i have never experienced the bond that a community of believers can have until this summer.
the Lord blessed me with a summer that was exceedingly more than I could ever have dreamed or even asked for. i got close to those who i really never thought i would get close with, and i got closer with those who i didn’t think i could get closer with.
i was pulled out of my comfort zone in so many different ways this summer. from the beginning, at summer camp, where i was the only senior girl, and i didn’t feel close to anyone. i learned so much about love that week, about God’s love for us, and how we are supposed to take that love to all the earth. that trip was a lot better than i expected, and the Lord brought people into my life that week that mean the world to me.
i was REALLY pulled out of my comfort zone when i went to Panama. the only Spanish i knew was “hola” and “el bano”. i had never been on a straight evangelical mission trip like this; i was used to sharing my faith through service, not through a drama. i don’t really do the outdoors that much, therefore, me + a jungle for two days was going to be quite a challenge. that trip showed me a lot about myself, about prayer, and about my personal relationship with the Lord. i was changed from the inside out, and i learned that being out of my comfort zone is really not that bad of a thing.
within the past two weeks, i have said goodbye to a youth group that i was involved with for 6 years, to friends that have been in my life since kindergarten, since sixth grade, since high school, and even friends that i only got close to this summer. i have said goodbye to my comfort zone.
it hit me wednesday night as i drove home from athens. i had gone up for the day to help a friend move in, and i saw two of my other friends that are apart of that comfort zone i just said goodbye to. i had seen their dorms, their homes; it became real to me, they were gone. i cried pretty much the whole way home. i knew that what i was doing was right, and what they were doing was right, but it felt wrong. i didn’t want to be separated from my friends; i wanted them to walk with me through this time in my life.
i spent a lot of time praying about the whole situation on thursday. i talked to a friend who knew exactly how i felt, and he gave me some good advice. at one point i told the Lord, “i NEED my friends. why did they have to be taken away from me?” and that’s when the Lord said, “you don’t NEED your friends. all you NEED is Me.”
well, there’s no arguing you can really do with that. as i facebook chatted one of my friends last night, we talked about this. i told her that being out of my comfort zone in Augusta is harder than being out of my comfort zone in Panama. she said “yes. while we were in Panama, we were out of our comfort zones, but we were surrounded by our “bubble”, by a group of people whom we didn’t even realize supported us that much.”
i didn’t realize how much i relied on these friends. as believers, we aren’t called to rely on anyone but the Lord. i’m having to learn to fully rely on the Lord and trust in Him. as basic as it sounds, it is one of the hardest lessons i’ve ever had to learn.