And we find ourselves asking yet again; "is the life I lead the life that longs to live in me?”
When we know we’re called to higher, and in a moment of complete surrender we tell Him “I will go wherever you lead — ” I wonder how many of us actually understand what this means? Or if they’re really just foxhole prayers? We cry out for a “fix” and a solution to the season we’re in, because we’re desperate for an answer or direction, but when we don’t receive the ‘revelation’ we hoped for, we just continue forward with our lives just as they are??
I’ve heard the saying “comfort is the enemy of achievement” in the fitness world a dozen or more times, which thankfully I guess is true; for fitness so you push beyond comfort levels to see achievement.
But think back to your personal life and the decisions you’ve made throughout your years.
How many times would you say you made decisions based off of how ‘safe’ they were?
Or because they didn’t interrupt your sweet little and safe world?
Now I’m totally with you on this one, so Im preaching to the choir! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve made a decision based off the convenience or comfort it offered. Simple decisions from where to eat close by, plans to attend on a weekend (a friend’s get together vs a BBQ or mixer event that would really expand my network, perhaps add new amazing friends into my life). Even the decisions I’ve faced about the risks it took to see a change; I’ve found myself avoiding many of these decisions until it got too uncomfortable to let the ‘option of a decision' continue to reside in the room. Just like the big pink elephant that is trying to blend into the grey walls; you knew the decision just had to be made!
I'm thinking though, the line: “comfort is the enemy of achievement” applies to more than just our fitness routines, and especially if we want to see true transformation and change we have to not only embrace this thought but take it to the point of pushing beyond comfort to see those changes and transformations!
Have you ever stopped to think how the United States were built on the idea of "anything being possible” and "capitalism at its finest”? But then also the right for being comfortable and happy? Or perhaps the idea of “comfort” has been worked into our daily lives so much that we don’t even know that majority of life set up for us here in the US (except the DMV;) is about “comfort”?
Heck we do yoga and practice meditation to ‘comfort the mind’ and we seek comfort through massages and chiropractors and spas and treatments.
Not many other countries even have the possibility to look at their life day to day and ask themselves if they want the convenience of driving through Starbucks or picking up dinner on the way home, already made. And how many people decide to buy new clothes or beds because they’re not ‘comfortable’? When in some countries, to even own a mattress or have a bed with the frame is considered a luxury? To even think we get the option of choosing shoes to wear based off of style is quite comical(*while not always comfortable, they sure look fabulous with our new Michael Khors watch.)
So there’s a few things I’ve actually learned in my times of seeing my therapist. (WHICH…side note: I highly highly recommend seeking out a therapist or counselor to ANYONE who wants to live and lead a better and healthier version of themselves! They are able to see and help us see things we might not be able to apart from the intervention and revelations of Jesus and the Holy Spirit during out quiet time with him) Ok, back to the story… When I had the priviledge of talking to “Diane(we’ll call her for today;) She was able to identify something huge regarding the way I protect myself but perhaps the way I allowed myself not to feel, as well. You see, when I would talk about a tragic memory or story of something that happened involving me, I would laugh it off or infer that it didn’t really matter a whole lot by the way I dismissed it. What she said was that I was basically telling my heart it didn’t matter each time I laughed off how someone treated me. The things my father said that were ‘ridiculous’ were covered with a laugh verses me allowing my heart to understand and process those deeper hurts. Or the silly way an ex boyfriend would tease me, was described with a laugh to ‘keep it light.’ Even talking through career circumstances and things unraveling, but laughing through the story like it was just a ridiculous event altogether.
There were so many moments of life that I allowed myself not to fully process, partially because I didn’t know how, but also because if I were honest, I was afraid how it would feel and unravel my world as I knew it, and I just couldn’t bare it. Sometimes I think many of us, especially ladies, pretend that everything is ok to “keep the comfort” when on the inside we’re either numb or a total mess of emotions.
Can anyone relate?!
So, I saw this great quote on instagram the other day that said “You’re not a messy person; you’re a person living in a messy world!” Gosh, ain't that the truth?!? The hardest part of life I think is learning how to live with everyone else and what they bring into the relationship you have with them, agree?!)
The best part of this post was the caption though! It was a Q & A that said: Q: Why do you cry so much? A: "The same reason I laugh so much; because Im paying attention”
I LOVE THIS! I’ve talked with numerous friends recently and we laugh together about the amount of tears we experience on a day to day basis. What I used to think was crazy, I’ve now come to realize its just because I am FULLY PAYING ATTENTION and while there's numbers of things that literally break my heart daily from hearing of the loss of a child, a divorce, a kidnapping, a tragedy across the world, persecution, someone losing a battle to cancer, even my own emotions processing heartbreak, hurts or failures; BUT there are also equally SO MANY things I get to enjoy and laugh through daily too! From silly inside jokes with girlfriends, to funny things and awesome people I get to do life with who have a love and affection for life that’s just contagious; I love laughing more than almost anything! And so, Jimmy Fallon lip-singing moments or the Voice banterings of Blake Shelton & Adam Lavine are simply awesome. Heck, even the laughter that comes in messing up by saying something wrong or out of turn in a Freudian slip or something hilarious like whiffing on the golf ball with a sweet swing! The joy and laughter kiddos add to my life. The sarcasm from a brother-in-law that leaves you in stitches. Even your new boyfriend’s friends joking with you that make the laughter of life so fun.
