The image is forever etched in my memory. It was implanted there a few weeks ago, and hasn’t left my mind since.
On that day, I was sitting at Krispy Kreme eating a doughnut (chocolate-covered, creme-filled, of course), when my eyes were suddenly drawn to a scene outside the front window. Two ladies, who looked to be in their 80s, sat at a table on the front patio. They were facing away from me, just chatting away about who knows what. Life? Love? What might have been? I couldn’t pull my gaze away. It was such a beautiful picture.
My thoughts immediately went to my best friend. I set my coffee down and smiled as I was reminded of all the “gotta get out of the house” trips for coffee we have enjoyed over the years. The conversations that have spontaneously occurred over our cups of coffee. The tough times we’ve shared. The joys we’ve shared. The day they told us they were probably moving… The text that said it was official… The day they packed everything into those moving trucks and changed their address to a different city.
Maybe a year ago, her husband and I were talking about a group of women at the church who have been the best of friends through many, many years… who are so in sync that they are just fun to watch when they are all together. And he said to me, “well, you know that’s how you guys are going to be.” I smiled at the notion… at that time believing they would “just always be here.”
So there at Krispy Kreme, in my “doughnut shop ladies” moment, I realized that I was losing something extremely valuable to me. Not losing completely… she didn’t move that far away. But at least losing things “the way they were.” The way I always expected them to be. She’s just not right up the road anymore. That “comfort zone” is gone.
Change and letting go of comfort zones is something that does not come easy to me. I would dare say it is tough for all of us. However, God calls us to move out of comfort zones. Even our friendships can become places of such comfort that we miss out on missions God has for our lives. Sometimes, He takes people out of our lives (or just moves them further away) because He is calling us to draw closer to Him. If we are too reliant on any other human in this world, we cannot be totally dependent on our Savior.
There will always be people with whom we relate the most… those like-minded kindred spirit type people who don’t come along every day. Those friends we love to “do ministry” and “do life” with. But sometimes God lets us share with and learn from each other for a time, so that He can then separate us and use us in different places. He never wants us to stay TOO comfortable. God wants us to rely completely on Him. And difficult as it may be, sometimes He has to pull our strongest comfort zones completely out from under us to accomplish His greater purposes.
Got a comfort zone in your life that you’re scared of losing? A person? A job? A place? Ask God to make you completely reliant on Him. Ask Him to pull your heart so close to Him, that NOTHING in this world can pull you away from His great purpose for your life!