Uncomfortable

            Uncomfortable.  By definition this word means to feel awkward or uneasy, and this is exactly how God wanted me to feel this week.  No one likes to step outside of their comfort zone — I definitely do not.  We like to stay in our comfortable little bubbles where we feel safe and secure.
            My senior year of high school was spent applying to colleges and making decisions about my future.  I was dead set on going to Stephen F. Austin State University, right down the road from my comfortable hometown. But my mom encouraged me to check out other schools, just in case. Texas A&M was a comfortable choice. We visited the great College Station, Texas, but the large campus completely overwhelmed me, and off the list it went.
            Then my mom suggested Texas Woman’s University. I agreed to visit because I heard it was a great school. But it was three hours from Jacksonville, and who wanted to go to a school that was basically all girls?  Not me. We took the tour, met important people, signed up for programs, and I was hooked on TWU, its beautiful campus and amazingly caring staff.
            In August of 2013, I found myself standing in the parking lot with arms full of pillows, clothes, and decorations. I was ready to step out of my comfort zone and try a completely new place where I did not know a single soul.  Classes started, friendships formed, but I had yet to try a new church.  Church has always been a second home to me. 
            Needless to say, I am very comfortable at First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville.  I never had to experience trying a new church, and I was absolutely terrified. Using every excuse I could think of, I put off going to church Sunday after Sunday. Finally, I worked up the courage to visit a couple of churches my freshman year but neither one worked out. So here I was again, back to the drawing board of where to attend church and to worship our amazing God.
            This year I began attending the Denton Wesley Foundation, a Methodist program for college students, where we worship, do missions, and have fellowship.  I am in love with this foundation, even though it took me awhile to start feeling comfortable here.  There’s that word again, “comfortable,” and along with it came God’s voice calling me to do something I am really uncomfortable doing. 
            Last Tuesday night, during worship a girl shared her faith journey as the devotional.  She finished by saying the devotional time was open to anyone who felt called to share a little of their faith journey during worship.  That is when it happened. God filled my head with His voice, “You are going to speak and share your faith story, and you are going to sign up right after worship, because if you don’t you are going to make excuses why you shouldn’t have to speak.  Oh, and you are going to talk about being uncomfortable.” 
            I was finally feeling comfortable in my new place of worship and in my faith, and God stepped in, telling me I could not just be “comfortable” anymore.  When God calls us to do something for Him, we are not always going to be comfortable with it.  He called me to step out of my comfort zone by attending a school three hours from my comfortable home, by trying a new place of worship, and speaking in front of a group of people I barely know.  I am still working on exercising this new concept of being uncomfortable and following God through anything.
            Thinking about being uncomfortable, the story of Peter walking on water comes to mind.  In the middle of a relentless storm, Jesus called Peter to walk on the water to Him.  Peter was not comfortable getting out of the boat, but His faith was bigger than his discomfort, if just for a second (Matthew 14:22-33).  Abraham was definitely uncomfortable sacrificing his only son for God, but he stepped out and followed what God said (Genesis 22:1-14).  The biggest story of discomfort, though, is the story of the crucifixion. Jesus was not comfortable dying on the cross, in fact He begged God in the garden to change His mind (Luke 22:39-44). 
            I believe God wants us to be uncomfortable in our faith, taking steps outside of our comfort zone to learn more about Him and maybe teach a few others about him, as well.  God is telling me that to be comfortable is to be stagnant, and to not be taking steps forward to know Him better or to learn more about Him.  By practicing being uncomfortable, in just the passed few days I have learned so much about my faith, my life, and my amazing God. 

Ronni Boyer

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