A couple of weeks ago, I went to a relaxing yoga retreat as part of girl’s weekend. There were five of us in our party, and while I hadn’t met all of them before, we were all connected through various friendships, and I quickly felt like I’d known these other women for years!
As we were a larger group, we were promised the small guesthouse which housed six—a more intimate refuge that would allow for a little extra privacy. Imagine our surprise when, upon our arrival, we were told we would instead be staying in the larger guesthouse that would have several more bedrooms for other attending guests. Well alright then…slight disappointment, but we’ll deal. After all, we’re grown women; we can handle anything!
Three members of our group were assigned to the downstairs bedroom, and Emily and I were given the upstairs bedroom. Okie dokie. We were led up the beautiful steps, through the small loft, and stepped into our bedroom….to find two EXTRA beds with random suitcases lying on top. Ummmm, what in the name of holy downward dog is this?! We each only need one bed! You didn’t have to get us suitcases full of clothes as a gift! Wait….you mean there are other actual people in this room?? We’re sharing a room with two complete STRANGERS?! How are we supposed to stay up late talking about life? What if I snore when I’m sleeping? What if I toot? Wait…what if THEY toot?!
Ultimately, after a minor internal meltdown and ensuing self-pep talk, we made the best of it! It turned out, our roommates, Jennifer and Annie, were wonderful! We had some great conversation, and thoroughly enjoyed our time! (And Jennifer let me and Emily know that we were masters at being able to whisper quietly enough that she never even heard us when she was falling asleep!)
What does this have to do with anything, you ask? I believe we are allowed or given circumstances in our lives that periodically put us out of our comfort zone. Maybe it’s unnerving to meet new people. Maybe your palms are sweaty because you’ve gone out on a limb and are about to present a major idea in front of your colleagues. Or maybe your heart is racing because you’re getting ready to walk into a new church with your children, and dreading the “Are you married?” question after your recent divorce.
Often times, we try to steer clear of those obstacles so that the discomfort or pain can be avoided. But I believe God has allowed those opportunities so that we might lean into Him. If I haven’t heard His still-small Voice, I typically pray for Him to please shout it loud and clear so that there’s no mistaking the direction I’m to take. But there’s also something beautiful in the picture of His voice, calm and gentle, telling me what to do, as I’m leaning in to hear Him, closer and closer so as not to miss a single breath.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not into thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths.
I want to encourage you to lean into Him when you’re given obstacles that are uncomfortable. Ask Him what you’re supposed to do with the situation. Don’t shy away from the awkward moments. It could just be that God is giving you an opportunity for some growth and courage. Even if it’s by sharing a bedroom with two random strangers.
What about you? Have you had a time where circumstances were in your way that allowed some growth and reflection? Tell us about it in the comments below!