Confession: I am terrible at doing hard things.
I will go out of my way to avoid them.
I will choose comfort every time.
And honestly, it's an area that has tripped me up more than once. It's definitely sin in me that I continue to battle and work through. Last night at church we were posed with a question that has me wrapped up: What do you find yourself praying more often...Lord comfort me...or Lord conform me?
After church last night I got to spend some time chatting with a friend and of course that question in the sermon came up. We cried over it together admitting that hands down I pray for God to comfort me! Not that praying for God to comfort us is bad, not at all! But how often do we say-Lord change me! No matter how uncomfortable it is I just want to be more and more like you!
For me I'll be honest, not enough.
The friend that I was discussing this over is kind of incredible. You see, she met Jesus in a jail cell. She grew up with one parent bound in the chains of addiction and the other in jail. WIth no one else to raise her she was sent to live with her grandmother. Living in the pain and heartbreak that she did growing up she was determined to not let the same thing happen to her. But you see...she didn't know Jesus, she didn't even know that there was a God big enough to heal her and love up the broken pieces of her and put her back together. She didn't know. And determination and grit will only carry you so far, and eventually she found herself in the chains of addiction too. That's how she wound up in that jail cell. But as often is the case with my God, what seemed like the end was only the beginning. And when she had decided that this cell and this lifestyle was all there was to life, and that it must be her family curse that she couldn't ever escape even if she did find herself out of that cell, a woman came through and introduced her to Jesus. If you hear her talk about she'll tell you herself-she just gave me a glimpse, she didn't tell me much. But just that taste was enough and I was ruined. Ruined for Jesus. Which is exactly where she needed to be. 7 years later she is a free woman in more ways than 1. She is a mother to precious boys, an incredible wife, and in a few months graduating with her counseling degree to help other women like her. The woman who left that cell was in no way the same woman who entered it. Because that's what Jesus does, changes you. Sometimes we forget that often requires doing hard things.
These days my friend finds herself in that same jail often, though now it's to minister to others who felt there was no other way like she did. But she wept with me last night as we mulled over that question together as she remembered the day she knew the hard thing that she had to do that was essential for her healing. She had to cut ties with her biological family. She wept as she recalled it all. But she said through a tear stained smile-every single thing that I have given up for God He has replaced ten fold. I thought I would never have a family if I gave up the one I had, but now I have my only family and my own church family that is so huge and really, really loves me-and loves me without the strings of addiction! Freedom I didn't even know existed!
Isn't that the way it is? I'm not saying we are all called to give up our biological families, for my friend and her situation that was what was key to her healing. These days, years later, she does have some contact with them and she is able to witness to them and show them the love of Jesus and we pray that one day they would seek the Healer for themselves. So often our healing and our spiritual growth is just on the other side of that hard thing that we know He is calling us to. After our talk last night I drove home and I knew what I needed to do today, I needed to do my own hard thing, even though it didn't look like my friend's.
So this morning I woke up and got the Mr. off to work and then I got myself ready and I got in the car. The whole way there I talked out loud to God and wept like he was in the seat right next to me. I told Him I wanted to trust Him, I wanted to not be afraid, I knew I had every reason to trust Him and no reason to be afraid. So help me please!
I did the hard thing.
Linking up with: Faith, Nan, Amber, Kendra, Put a Bird on It