Sunday, May 31, 2009

Comfortable Versus Comforted

I have a very special journal. I got it about a year ago at a women's retreat. On the cover, among pictures of lots of my favorite things like tea pots and pretty bowls of ice cream and strawberries, are the words, "Creating a feeling of comfort."

I have not been comfortable for so long, I can't remember what it feels like. In fact, maybe being comfortable is not even what my soul longs for. Maybe there's a difference between being comfortable and being comforted.

Over the past few years, I've come to the conclusion that life on earth is not meant to be comfortable. If we get too comfortable, we'll never change or grow. I admit, there are times when all I want is a little comfort. Sometimes, I'm just weary. I'm weary of making this 4,000 mile round trip every 6 weeks or so, even though the purpose of those trips is to bond with my 2-yr-old granddaughter. I'm on one of those trips now. One of the problems is that every time I make these trips, I have to come face to face with the reality of the losses and disappointments that have so hugely impacted my life.

There's a part of me that misses the oblivion of my previous life... running my kids to school, band concerts and ballgames. Life was so busy back then. But it was controllable... Or at least I thought it was.

Since then, I've realized just how little control I really have. Things like ice cream and strawberries bring a very brief moment of comfort, but that's really not what my soul yearns for. My soul yearns for someone much bigger and stronger than I to love me enough to take care of the things I cannot control. That's the kind of comfort I get when I submit to God and trust His way of controlling things instead of demanding that He make me comfortable. I am comforted even in the midst of grief and loss even though I am not comfortable. Maybe being comfortable is really a myth. Maybe there is no such thing in this life as being comfortable. Maybe there was never supposed to be any such thing. Every one of us was born with a longing for a higher power. Something in us knows that we long for life to be meaningful much more than we long to be comfortable.

So, as I enjoy my granddaughter this weekend, and as I face the demons of my past, I will seek God's comfort in midst of all of it, the good and the bad. I will view being comfortable for what it is, a myth, a momentary pleasure in eating ice cream out of a pretty bowl. Oh, I will not deprive myself of an occasional bowl of ice cream, but I will remember that being comfortable is not what I was created for. Knowing God and enjoying His blessings while also allowing Him to refine me and make me into His image (even when there is pain involved) is what I was created for.

Thank You, Father, for Your amazing comfort that comes just in the nick of time. Just when I begin to feel like life is not worth living, Your comfort overwhelms me and I have the strength and courage to take the next step. May my life be full of meaning and purpose which are much more valuable than my comfort.

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!

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I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother raising her granddaughter. I am blessed with incredible family and friends. I love working for my church and serving on our Women's Ministry Team. I especially want to reach the women who wear their "Everything's fine" smiles on Sunday, but go home to deal with tough real-life issues throughout the week.