One of my all time favorite songs is, Casting Crowns, Voice of truth. When I hear that first verse I picture Peter as he climbed out of the boat to walk on the water with Jesus. To step out of my comfort zone.
Recently I stepped out of my comfort zone twice in one week. These were not what I would call, onto the crashing waves steps, but they were steps. Baby steps maybe, but we have to begin somewhere, right?
I think I have been open in this blog about how I struggle with jealousy, envy, and how it can lead to bitterness. If I haven’t been in the past I sure meant to be. So, for a couple of months, I had began to travel down that old familiar road of being jealous and envious of others. It was small things but I let it slowly slip in and it was beginning to effect my relationships with others and with God. To the point that I wasn’t even wanting to sit in worship.
There is a cycle I go through when I let this sin creep into my heart. Anyone who struggles with this will recognize the cycle of sin. At first you are jealous, that gives way to guilt. How could I be jealous when God has blessed me in every single area of my life. How could I be so ungrateful. The next step in the cycle is hating yourself, then feeling like if I am so disgusted with myself surly God is just as disgusted with me. Satan uses it all to draw me away from God, the place I should run to.
So, how did I step out of my comfort zone in this? The first thing I did (from recommendation by my husband), was to talk to someone. Because normally I ride it out, ashamed to admit to someone that I have these horrible feelings hidden in me. I contacted someone I know, but who isn’t in my circle of friends, someone outside of our church.
She was kind enough to meet with me one evening. To just sit down over a cup of tea and listen. She let me talk without feeling judged, then she offered suggestions. Three that stuck with me and have helped me. She said God knows you are jealous, it isn’t a secret to him, and he already died on the cross for it. Tell him, he already knows, but he wants to hear it. She always reminded me that God doesn’t operate out of that box that we know as love. God doesn’t get tired of us coming to him with the same issue over and over. His love isn’t bound by a box, its unlimited and unconditional. She also said Satan can’t hear your thoughts, if you are going to fight him you need to speak out loud. Quote scripture out loud.
The second thing I did to step out of my comfort zone that week (which happen to be the week of revival at our church), was to apologize to one of those women I had been jealous of. I asked her if I could pray at the alter with her. I confessed my jealousy to her and asked for forgiveness in letting it come between our friendship.
Neither one of those things are big deals, or earth shattering to the kingdom, but they brought a new freedom to me. It is funny that during this year of quarantine (which to me means locked down or locked up) God has been working on freedom in my life. I have gotten a good handle in the past ten years or so on the part of grace that lets me know that God loves me no matter what I do or don’t do. That I can’t change His love for me. But this year He has been showing me a new side of grace. The side that says it’s ok to mess up, it’s ok to say no, it’s ok to step outside of the box. It’s ok to be myself, the good, the bad, and the ugly and he is still going to love me. Not just love me but adore me, in fact scripture says that he sings over me. I think of the love I have when rocking Bella or Milo and singing over them. I can’t fathom how much more God’s love is for me.
We all struggle with something, it’s ok to need to help. Step out on the crashing waves. The realm of the unknown is where Jesus is. He’s holding out His hand.