Recently, I moved to the city of Dallas, which is about 30 minutes away from the comfortable suburbs where I had been living. It’s been an immense blessing and I know that it was completely the Lord, but it took me a while to arrive at that mindset. You see, I don’t like living in big, bustling cities. I don’t like cramped quarters, the high cost of living, or lots of people constantly milling about at all hours of the day. I’m having to adjust to this different way of living and it hasn’t always been a graceful transition, but I am grateful nonetheless. God really can use anything to draw us closer to him.
The incredible thing about discomfort is that it reveals to you things you didn’t realize were there. I didn’t realize that I had a silly and deeply rooted fear of the city until I was forced to live there. I hate driving and feel uncomfortable driving for long periods of time in bumper to bumper traffic, and yet, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing as of late.
I tried to get out of it, ignore it, or just be a lazy, infuriating bum. But that’s not what or who I’m called to be. Instead, I’m making myself, in the midst of stressful moments, breathe and just keep going. Breathe and move forward. Breathe and take a look at the root of the feelings. Breathe and lean in.
What discomfort are you currently feeling? And how can you embrace it today? Who knows, that discomfort might be exactly where you’re called to be.
Look up from the Discomfort
It’s amazing how quickly I can return to my self-focused ways. Other people around me can be struggling with a whole host of problems, some of which are far more serious than mine, and yet, I can remain completely focused upon myself and my issues.
During my less self-absorbed times, as I’ve wandered into Dallas, I’ve been amazed at the people I’ve met. People who are vibrant and full of life and others who are hurting and deeply longing for connection. Some who are off the wall and eccentric, others who are straight-laced and rule-abiding. Each one of these people, no matter their personality, position, vocation, or location, are deeply loved by God. Each is worth honoring, encouraging, and seeing.
How is your discomfort distracting you from others? How can you look up from that today? Who knows, maybe there’s someone around you who is in desperate need of encouragement.
Invite others into the Discomfort
My tendency is to isolate. I don’t want others to know that I’m struggling or that I’m uncomfortable. I wear the mask of “I’m fine” way too easily when I’m having a rough time underneath. I love being able to handle things all on my own, maintaining the “perfect” image for the rest of the world.
One of the best parts of this whole process has been choosing to invite others into my thought process. Letting down my walls, even for a second, to tell a trusted friend “Hey, I’m struggling,” is the cathartic release I’ve been longing for. Even if they don’t help at all, the ability to be real and transparent for a few moments has done wonders in my life.
Do you have a tendency to isolate? Or hide behind a facade of work or fake emotion or busyness? How can you invite someone into your discomfort today? Who knows, maybe them being there for you will be the encouragement you need.
I’ve been living in the land of discomfort for a while now and, while uncomfortable, I’m so thankful for the growth opportunity it’s provided. I pray that we’re each able to embrace, look up from, and invite others into our discomfort today. And I hope we’ll get to know God, ourselves, and others a little better as a result.