfortable?" Ah! That word... comfortable.  Hold onto that word for a little bit.

“But God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through.”

I was in the midst of a fierce battle. Part of me longed for what I had, had;  for the comforts of the established life I'd made. On the opposite, the other part of me was reaching, searching to follow the call I had heard God make. Literally I would go back and fourth each day. There were days I felt triumphant and strong, ready to take on this new adventure. Then there were days I felt completely defeated and alone. It was chaos. 

God doesn't call us to comfortable. God doesn't call us to comfortable. God doesn't call us to comfortable. The bible is riddled with stories of people who God called out of the comforts of life to follow him and his way! The stories are encouraging, uplifting and down right inspiring. We want to be Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace . We want to be Paul sharing the gospel to all the nation. We want to have a life worth living in his name! But, when given the chance we (I) run back to the rock in which we clung to before. Why is that?! Why is letting go of comfortable so difficult?! 

It was easy for me to persnally cast blame. I am an introverted person. When I felt alone, lacking community, or missing my life back home, I immediately blamed me myself and I for not being more outgoing. The beautiful personality God blessed me with was starting to look ugly and wrong. I felt helpless and insecure. I was listening to the lies of the evil one. His lies were demeaning, belittling and hurtful and I believed every one of them. I was so uncomfortable that my longing for those comforts grew and grew! 

However, I look back at this year and can only praise God. I praise him for his patience and faithfulness. In my weakest moments, I know he felt the pain and hurt I was feeling, but he held strong for me. He kept picking me up and pushing me forward. I know now that this past year was for nothing. God was working. God was refining me. 

This past week was my first week going back to school. I was terrified. Immediately insecurities of my age and now marital status overwhelmed me, I was sick to my stomach! "I'm not supposed to be here." I kept telling myself "I should have graduated last spring!" But from some sweet encouragement from my husband, I took a deep breath and jumped in head first. I think God used that week to show me a glimpse of how he has been working in me. He showed me a confidence I had in me I never thought I would get back. He showed me kindness and grace. 
With this he filled me with the confidence to take it a step further. I joined a woman's bible myself...without Justin! My heart was literally overflowing. I was almost in tears. I still can't believe I did it! 

Oh, how my heart longed for the comforts I had left. I had, had a sense of community, I had, had a sense of confidence. But in following the Lord and his call away from comfortable, he has proven to me what these character traits truly do look like! He proved to me qualities I had never imagined achieving myself. 

Each day is still a battle. I fight the temptation of falling back to those helpless pity parties. I fight hearing the lies the evil one tries to tell. But I know that if God got me through that refining period, he will get me through anything. Each day he grows us, he grows us stronger!

It's been a year since I made the move. One whole year... I packed up my things and moved 700 miles to follow a call that has no only forced me out of my comfort zone but has pushed me farther into the arms of a loving, merciful, strong heavenly Father.

In the midst of pain and hurt it is almost impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter what we go through or are going through, God is with us. He doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called. We go through boot camps to be refined for his work for his kingdom and praise God we do.
As Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:12
"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service."
We all need work and fine tuning. Praise God for loving us enough to be patient with us to consider us worthy for his calls.

So if you are like me. Be patient, be strong and cling so tightly to our heavenly father, he is right there with you, every step of the way. 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
-Joshua 1:9

God Bless.

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