And just after that God slipped my dear old friend Dee in alongside me. So I called her.
Big, wonderful God-things are filling her heart and life, and it was the most refreshing thing to just honestly share our realities for a few minutes. At the end of the call, she asked me about a certain way God has stretched me lately, about the uncomfortability of it. I don't think I had even processed it until that moment that I was asked to summarize with cohesive thoughts.
It was one of those moments that I didn't fully realize what I was saying was a truth in my life, until I started saying it.
Uncomfortable has been the "thing" lately. Teaching makes me uncomfortable. Loving students and strangers and family and old friends and Casey makes me uncomfortable. Sharing my heart and being utterly vulnerable, and expecting no response, makes me uncomfortable.
I really don't know the point of this yet. I just see it's been a theme this past month or so. There have been so many things and situations and convictions that have made me uncomfortable, in the good and holy way, that I have had to choose to do or accept. I suppose I didn't HAVE to, but His Spirit working in me chose them.
Every time, I dawdled. I would rather be comfortable.
I thought of excuses. I thought of possible alternatives. I thought of all the awful things that might happen if I chose the uncomfortable thing (spoiler: none of them happened).
But, because of God's grace and breath in me, I was able to wrestle my flesh and pin it down for long enough to say "OK GO, GOD!"
Holding my breath while the needle plunged in.
Every time, a shot of antidote.
Anti-Becca. Anti-sin. Anti-pride. Anti-fear.
The Virus of Me weakens a bit each time.
Funny that when these seasons ebb away, I always think I'm done. I always forget that there are more corners of me to be swept out, more sickness to bleach away, more virus to eradicate.
More Him to replace me.
I've been chatting with one of my best friends from high school about a similar lesson she's learning. She said something that stuck to me and I want you to hear it too:
"I am so thankful that God relentlessly pursues us and will not allow us to stay in patterns that keep us from seeing His face."
My comfort bubble has been keeping me from seeing His face. This pattern of only doing things that feel nice and known and familiar is only keeping me stagnant and sick. It's only letting the infection grow.
So, I'm bringing a little more rigor and love into my classroom. I'm exercising. I'm making lists of people whose voices I want to hear and faces I want to see, and I'm making plans to do something besides sit at home after a long day of school. I'm making myself turn off Netflix and stop falling asleep watching Parks and Rec. I'm trying to make my prayers more conscious and not subconscious. I'm eating food that isn't processed.
These things are all slow, humiliatingly slow, processes for me. But they are baby steps. They make me uncomfortable, but they make my heart and mind and soul and body healthier.
A couple weeks ago I ran into my favorite college professor at church. He asked me what I was doing to rid myself of the "stress" and "free radicals" and "toxins". Hesitatingly, I said, "well.....nothing."
So here is the start.
The something after the nothing.
The first bout of shots for this virus.
The first real attempt at identifying and eliminating the toxic things that attach themselves to me every day- literally and metaphorically.
It will be slow, but it will be consistent.
It will be small, but it will keep going.
It will be uncomfortable, but it will make me healthy.
What about you? Can anybody out there raise your hand and say, "me too," or "I've been there!"? Are there patterns in your life keeping you from seeing His face?
Show me your sickness. Get it out so you can heal. Come with me to get the Antidote.