Today’s Hump Day Hmmmm….Tell us about your comfort zone, outside your comfort zone, and share a journey you took outside your comfort zone…what happened? Why don’t you come outside YOUR comfort zone and join us? Go see Julie at Using My Words to play. Or at least check out the other participants.
To say that I did not have a religious upbringing would be a huge understatement. Each time I tried to explore religion, my parents openly mocked it. They didn’t forbid me from exploring it, but they made it difficult by not driving me to functions, that sort of thing. I later learned that they had some serious reasons for this antipathy, but at the time, it was just really confusing. By the time I got to college, I shared this antipathy as well. Participating in any type of religion would definitely be outside my comfort zone.
So imagine my surprise when my soon-to-be-Spouse says that a wedding in a church is NON-NEGOTIABLE. I was planning on something with a JP at a park or something. But he was pretty adamant about the church wedding. He didn’t seem like the religious/observant type, but he was. Ok, then. A church wedding. In the church he grew up in. I can do this.
But it was awkward. To say that this pastor and I didn’t hit it off just doesn’t cover it (not the pastor Spouse grew up with; he had just retired.). But I did it, and it wasn’t too bad.
Fast forward a few years….it’s time to look at preschools for Thing 1. I start looking around at the various preschools in the area, with no regard as to the denomination of the church that hosted it (except SBC, THAT wasn’t going to happen). Once again, Spouse pipes up: it needs to be a Lutheran preschool.
What? Again with the religion thing!
I mean it wasn’t like we were observant during the early years of our marriage. In fact, I hadn’t even had Thing 1 baptized because I thought it would be hypocritical of us to do so. But I started to realize that even though he hadn’t stated it to me before, this was very important to him. Ok, then. A Lutheran preschool. I can do this, too.
As it turned out, the Lutheran church close to us opened a preschool that year. So we signed the kids up. And slowly, very slowly, we became part of the community. Spouse just picked up right where he left off. Me, not so much. I wasn’t sure what to make of it all. I mean, I liked it. The message was good. The community was good. But I was still tentative.
And then they offered Adult Confirmation classes. I decided to go, and I was excited to do so, but I was still skeptical. I mean, COME ON! You’ve got to be joking, right? But I was willing to give it a try.
And then something clicked. I’m not sure what it was, but it did. And then another thing, and another, and another. And I GOT IT. In a big way.
I left my comfort zone. And it opened me up to an amazing experience as a Christian.
So I had the kids baptized (at ages 2 and 4) and I got myself Confirmed. We are now very active members of that church. That church and everything that goes with it is such a huge part of my life, I can’t even begin to express it. I started playing cello again because of the music director. I’ve made some amazing friends as part of this community. And of course my relationship with God is growing daily. All because Spouse gently nudged me out of my comfort zone.
I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t taken that step. Taking that risk and seeing what was there has truly changed my life. And I thank God (and Spouse) for it every day.