Monday, May 17, 2021

Getting Uncomfortable

There is a concept that has long been a theme in my life.  

It's this:

When I find myself getting comfortable with where I am in life, it usually means it's time to make a change. The choice is always mine. I can stay comfortable and be just fine, or I can step out of my comfort zone and discover just how much the Lord wants to bless me. 

This theme reoccurred four years ago when Mr. Brown Eyes and I were consulting as to whether I should quit my job. It was something we had talked about long before we got married. I didn't mind working and helping to pay the bills, but when it came down to working or being home with our children, I wanted to be with our children. 

Our oldest Brown-Eyed Boy was seven years old and I was still working part-time, able to be with him and his sisters more than some working moms, but I didn't feel like I could give them all my focus. I couldn't shake the nagging thought that I needed to be home with them more.

Mr. Brown Eyes agreed, but neither of us felt totally confident about how we could survive on his income alone. The firefighting job he was blessed with in this post provided for us, but it didn't pay well and the benefits weren't great. That's where my job filled in the gaps. But the more we talked about it, the more we prayed about it, the stronger we felt that quitting my job was something that needed to happen. 

It was time to get uncomfortable. 

Living on one income was immediately a struggle financially, but Mr. Brown Eyes and I learned to budget, and we always paid our tithing first, and our one income stretched much farther than we ever thought it could. Being home with our children was difficult but fulfilling. 

We actually weren't too uncomfortable at all. 

Then came another blessing--Mr. Brown Eyes decided to test for another bigger, better-paying fire department, and, after all our past disappointments, he got hired. 

Our prayers were answered. Immediate blessings for choosing to follow that prompting for me to quit. That was easy might have even crossed my mind. 

Until we realized that during his fire academy Mr. Brown Eyes would be making even less money than he had at his previous department.

We had already dipped deep into our savings to make up for my lost paycheck. We just couldn't see how we could survive another year like that. 

This is when we got uncomfortable. 

I remember that night so clearly. The panic and worry that we had made a wrong choice. Thinking, oh, if I had just worked another year. Then the late-night talks, the earnest prayers, the very clear answer--stay close to the Lord, and trust in Him--and the ensuing peace. 

My inspiration to stay close to the Lord was to keep a list posted on our kitchen wall of all our blessings. During a time when I didn't feel very blessed at all, those pages filled up quickly. I was able to recognize the Lord's hand in our lives, a Hand that was there every day, even if not in the ways I would have expected it. I grew closer to my Savior during that uncomfortable year of pinching and saving than I ever would have sitting comfortably at my desk at work. 

And now Mr. Brown Eyes is working at his dream job. 

Get uncomfortable. Throughout my life those words have terrified me and simultaneously brought the most wondrous blessings--friendships, a college education, job opportunities, learning, growth, strengthened faith. What is true for working out applies to life too--no pain, no gain. I am so grateful for a God who not only encourages us to stretch and grow, but helps and sustains us every step of the way. 

Still growing,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

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