Stepping into the Uncomfortable
The other day at work, my words didn't come. This was incredibly difficult for me because reaching people with words is kinda what I love doing.
But at work, instead of addressing hard events and life challenges with the gentle, well-edited, and perfected written word...I am forced to actually speak.
And it is uncomfortable.
Most of the time, in really pressing situations you can find me with a decently well and calm demeanor (maybe sometimes with a bit of an intense or over-focused look on my face) on the outside, but if you were to place your hand on my back you would find that I am actually 200 degrees and sweating.
So most of the time I choose not to speak if at all possible when it comes to difficult situations. Most of the time I choose not to enter in to these hard life conversations with the strangers I call my patients.
And because of my fear and discomfort, most of the time, I fail to share the Gospel as Christ would have me do.
I fail to find words to comfort those who aren't going to get better. And I fail to have the courage to pray with patients I only met a few hours ago.
I like to use the excuse that I'm like Moses - the written word is my jam, but when it comes to speaking in uncomfortable situations (like standing before Pharaoh or comforting your dying patients or even praying in public) I stutter and get shaky and I don't want to do it, even if God asks me too.
But just like God gave Moses, Aaron to be his mouthpiece, God has given us His Holy Spirit.
His Holy Spirit that takes all of our weaknesses and uses them for His glory. His spirit that takes what we can't do and says, "With me, you can."
How dare I doubt His power. How dare I run from uncomfortable situations when I know His comforting spirit is with me.
In a job that deals with life and death in a somewhat "matter-of-fact" manner and on a rather frequent basis, I have a feeling there will be plenty more situations when the words just won't come.
I've been encouraged though by some awesome friends in knowing that in these situations, sometimes even though we feel guilty because we can't think of what to say, many times, it's not words that these patients or their families want to hear. As one of my friends put it, now would not be the time for Romans 8:28 or Jeremiah 29:11. Many of the times, our words won't fix the situation.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit just bring us into these uncomfortable situations to simply just be present. To be a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold.
I'm still learning how to be present in situations that I can't fix. I'm still learning how to not run from the hard conversations. I'm still learning how to mourn with those who mourn - when I really hate being emotional in front of people (IT IS SO DIFFICULT). And I'm still learning how to be confident in my faith through my actions and my words in knowing that even though death stings here on this Earth, we know that in Jesus, we have victory.
I'm still learning how to experience the pain but savor the peace.
My challenge for you all today is, to not shy away from the uncomfortable. Don't let what you fully don't understand or what you haven't quite learned yet, keep you from stepping into the experience that will provide you with that new level of understanding. Step into the discomfort that God is calling you towards - whether it is in a hard conversation at work, with a family member, or even taking a step towards the dream God has planted in your heart. What I'm learning the most right now is that God calls us into the uncomfortable to help us strengthen our trust and our relationship with Him.
And for that very reason, we should run towards our discomfort. I truly believe if we do so, our discomfort will be washed away in His presence.