Within the last few months I left a job that I loved. I was a Preschool Teacher for 6 years and I loved (almost) every minute of it. It was very rewarding and fulfilling. I used to joke that I went to work to play. I was very comfortable on the floor with the children, dancing and singing silly songs. But that really was my problem.
I was comfortable. And comfortable is a dangerous place.
When you’re comfortable it’s easy to forget the rest of the world around you. The uncomfortable ones. When you’re comfortable you can’t be growing and producing fruit. Fruit that is meant for you to give to others and inspire them to also grow. When you are comfortable it is easy to become lazy, even tired. Nothing gets done when you’re comfortable. Change can’t happen. Lives aren’t touched and you aren’t challenged.
My problem was that I didn’t know I was comfortable. It’s a challenge to teach a room full of active children. I was exhausted at the end of every day. I was teaching kids about Jesus and planting the seeds of the Gospel. I was doing God’s work. And I was good at it. I had no plans to leave. I was content with the circumstances I was in. I was happy. I had friends at work. I really felt like I was making a difference.
But if you aren’t doing the work that God has planned for you to do, you aren’t in His will no matter how ‘good’ it seems.
It should not have confused me then, when God pricked my heart for a change and asked me to leave the classroom. I didn’t understand the difference between content and comfortable. Content is embracing the circumstances God hands you and trusting Him to provide for you and your journey. Comfort means you’re perfectly happy doing nothing more tomorrow than what you did today. God never asks us to be comfortable. And I was perfectly happy with my tomorrow being just like my today, so I began to feel restless because I was not being obedient to what God wanted me to do.
I started feeling really lost. I really began to drift from God because I loved my job. I honestly did not want to be in His will if it meant I had to leave my comfortable classroom. I was hurt that He would ask me to even consider a change. Didn’t He know how much I loved what I did? Didn’t He know how much of a difference I was making? Didn’t He understand me at all? Quitting my job meant the loss of an income. It meant giving up the stuff that I loved. It meant not seeing the people that I loved or getting the hugs from the children that I crave.
I am such an arrogant, prideful child.
So much of my time was wasted clinging to what was comfortable to me that I really became miserable. I cried. I lost sleep. I made up so many excuses. I was scared to let go and trust that God really did know what he was doing. He slammed so many doors and yet I still, in my childlike ways, tried to pry them back open.
I am the child that causes Him to shake His head, roll His eyes and cross His arms waiting for me to finally give up my tantrum and take His hand. I am the child that needs to know before I leave the comfort of what I am doing that I will again be comfortable with what He is asking me to do.
It wasn’t until I was finally obedient and gave my notice to quit my job that I finally found true comfort. Peace. I knew that I was doing what God wanted me to do, even though I was grieving the loss of something I loved. What I didn’t know was that God did indeed have something else for me. He gave me another job working in Preschool Ministries that challenges me and some days really stretches me to the borders of my comfort zone. But the whole journey has taught me that God isn’t just inside my comfort zone. He’s wherever I am. Wherever you are. Now I just have to learn to always trust that truth…