COMFORT ZONE

Beck Haase – New friend to the fire

We welcome special guest to the fire Becky Haase. One of my favorite parts of our virtual campfire is that I have become the honored recipient of many friends stories about how God has worked in their life. This is what happens when we create a safe, supportive environment around a cozy backyard fire – the stories just flow. I’m so thrilled that my friend Becky took the time to record her story and had the courage to share. I know it will encourage you as much as it did me. Welcome to the fire Becky… We’re so glad you’re here! Beth

I have never written a blog before.  It is outside of my normal comfort zone to share thoughts through public media.  However, with the recent directions I’ve been given directly from God, I believe it is time to do several things outside of my comfort zone.

What is that comfort zone?  As an only child and an only grandchild on both sides of my family, for me, that’s HOME.  I could entertain myself for the rest of my life at home.  Even better is when my immediate family is there too.  We could do nothing together and it would be the best of days.  However, I am sure God would prefer that we reflect His love and grace to the world and not just within the four familiar walls of our home.  Which leads me outside of my comfort zone.

There had been talk of me getting a different job for a while.  I have been with the same company for over 20 years, holding several different positions.  I have been in my current position for over 10 years.  While I love what I do, unfortunately I am very underutilized, which results in a lot of time spent being bored at my desk.  Couldn’t I be doing more?  What a waste of time and talent.  But what other position is there for me?  So I was looking; not extensively, but looking for opportunity, when out-of-the-blue, it finally came along.  

A friend and colleague contacted me about a job opening.  “If you are interested, get your application in today!”  So I did; on a super busy night I struggled through online forms, made sure my resume was perfect, and threw together a cover letter, which I hadn’t done in over 20 years.  The next morning I had a request for an interview the next week.  

Now I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of thing that turns my brain into full ON mode.  What if this?  What if that?  And most importantly, CAN I DO THIS?  1,000 miles an hour; especially when you are sitting bored at your desk all day.  That afternoon I checked in on Facebook and there it was:  a post from a cousin of mine.  It was a meme about holding on to those you have in your life because they won’t always be there.  While that is poignant enough, that wasn’t what really struck me.  It was the statement she wrote with it:  “And don’t waste your time being scared to try new things and outside your comfort zone!”  Have you ever heard God scream at you?  It was like He was speaking directly to ME with that sentence.  OK, I will consider it!  So I prayed, a LOT.  I prayed for clear direction.  A billboard would be nice, don’t you think?  Just once…to know what God wants for you without having to wonder if you’ve done the right thing.  

The next week was the interview.  While it went ok, I didn’t get the feeling that the person I interviewed with was very interested.  I found out that the new job would mean no longer doing several of the things I dearly love about my current job.  It would mean overcoming some weaknesses to learn things that I’ve never been good at doing.  It would mean getting outside of my comfort zone.  The good news from this experience is that, because I currently have a good job, I did not dwell on the situation during the next 10 days while they deliberated on their choice.

Then it came:  the call.  I got the job!  Now the ball is in my court.  Do I really want all of this change?  Can’t I just sit here and be satisfied where I am?  This is easy.  This is comfortable.  And as humans do, by this point I had completely discounted the fact that God spoke to ME loud and clear before.  I was looking for the billboard.  And then, there it was!  Driving home from work that day.  There in the sky was the brightest rainbow I’ve ever seen.  All I could think when I saw it was, “God keeps his promises.  He will carry you through this.”  I think it was at that moment I knew what I had to do.  

Yet I spent the next 2 days trying to decide; trying to talk myself into it.  Is this REALLY what I’m supposed to do?  Do I HAVE to listen to God?  So I prayed more that night.  I prayed for one more provision of clarity.  Just to make sure I’m hearing it right.  

The next morning, the Lord provided just that through my daily Bible verse in my email:

“But you, son of man, hear what I say to you.  Be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”  Ezekiel 2:8, ESV

OK, OK!  I GET IT!  

Needless to say, I made the call, took the offer, turned in my notice to my current boss and prayed more.  Now I need peace.  And it came.  I have had the strangest peace about all of this.  I am not anxious, I am not afraid.  Because the same God who sent his son to bear my sins and bring me eternal salvation is the same God who will see me through this adventure.  He will lead me to those I am to witness to; he will help me overcome my weaknesses; he will see me through the challenges.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13, ESV

This is truly a leap of faith and most certainly a step outside my comfort zone.  I am so thankful for the opportunities that lie ahead and for God to carry me through.  It amazes me how many different ways God speaks to me.  How does he speak to you?  Are you listening?  What opportunities for Him lie outside of your comfort zone?

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