Why I Decided to Stay
Because I almost moved four states away but I’m sure glad I didn’t…
Life is full of choices. We can either stay comfortable and stay where we feel safe or we can get out there and take a risk. But what if you didn’t know that the place where you felt comfortable was where you actually needed to be?
A lot of times we are told that if you aren’t uncomfortable you’re doing something wrong. I thought that same thing. I go to a school that’s in-state, hang out with the same people from high school, at one point was involved with Young Life like I have been for 7+ years, etc. I felt stuck. At one point I felt called to go down to a private Christian school down in Arizona. Prayed about it a lot, felt like this was really God’s will for me, asked for advice from friends and family, went through the whole enrolling process and even picked out my dorm room and classes. I was all set to go start this new adventure where I would meet new people, get involved with new ministries, be surrounded with people who were more like-minded in the sense of faith. It seemed perfect. I felt like I had God’s peace about it.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps” Proverbs 16:9
Jefferson Bethke had this little sermon on God’s will for us. We look at it as a dot: we have to hit it spot on. When in reality it’s more like a circle: there’s some boundaries and we have choices; if it’s glorifying the kingdom, it’s probably part of God’s will.
So how does this pertain to your life and my life? I felt like me going into the unknown and taking a risk was part of God’s plan was the dot I needed to hit. I’ve heard so many times that God didn’t die for us to play it safe but to live dangerously. During this period of trying to figure things out I realized that I was sort of playing it safe leaving. Why? Because I was running away from my problems.
I was frustrated the fact that I wasn’t putting myself out there as much with new friendships because I felt safe with my friends from high school (still love you guys though!). I was beating myself up for the fact that the ministry I was working with for so long wasn’t a good fit for me anymore. I felt like going to a very liberal school was too much of a pain in the butt. I hated being politically correct all the time and feeling like I was walking on eggshells or I was automatically going to be judged because of my faith. I felt like the weather would always take a toll on my anxiety and all I needed was the sunshine and like-minded people to make everything better.
But the grass always looks better on the other side too.
I sat down with my aunt one night and was telling her about this war in my mind. I wanted to go to get out of my comfort zone but at the same time I wasn’t facing the problems that I was wanting to flee from them because I was too lazy to find solutions. Then after weighing out pros and cons she asked me one last question: “Gun to your head. Where would you go?” Without even thinking I said a definite, “I’d stay”.
My pastor Garrett gave a sermon on getting rooted where you’re planted. He threw out a bunch of ways that we could get rooted even if that meant that we were only going to stay in one place for a couple months or a life time. The point of getting rooted is to help you make the most of your time that God has given you in that spot, so make the most of it. And that’s when it hit me. I wasn’t rooted the way I wanted to be. I was doing the same thing over and over again, playing it safe and hoping for a different result…
I was too scared to put myself out there in a place where I thought I was comfortable in.
Then the peace showered over me like PNW rain. New courage was found. I didn’t want to admit that I was running from problems that I created myself. I mean come on, there were simple solutions to a lot of my frustrations. But sometimes the lies of rejection and “you can’t do it” can really get a hold of your neck.
Now here I am. I’m glad I stayed, it gave me another chance to get rooted and to try out new things.
It’s better to try than not…
After all, we were saved to live dangerously.