It was the kids 2nd week of school and only our 4th week in South Africa, my husband really needed me to start picking them up from school to free him up to do ministry work. The problem: I wasn’t comfortable driving a manual, on the opposite of the road that I was use to, in a place where I knew no directions. I had practiced some around our neighborhood but didn’t feel ready to drive in front or behind other moving objects. Mark encouraged me to drive him to the school to pick up the kids, I nervously pulled out of my comfortable neighborhood, my nerves were so strong they were causing my eyes to water. I got to the school in ok manner, I think the car only died once. Then Mark “encouraged” me to continue driving across town to our gym. I DID NOT want to do this, these were roads I was really not comfortable with. The car died even before I got out of the school parking lot, I changed into the wrong gear and heard the worse grinding noise ever, I had no clue I was driving in a lane that ran out a half a mile ago, my usually talkative kids were deadly silent all the while I was, with tears in my eyes, telling my husband over and over, I can’t do this, I am not comfortable driving here, I can’t drive when I’m not comfortable, I’m stopping the car!!!! I got to the gym, got on the treadmill and for the first 5 minutes was furious at my husband for pushing me to do something I wasn’t comfortable with, I kept thinking I could have killed my kids. My heart was literally racing and it had nothing to do with the exercise I was doing. After I calmed down a little and began thinking rationally again, I remembered a few things.
- I am capable of doing this: I have been driving for 17 years, I’m not a baby, I CAN DO THIS.
- It’s not optional: We don’t have an easy public transportation, I cannot expect Mark to be my personal taxi, I have a family to take care of. I HAVE TO DO THIS.
- The last thought I had was the most powerful for me: Jesus got out of His comfort zone for me. He did it because He loved me. I love Him: I WANT TO DO THIS.
- Lying on hay in a manager: NOT COMFORTABLE
- Being different from all those around you: NOT COMFORTABLE
- Being far away from your home: NOT COMFORTABLE
- Being surrounded by mobs and constantly touched : NOT COMFORTABLE
- Having friends deny you: NOT COMFORTABLE
- Friends fall asleep and leave you feeling alone: NOT COMFORTABLE
- Being spat on: NOT COMFORTABLE
- Being Wrongly accused: NOT COMFORTABLE
- Being Beat: NOT COMFORTABLE
- Saying goodbye to a mom you love: NOT COMFORTABLE
- Hanging naked on across about to die: NOT COMFORTABLE
He did all this for me and more because He loves me. The hardest part about moving around the world for me hasn’t been fear or loneliness the hardest part has been simply getting out of my comfort zone. I remember standing in my house in the states the day we were moving and crying in my husband’s embrace. I was so scared to leave those four walls of that house, not because I LOVED that house, simply because I was leaving what was comfortable. I came to grasp that day in the gym that at times I will do some thing that are not comfortable: driving a stick shift, trying to talk in another language, speaking in front of women on deputation, leaving my home, being alone, staying by myself at night etc… But I do it not for men’s applaud but because I love Christ and He has asked me to do it: I love this quote:
“No one likes to leave a comfort zone, but God prods us from our comfortable niches with the driving force of the Great Commission.” – Bill Hull
What is it that we are not willing to do simply because we do not want to leave our comfort zone? Even state side we won’t do things like pass out tracts, teach a Sunday School class, invite our neighbor to church because it is out of our comfort zone. I pray I will always remember what he did for me and what He has asked of me is nothing in comparison.
PS – It’s amazing that when we step out, He steps out with us: I am getting more and more comfortable in my new home, I now comfortably drive a stick shift and one day I pray I will speak this new language with ease and comfort!