After eight days of a splendid vacation, which included delicious food, rich conversation, loads of laughter and delightful wines, it was quite a feat to come back to reality. Even though I was ready to return to my normal life, to my beloved family and to my life’s work, I still found myself struggling with a low-grade sadness. I suppose this is normal as I “mourned” over the fact that vacation was over.
I have found that reentry can prove to be quite challenging. I was unmotivated to get back into my healthy routines, and felt myself wanting to stay in “vacation mode” indefinitely. I find that, as I look at my life, there are “moments” where I make key choices that determine the course of the next season of life. I felt this to be one of those moments. Would I return to healthy habits and patterns and continue to care for my body the way I had been, or would I allow the post-vacation blues to turn into weeks and then months of loosey-goosey behaviors? I decided to fight by making the next right choice. And it wasn’t easy.
It took me a week to get back to my normal exercise regimen. As I was pushing my body, I felt the endorphins kick in and I was overwhelmed with joy at having simply made it to my aerobic dance class that day. Toward the end of a great workout, as I lay on the mat doing core abdominal work, my instructor yelled, “Get uncomfortable. This is supposed to be hard. The best thing for your body right now is to get uncomfortable!”
This reminder struck at my core with profound meaning. Of course it applied immediately to what I was experiencing—it would be more comfortable to be reading a book on my couch this early Saturday morning, but I chose to get uncomfortable by coming to work out, which actually led to greater true comfort—basking in the joy of doing something hard but good for myself.
And then of course I thought of how this is a principle for living a life that makes a difference in this world. Get uncomfortable.
It was uncomfortable to leave my home at 18 to go across the country to Moody Bible Institute, but it changed my life and led me to my true calling. It was uncomfortable to be honest with my husband about how I was really doing, but opening up took our marriage to a deeper level. It was uncomfortable to labor and deliver my baby girl Grace who turned out to be the only child I would ever give birth to—how grateful I am for that discomfort. It led to a miracle! It was uncomfortable to go through the foster-adoption process that led to welcoming Kayla Joy to our family, but I can’t imagine life without the little one who, just this morning, told me I am beautiful and special and that I need to listen to God’s voice!! It was uncomfortable to spend five months caring for a foster baby we would return to his birth family, heart-wrenchingly uncomfortable to say goodbye to him, but the joy of loving a child and welcoming him into his first five months of life with unconditional love that will shape his entire future—this outweighs the pain and any “discomfort.”
What are you doing to get uncomfortable? What are you doing that requires faith? How are you moving out of your comfort zone into unknown territories where God is more real than ever?
Many of us can find ourselves in such a monotonous routine that we don’t take time to pause and reflect and ask ourselves the uncomfortable questions: Am I living the life that God dreams for me? If not, am I willing to move in faith into uncomfortable situations? God often invites us into uncomfortable places, assuring us of His presence. We underestimate what God can do through us because we look at ourselves and our own limitations, when God invites us to look at Him and what He can do in and through us. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they are not ready to take it to the next level. You never feel ready! That’s the point. You follow God’s voice with faith, knowing that of course you can’t do it without Him, but you don’t have to! When we join Him where He is moving and leading us, we find ourselves living an uncomfortable, but adventure-filled life!
Could this be a “moment” in your life? How will you spend the next season of this one life God has entrusted to you?