Many of you responded to Monday’s post saying that the most challenging comfort zone of all is your home.
Kelly said, “My husband and little ones are where I struggle. I would rather be helping at a soup kitchen right now than to open my heart completely and consistently to the ones I do care about the most.”
Gerri said, “I’ve been struggling with my marriage for several years. God has definitely called me out of the unpeaceful confort zone I was in.”
What comfort zone is God leading you out of in regards to family relationships?
It might be an apathy zone.
It might be a war zone.
It might be a “I give up” zone.
It might be “I’m doing what I know” zone.
If you sense God calling you out of an unhealthy comfort zone, here are some things to keep tucked close as you begin:
You can ask for help
God misses nothing. He sees the war zone with your child.
He sees that you yell.
He sees your marriage.
He sees it all. He’s aware of what you have tried, and your prayers, and the feelings that are associated with this. Why is that good news? Because you aren’t alone. I think that we often think we can hide from God because we feel we’ve let Him down. But our relationship with God isn’t about our goodness or worth; it’s about His.
Please stop hiding. It’s all in plain sight, so turn to Him for comfort instead. Run to Him for strength. Clarity. Direction.
Be honest with God, and with yourself. Put it out in plain sight.
You can stop doing what is familiar
If our comfort zone is yelling at our kids, it might be that it’s exactly how we were parented. If we react and respond a certain way every time, it might be because it’s our defense mechanism.
It doesn’t work, and we are aware of that, but it’s a dance of sorts. He says this, and it produces a rhythm in you. Pretty soon it’s a tired waltz that leads to nowhere.
Challenge the familiar. Respond with grace instead of lashing out. Set up a new and consistent way to address family conflict (hard, hard, hard in the beginning, but worth it) instead of yelling. Go to counseling. Intentionally walk into a deeper relationship with Christ so that you have what you need. Seek resources that teach you a new way. Meet with other godly women who can support you while you learn.
You can celebrate the small victories
Climbing out of your comfort zone isn’t an easy task, especially if you have been entrenched there for awhile.
Celebrate the small steps.
Recently I shared an interaction with someone I cared about, and that I realized I was in an unhealthy comfort zone with this person. I had asked for help. I was trying to do the opposite of familiar.
And it worked. It wasn’t a huge victory and there might be other obstacles ahead, but I celebrated it with my Heavenly Father. I pointed to it like a child holding up a crayon drawing.
“Lord, look at what just took place.”
Rather than focus on the past, or the times I have failed, or the challenges yet ahead, celebrating that moment allowed me to dance with God over a growth opportunity.
You see, God loves us enough to take us out of our comfort zones on a regular basis. It’s His way of taking us deeper in our faith, deeper in our relationships, deeper as a woman.
And that’s something worth celebrating.
If you need a resource for breaking out of a familiar comfort zone, perhaps The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above the Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future could be helpful.
This touches my heart so much. I had a father that was in my home all the time, but he never showed any close and personal love towards me. I can’t remember him ever hugging me, picking me up to sit in his lap, or sweeping me up in his arms when he came home, ever. I had respect for him, but really can’t remember any of those things from either parent. Although I loved them very much, I did not have a close relationship with them. As a result I’ve been looking for those arms around my shoulders for many years. I had that kind of love from my husband for several years, but he died at a young age and I’ve been a widow for 17 years now and so desperately want those arms around me and loving hugs and kisses again. I am 71 years old now and have never found another man to fill that place I long for and it hurts so much. I don’t understand why God hasn’t answered my prayers for that very thing I’ve looked for so long now. How do I find that love and peace with God? I don’t understand how that happens between a woman and God. Can you help me understand what I need to do to have that? Obviously, I’m not doing the right thing. I believe if I were, God would make known to me that feeling fulfilled with loving Him. I do worship God and love Him, but I still feel I’m missing something that others have in their relationships with God. Help me, please.