I married my husband in 2008. Up until we exchanged vows, we attended church with his family. Once we were officially man and wife, living in a small and scary apartment, we began the search for a church to call our own. The church we felt God wanted us at.
We found the church rather quickly. And almost immediately, we knew this was the church.
The worship was filled with the Holy Spirit. And the preaching came right from the Bible. I felt as though I were finally hearing from God.
It’s been over four years now, and we still consider that church our home. Some things have changed – like the campus and our community group – but the message and the worship is still filled with the Holy Spirit.
At the end of every service, a reminder is issued. “You have six days between now and next Sunday. Don’t waste them.” It’s hard to realize just how many days I have wasted.
Another thing that hasn’t changed? The loving reminder from the lead pastor that God is not concerned with my comfort.
When our pastor first said that, it hurt. I was newly married. We were living in our very first home. I was working my very first grown up job. On paper, things were wonderful and comfortable. Reality was a little different.
Marriage, if you didn’t know, is hard. Especially (for us at least) the first few years. Our very first home was a ranch style bungalow built in the 1920s. We fell in love with it immediately but didn’t factor in the repairs, the lack of insulation, the mice, and the unsavory neighbors. Finally, my first grown up job was working as a social worker for the state. It seemed like everywhere I looked I saw discomfort, and I often wondered when it would all get easier and better. I also prayed for life to ease up and for miraculous changes.
I never heard the response I wanted from God. Life never got easier. Some of our circumstances changed, but there were always other circumstances that followed. Jobs were lost and then new jobs found. We celebrated years of marriage, and the beginning struggles were overcome and then followed by other struggles. Our house stayed the same.
Then 2012 came. My husband and I both had stable jobs. I was even blessed with a new part-time job and new full-time job in the same month. We decided to put our old house up for sale and somehow made a profit from that sale. And we built a brand new house with more square footage.
We finally had comfort. The one thing I had longed for and prayed for so long. The one thing that always seemed to elude us. I felt like I could breathe. Like it was finally time for me to just rest in God and not worry about anything.
What’s funny about having comfort, though, is that other things happen that push you to seek out discomfort. It’s not the kind of discomfort that I had in an unsafe, freezing house. Rather it’s the kind of discomfort that comes from looking at the world and realizing how much hurt there is.
Since beginning to work as a social worker, I’ve known that I wanted to foster children and adopt. I have no desire to have any of my own biological children. Rather I want to love the children who are already here. I want the love for the children to extend to the families as well.
And I want to adopt so that I can tell our children that we chose them. I want them to know how much we wanted them and that there was never a doubt in our minds that we would need a child of our own blood. My husband feels the same.
But all this I planned on waiting for. My husband asked me, just weeks after we moved into our new house, when I thought I would be ready, and I told him I wanted at least a year in our new house.
God’s turned that all around though.
We’re uncomfortable in this brand new house because of all the comfort. Things have happened recently that have caused us to take the initial steps to begin fostering. We’ve told a select few about this, and some are supportive. Others ask how we will do it. My response right now is I don’t know.
I think that’s what discomfort is. It’s not knowing and trusting in God through that not knowing. It’s seeing the path He has laid out for you and taking it even though it makes no sense. It’s realizing that life is about more than houses and jobs and money in your bank account.
By allowing discomfort back into our lives, welcoming it back into our lives even, we are living out the six days of mission. It’s easy to go to work and then go home and not see the mission field during that time. It’s also easy for me to see my work in the field of non-profits and social work as my mission and then forget about mission once I’m safely inside my house.
Just as God has turned around our comfort, He’s also turning around my vision of mission.
We’re both young at 27 (me) and 26 (my husband). And we both know the road we’re going to travel will be a difficult one. Every person in our lives will have an opinion on our choices, but we know that it’s time for us to willingly be uncomfortable and to constantly live on mission.
What has God called you to do?