I’m in a really strange place right now.  I’ve felt for weeks that I’m on the cusp of a new adventure – that God has brought me to a specific place and I just need to take a step in faith to see where he leads me.  When I was home for Christmas, I was itching to get back here and enact change.  I came up with new ideas every day of ways I could change my environment or life.  I could paint my bedroom, I could build shelves in the living room, I could paint the living room, I could buy a new chair, I could hang drapes in the dining room, I could rearrange my room, and so on and so on.  (It didn’t help that I watched a lot of HGTV while I was home and was really inspired!)    It wasn’t just my house that I thought about changing – my craving extended to other areas of my life.

I tried out a new church the Sunday before I went home for Christmas.  I went to Midtown in the morning, even went to the congregational meeting afterwards, then went to Crosspoint that night.  I had prayed a week or two earlier that if someone invited me to church, I would go.  Crosspoint came up multiple times in conversation and I had friends there and when someone who doesn’t go there said, “You should try Crosspoint,” I gave in.

I had a hard time with it.  I was constantly comparing it to Midtown.  “That’s not how we do it at Midtown, we would never do THAT at Midtown, we do THIS at Midtown.”  It was really hard to clear my head of 4.5 years of comfort & familiarity.  I like Midtown.  I love Midtown.  I went the very first Sunday I lived in Nashville and hardly ever missed a Sunday that I was in town.  Midtown has been my home and community since I set foot in this city.  I have been in 3 fellowship groups across those 4.5 years and I have met amazing people.  I have loved, I have been loved.

But I’ve been restless lately.  Things have been happening in my heart and mind that make me wonder if I need to shake things up a bit.  I’ve settled into a comfort zone and now my heart is not as engaged as it could be.  I find it hard to connect the dots in the sermons, I find myself craving more structure.  Changes are being set in motion at Midtown and it makes me think: Maybe it’s not a coincidence that I am restless, aching for a change in my life at the same exact time that things are getting stirred up at Midtown.

It could go either way:  the changes could totally re-inspire me at Midtown…. or they could give me confirmation that it is time to step into a new adventure and season of life.

I am trying to seek God’s will – I know he prods me along in life and puts me where he wants me.  Looking back, I totally see that.  But it’s been awhile since I’ve stepped really out of my comfort zone and said “Yes, I trust you in this decision.”

I hate sticking to comfort zones – I gravitate toward them and then I’m miserable.  In high school, I went to Girls State (don’t ask if you don’t know – it’s just a weeklong government camp for HS girls.  It’s awful) with my 3 best friends.  I didn’t make new friends there but when I looked around, everyone else was making new friends.  I was so grateful for my girlfriends, but there could have been so much more there for me that I missed out on because I stuck to the familiar and the comfortable.

I think I remember in high school Emily telling me that she hoped I would move away for college and take a chance.  I did – not TOO far away, but I did move away.  I didn’t know anyone at DePauw and that forced me to grow and stretch and make my own way.  Then I moved to Nashville where I had a handful of acquaintances and I forged ahead, making my own way.  4.5 years later, I am settled into what is familiar and wondering if I am missing out on something because I am sticking to the familiar and comfortable.

There are a few fears associated with all this.

1.  I’m scared that saying I want more or that I want a change is telling God that I’m not content with what he has given me.  I’m scared it’s a slap in the face and that I’m telling him what he is providing isn’t good enough for me and I want something different.  Is that rational?  Irrational?  I’m not sure.  A few weeks ago I realized the paradox of my life is that I want a quiet, contented heart but yearn – even ache for a change right now.  Does the need for change essentially say “You are not enough for me?”

2.  Leaving my comfort zone!  This is huge.  I look around Midtown and see people I have known and cared for for a long, long time.  What will happen to those friendships?  How will I feel when they move on without me?  How will I feel when photos pop up on facebook of them having a good time without me?  I know these are very immature, selfish fears but I can’t help but be plagued by them.

3.  What if I make a mistake in stepping out?  Looking back, the risks I have taken that are similar to this have never seemed like mistakes in hindsight.  I have been grateful for them and for the new opportunities.

I am continuing to go to Midtown in the morning.  Randy is preaching about the vision of Midtown throughout January while Pete at Crosspoint preached about the vision there on Sunday.  He starts a new series called “Paralyzed” next Sunday all about – you guessed it – fear.  “Fear is the #1 dream-buster,” he declared on Sunday.

In all of this, I neglected to mention that the 2nd and 3rd times at Crosspoint were easier to swallow.  I wasn’t AS struck by the major differences between the 2 churches.  I really, really liked last Sunday and even ran into some friends there – which was awesome.

All this to say: prayers for discernment would be much appreciated.  I will be church double-dipping for awhile as I continue to pray and try to discern where I belong.  This is a pretty big decision and it’s scary to make on my own – even though I know I’m not alone in it.

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