Earlier this weekend, while attending a social event with my family, I had the opportunity to speak, in passing, with a lady who happened to be one of my blog readers. We hadn’t seen each other in a while so of course she asked about my blog. Now, I’m ashamed to admit, but I hadn’t thought about it myself in far too long. With so many crazy things going (like you wouldn’t believe) I had put this blog on the back burner, which was probably the right place for it, considering that responsibilities to God and family always come first. But I’m back now and hopefully will be more frequently, to share some things that have been on my heart lately.
A few months ago, the opportunity arose for me to join a mission team to go half-way around the world and share God’s message with people who have probably never heard it. At this same time, I was in a confusing relationship with a young man who I had let slip out of the “friend zone”, which had in turn led to a bit of heart trouble for both of us (figuratively, of course). Throughout these months, and even right now, I have been ministering in the little ways I can to several young girls who are going through really tough issues with depression, family, school, relationships and just life in general. Trying to share wisdom and encouragement when I could and support when I needed to.
Through all of this God has been teaching me a lot of things. Patience. Boldness. Integrity. Discretion. Compassion. Agape love. And countless others. But the one thing that I’ve seen in it all, I think, can be summed up in this statement.
“Great things never came from comfort zones.”
When God called me to go on this mission trip around the world, I didn’t hear his voice in a big way. I didn’t even hear it in a whisper. I heard it in the nervous feeling in my stomach and the thoughts swirling in my head. “That’s crazy. I can’t do it. I’m only sixteen. I’m not ready for this. I don’t want to leave my family for that long. What if I fail?” That’s when I knew I had to go. You see, God never called us to be comfortable. He calls us to be brave. In Joshua 1:9, the Lord commands “Be strong and courageous.” In the song “Do Something” by Matthew West, he sings “We’re never going to change the world by standing still.”
Moving on. I never understood how anyone could put anything besides “It’s complicated” on their relationship status. See, I think all relationships are pretty complicated. But none more so than during those teenage years when you’re trying to do everything good and right, and then all you get is curve balls thrown at you. It’s not easy, and it’s certainly not always comfortable to stick to your standards in a relationship. I’ve seen time and time again, young girls who think they have it all down, only to get swept away by an immature guy who knows how to talk the talk. Great relationships don’t come from comfort zones either. They come from hearts completely committed to and content in Christ alone.
A few days ago, I was chatting with a young lady who had some serious, and indeed, quite terrifying situations going on in her life. We talked about life and purpose and I tried my best to share with her the hope I have in Christ. The reason I can stand when the whole world is crumbling around me. By the end of our conversation, I could tell that she was grasping these concepts that are so vital and coming to grips with her place in God’s plan. We still have a long ways to go, and I’m thankful for every opportunity I’ve had to share with her and others. But if you had told me a year ago, that I’d be sharing my faith with perfect strangers, I wouldn’t have believed you. Actually, I’d just be really impressed with my future self 😉 But seriously, I had never really felt comfortable talking to anyone about anything. Looking at how far God has brought me and the amazing experiences He’s given me to learn and grow, it’s so humbling. And that’s actually a huge part of it. Being humble, letting go of expectations, even letting go of realities and just trusting God to use you.
I have been so blessed to have some amazing mentors in my life who have supported me through those confusing and difficult times and have always encouraged me to get outside my bubble and chase God’s will, no matter where it takes me. I thank God for these people and I pray that you will be blessed with people like that in your life. But even more than that, I pray that you will have the strength and humility to surrender every bit of your life to the One who has planned great things for you (Jer 29:11). He will get you through those times when you’re wondering why you started this journey in the first place, and He’ll lead you to a place where you can look back and see His work and His faithfulness in all of it.
What are some situations that God has brought you through recently? What is an area of your life that you’re afraid to let God work in? Leave your thoughts in the comment section!