Heard of Patsy Clairmont? Years ago I attended a Women of Faith conference, and I remember she had attached together a long string of rubberbands. And, as I was drafting this post, thinking back to that strand of rubberbands reminded me of how God likes to stretch us sometimes.
He’s been doing that with me, lately. I’m okay being stretched to a certain point, but when I get a bit far from my comfort zone, sometimes I let go of my Father’s hand. Boing! Back I go to a familiar comfortable place.
But God doesn’t necessarily want us to be comfortable, does He?
One way that the Lord’s been stretching me is to start being ~ gasp ~ more social. You see, I like peace and quiet. I enjoy sitting in my little office at home, sitting and staring out the window. I chat with God, I write, and I sometimes I goof-off doing jigsaw puzzles.
But I’ve been finding that having too much peace and quiet isn’t always good for me. I tend to get a little too comfortable in my nice little cocoon. And if my husband decides he wants to come in and chat, or go do something spur of the moment, I get grumpy.
My husband one day told me point-blank that I just don’t want to do anything fun anymore – I’d forgotten how to laugh.
Ouch! But you know, it was true. So I began asking the Lord to help me get my joy back. Nehemiah 8:10 came to mind, which says “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
And did you know that God answers our prayers? (How often we forget.)
I’d written before on how being around large groups of people (Take That Bold Step) isn’t always comfortable for me. Unless I’m speaking, teaching or serving at an event, I tend to get stressed. Being in a large crowd just to mingle and talk isn’t what I look forward to doing.
So of course that’s what the Lord has started directing me to do. And at first I really didn’t understand that this was part of His answer to my prayer.
It started with signing back up for a large women’s fellowship group. Now the women are all very nice – it’s me who has the problem.
Why do I have to join this large group?
But I felt the Lord nudging me. And through this group He’s been teaching me how to laugh and just enjoy company with other women more than I have in the past.
But it hasn’t been easy. I’m like slow-cooking oatmeal, where you keep opening the lid to see if it’s done yet. But often it needs to keep simmering. It needs to stay right where it is for awhile longer.
So I guess I’m learning to simmer.
About a month ago, I felt the Lord nudging me to join a women’s Bible study too.
Yes, I fought that one also, as at first nothing really looked interesting. I found myself thinking, I’ll just wait and maybe lead my own study next semester.
But I kept feeling the gentle tapping by my Father – I needed to learn how to be with a group of gals participating in a study, instead of always leading one.
But I’m not used to being just a participator, Lord!
Yes, that was being totally prideful, and the Lord nailed me on it.
So I started attending the Bible study a couple weeks ago, and you know what? I’m really enjoying it! I’ve met new ladies that I’ve been connecting with – new friends with which to share my life.
Hebrews 10:25 is a prime example of how God wants us to remain connected so we can encourage each other: “Do not neglect fellowship!”
So in closing, I’m learning. I’m slowly but surely starting to break out of my comfortable cocoon and allowing Him to stretch my rubberband existence. I’m glad that the Lord never gives up on me, and I’m glad that even when we start wandering in a direction not quite right for us, He starts veering us back to where we need to be (Proverbs 19:21).
Isn’t that what any good parent should do?