My father passed away in 2016 due to dementia complications. His birthday is the day before mine this week, and in honor of his legacy every year, for his birthday, I share my testimony in Christ.
First, let me say this – I believe a testimony should be a constantly evolving process. I want to be able to look back at certain times in my life and say, without a doubt, “Ah, that’s how God moved in my life.” I want to be able to say next year that I am closer to God than I am this year. I never want my testimony to always be about something that happened five or ten years ago. While I do believe it’s beneficial to see how God has moved throughout my life, during these particular writing occasions, in honor of my dad, I want to offer a testimony of how God has moved in my life more recently. I could tell you the story of my salvation, but it is fairly straightforward. One day, I might delve into its depths a little more, but I don’t feel called to that right now. I want to tell you how God has pushed me in the last few months.
When I look back this year, I see a visible change in emerging from my comfort zone. I spent about the first six months in a comfortable lull – everything was going well, everyone I knew was happy, and I just continued on a stagnant path. I didn’t see it as stagnant – my prayer life didn’t generally include anyone who was seriously ill or who had gone through a tragedy, which was a pleasant change from the norm, and I was enjoying the calmness that comes with a lack of overwhelming trials.
That changed in the summer when a dear friend challenged my ideas of stability and normalcy and rocked my perspective on my life and our church. Yes, everything was fine, but was fine the limit I had set for myself in terms of achievement? Did I want to stay fine or did I want to go further? Didn’t I want to be in movement to mirror Jesus more? Why stay in my comfort zone when there was so much need in my community – whether or not I was seeing it?
For a week or two, I fought with these ideas. I was angry, I was confused, and I was unsure of myself. I had been praying and reading my Bible regularly. Why had God not told me these things if I needed to push beyond my comfort zone? Why didn’t He reveal Himself to me?
He did – through my friend.
I rediscovered my walk with Christ as more than something just for me and my family and more for the world around us – neighbors, friends, Sunday School classmates. Suddenly, I saw that my comfort zone had become a clutch – a clutch to keep me from pushing myself.
I do like my comfy life. I’m the girl whose favorite evening includes pjs at 7 p.m., Netflix, and a good, warm drink. And while none of that is bad, I do need to remember that I have been called to stretch myself out of my introverted comfort zone.
If I don’t engage, how am I helping anyone? I’m not even helping my family. My girls need to see me out in the community, serving and leading – and following Jesus.