Well, here I am. Typing at a keyboard, writing my first blog post. As I write this, I’m not even sure I’ll publish it…or want to publish it. This is me trying to push myself out of my comfort zone. After reading some convicting books, devos, and scripture passages, I’m realizing just how much we grow when the Lord guides us out of our comfort zones. A little more than a year ago, I moved across the U.S. with my parents and siblings in response to my father sensing a call from God to begin a Bible study; to plant a church. It was a big step, but an exciting one. Since then, I’ve really seen God work in my life and the lives of my family in big ways. I can say confidently that I’ve learned more in this past year than at any other period in my life. I’ve learned a lot about life, God, and what it means to be a Christian.
The word Christian literally means “little Christ” or, a more modern definition might be, someone who professes to follow the teachings of Jesus the Christ. Over the past year there have been several moments where I’ve asked myself, “Could I really be called a ‘little Christ’? Do I live like it? Do I let God have His way in me to the point that the people in my life can truthfully say, ‘Yeah, he’s one of Christ’s.’?” The aspect of this that I’m getting at is the part of me that has to surrender and say, “Okay, Lord. I don’t understand and it makes me uncomfortable and scared; even defensive, but I trust You. I trust that You’re doing what’s best for me.” When God leads me out of my comfort zone, I can trust that there will be nothing but growth in Him.
This blog is one of those times. Another time has come very recently. God opened the doors for me to move out to southern California for a job prior to my college semester starting in the fall. This is a huge change, because I’ve never been away from my family for more than a few weeks, and now I’m living on the whole other side of the country from them. However, I believe this will be good for me in countless ways; ways I can’t even imagine. One way I can already see is that I’ve been forced by the circumstances to cling to Jesus as my sole source for comfort and solace in life. I can see a trend over the past couple of years of God slowly taking away every little thing I leaned on for strength and shelter. With us moving, He removed my friends, my long-time church environment, and a place where I already knew ways to express the gifts He’s given me. Now, with this move, He’s taken me from my family, whom I dearly love. Please don’t think I’m saying this in a whining tone, blaming God for all of my discomfort the last couple of years. I say it rejoicing!
“2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:2-4 NKJV
God has grown me so much through these experiences. While I was uncomfortable, still am, in fact, I can see the abundant fruit He’s produced through His Spirit in my life during these times. Besides, some of these things were natural steps in life; a first job, moving away from home, and the loss of a loved one, for instance. So, these may not necessarily be trials, at least compared to what many Christians go through every day, but they are uncomfortable, even painful, things in life.
Now, I’m not perfect; far from it. And, honestly, it scares me to death to even think about putting this out there for everyone to see. But it’s something the Lord has laid on my heart and I believe it will be good for me. Now, that being said, it’s not like God said, “Go start a blog!” It’s more like He nudged me to push myself out of my comfort zone and to use the resources of the time I live in to do His work. A blog was one of the things I thought of and believe He was suggesting. I think I’ll learn a lot through it. I even like to think that just maybe, by God’s grace, this might bless a few people. Just know, if anything good ever does come of this, it’s all God, not me. My goal is to share the adventures the Lord takes me on, the lessons He teaches me, and for you, the reader, to be able to learn from my mistakes.
I have my quirks; quite a few, in fact. But, if you can get past all the awkwardness, quotes, constant ramblings about good books, and my intense affinities for pizza and breakfast cereal, then maybe the Lord will teach us all something. So, here it goes…