Now, thinking back to a pivotal time with Diane (my “therapist”), I’d have to say there were so many wonderful moments and things I got to work through during our time together and I can say NONE of them were comfortable! But why and where did life’s instructions ever say we should live in comfort? If I'm right, there's a verse in the bible that says "Consider it pure joy when you face trials for they develop perseverance, and perseverance, faith, and faith character! “ Woah! So the way to live life and become someone great is through trials? Which are described as anything but comfortable the last time I looked.
Ok, so a couple weekends ago I had the priviledge of attending the Red Rocks Church’ women’s gathering with guest speaker Rebekah Lyons! I was immediately enthusiastic about this event when I heard she was coming to speak and share her story!
In fact, upon the first time of hearing her speak, I wrote about it here: http://wjblondie.blogspot.com/2014/02/dont-just-rescue-it-heal-it.html?m=1 as it literally altered my thinking and challenged me to continue digging deeper to find my true calling: where my gifts and talents would collide with my hearts greatest burden! I knew I was made for more, but I wasn’t doing it then. (A LOT changes in a year:)
Now, just a few days ago, as I thought I had already heard her story, I found myself sitting, nodding and recalling much of what she was sharing, and then it happened…
My heart was feeling something again....
A slight conviction.
the Holy Spirit was getting to the inner parts of my heart!
While I thought it was confirmation of so many things I had prayed about and experienced earlier in the week, it was more!
My heart was being stretched and the conviction was setting in even more as Rebekah was closing the evenings talk with a call to pray and a response to ask for healing. She was praying for women at the event to experience freedom from chains of bondage and healing in hearts from moments the locusts had stolen! She prayed for women’s hearts to be reawakened to the dreams and longings that longed to live in them. And then she did it. She talked through surrender! When she talked about surrender, My heart came unglued. You see, earlier in the week I had thrown out my shoulder working out (I know - OUCH right?!) I managed to put it back into place myself (double ouch!!) But was still sore and healing. I had another prayer warrior tell me mid-week not to be concerned as the Lord knew he could heal my arm right away, but my heart was what he was working on first, and while the shoulder was a distraction the enemy wanted me to focus on; the Lord would sweetly work on my heart first so I could be confident he was working from the inside-out. This is the same week I spent time meeting with a handful of non-profit and missionaries from around the world to share my vision for getting to help people like them tell their stories through film, and I got to share my passion and conviction for being called to this too!! It was amazing! Well what’s ironically not ironic at all, and I believe perfect timing; it was Friday night that my heart was being stirred to the point where God called out a total surrender of my dreams and life into his keeping, regardless of the comfort I was so desperately trying to keep a hold on. It was Rebekah’s talk that caused my heart to align with what God was already taking me to: a point of surrender. From Comfort. From Control. From anything else that would get in the way of….
He wanted to be my everything.
Whats crazy to think though is: “If I surrender this all to Him, what if my dreams never happen?” And for me; that is devastating. For others it requires MORE risk to even allow yourself to dream than it does to actually hope your dream will come true. Regardless of the place you’re in - its in the surrender where we encounter HIM and his plan for us that gets to unfold. My worry that night was not that I wouldn’t get to see my dream unfold eventually in life, but its was more about a timing thing. And when you stand there with open hands, tears streaming down your face saying: “Im yours, everything. My talents, my resources, my dreams, my everything” your vulnerability is at an all time high and the exposure you’re giving the Lord access to is ANYthing but comfortable.
And yet there’s freedom in the surrender too!
As I was able to share my heart a little deeper with the Lord and things I feared verses being able to trust him fully, my heart and spirit lifted. I knew he was at work and calling me to this part of my journey.
While I am eagerly waiting what’s next and where He will lead me; continuing to keep him in the center and being okay to ride the waves of the unknown (even if they’re uncomfortable) to know HE IS IN My Story, is worth it!!!! I don’t just want to get to the end of my life and be tired. As Bob Goff says: "I used to fear not succeeding in anything that mattered. Now I fear more succeeding at things that don’t matter.” To which I’d agree, and add: I want to get to the end of my life not only tired, but not able to give another ounce of me because everything I had I gave away and used for His glory; not mine.
I believe the enemy of our soul wants us to live and actually strive for comfort - no matter the cost, which doesn’t seem like much if its not hard to attain. Watching TV nightly. Visiting with friends over intentional time of growth with your family. Avoiding hard conversations and keeping to ourselves in our own little bubble sounds awful to me, but it's comfortable too and while every so often I think its ok to just 'rest', the daily habit of “comfort” might actually be whats sucking the life out of us….
And as Rebekah Lyons so greatly encourages us to seek after our calling once we know where our burdens and our gifts collide; we jot down her teaching and apply it to our walk: “IF we want to learn to fly we have to experience a freefall first!” Guess I’m in the midst of my freefall, but hopefully about to take flight! . . .
What about you though?
Questions to ponder today: Where are you at in your story? And the BIG question of the day: Is the life you lead the life that longs to live in you? And considering where you’re at are you at a place of surrender or flying yet? And if not, what’s stopping you?
My comfort is anything BUT the freefall…. And my flight perhaps will be the achievement He takes me to & through!
I'm a storyteller and creative. I tell stories through LIVE events and Media (Hosting and Producing). I'm a Fitness Pro and a Pro Traveler with a strong desire to change the world. My thoughts are written on faith, risk, adventures and LIFE! Im passionate about Life, People, and HIM! Enjoying the journey every step of the way.