Monday, March 25, 2013

Stories from Wilmington: Comfort & Discomfort

I think I can finally try and do this.

Try and put into words the encounter I had with God in this city called Wilmington, Delaware, USA.

I'll be the first to admit that it's so. hard. to have extended time with God in my everyday, distraction filled life. Going to UrbanPromise Wilmington gave me the opportunity to have a week where everywhere I looked - Jesus. And in that week of God having my undivided attention [still working on that undivided thing for the everyday], He showed me some amazing stuff.

And that's the reason why I've been having such a tough time putting everything into words [super frustrating for the words-girl, by the way. I've been screaming at God patiently waiting for words.] - because usually God reveals stuff to me/reminds me of things little by little, but that week was just a whole lot at once. And it was so beautiful and a bit overwhelming all at once.

There's no way I'll get to everything. So I'll try an capture one of the biggest things right now, and I know the rest will come out eventually - in future blog posts, conversation... The title starts with "Stories from Wilmington:" because I feel like this might be a series of blog posts. At least 2. ;)

So here's the thing. I asked God to discomfort me for the things that discomfort Him.

Be careful what you wish pray for?


Because a week and a bit ago, God taught me a lot about comfort and discomfort.

You know - sleeping on the floor in a room with 12 other girls? And weeding gardens and running on less sleep than usual? And hanging out in a neighbourhood where you - the visible minority - feel a little unsafe? It's uncomfortable, but when it's in the Body of Christ and in and for the Kingdom - it becomes this Jesus-comfort that's so much more comfortable than any comforts in the First World.

And me? I coin this term in my journal - comfortable discomfort and uncomfortable comfort.

And huh? Because wouldn't a mattress and sleeping in and shooting hoops in the suburbs sound like a way better March Break?

But Jesus is upside down.

And let me tell you - the discomfort of serving doesn't even feel that uncomfortable because Jesus makes it feel like home. And the comfort of the First life - it's suddenly uncomfortable because you don't want to feel safe until the kids you fell in love with are.

Suddenly - compassion. "To suffer with." 

And compassion is not at all comfortable.

And here's me - wondering what to do with this lesson about comfort. Because I want to be uncomfortable for the things that discomfort Him. I prayed for that! He said yes!

I don't want to be comfortable. I want to run from comfort. I want to shun comfort.

But then there's the me that all too often wins - the one that can fall so easily back into the First life and the one who doesn't want to be uncomfortable.

So this selfish me - she prays that she'll meet a school deadline and doesn't pray for the 4th Grader who captured her heart in Wilmington. And she complains about tired just because that's a conversation starter but she forgets the rest she could run to in Him.

And my flesh - just doesn't like the discomfort that comes with compassion so the flesh makes the spirit hard against love and anything else God revealed in Wilmington. And the flesh doesn't like the discomfort that comes with compassion so it finds comfort and latches on and my flesh is addicted to comfort because it's easier.

And even though I saw the comfort Jesus brings when I discomfort myself for Him - I still let myself fall back into comfort and I can't let that happen.

So I'm figuring out how to live uncomfortable right where I am. And I'll fail. And I'll choose comfort over Him.

But he answered my first prayer and I have faith he'll answer my next one: Help me live Your version of comfort every. single. day.


PS Sorry if this post made very little sense. Really - I feel so ramble-y and incoherent and this is just me trying to sort out God. It gets messy and I'm thankful for a place to write it out! :)


  1. Thanks for sharing, Alyssa! I think this post made lots of sense, and I really appreciate you honesty. Thanks so much!!! Been praying for you :)


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