I walk along, the path lit only by the sliver of moonlight and a few streetlamps along the way. It’s quiet, peaceful, serene. I look up through the swaying palm fronds to see a sky bursting with flickering lights. It takes my breath away and I stop and whisper to everything and no one.
“Who am I, that You are mindful of me?”
Lowering my gaze, I look out over the pond. Lights from nearby houses dance off the water to the rhythm of the bull frogs. Everything is so terribly perfect and yet here I stand…uncomfortable.
I’ve been uncomfortable for awhile now. Uncomfortable with where I am and what I’m doing. Uncomfortable with life and my surroundings. I’ve just had an overwhelming sense of isolation, despite the fact that I’m surrounded by people. And you know what?
This is exactly where He wants me.
Six months ago, our little family packed up and moved away from everything and everyone we knew and loved. We left comfort and, like a flock of birds, we migrated South. And life became uncomfortable. My husband began a knew job in a new territory. I began homeschooling our children for the first time in an area where I had no contacts. I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m constantly questioning and doubting. I’m uncomfortable.
We’ve tried countless churches and one after another just hasn’t felt right. We miss being known – that feeling of walking into a place and knowing that you don’t have to smile if you don’t feel like smiling.
Even together, my husband and I have had to learn all over again what it means to work for marriage. We had been so comfortable before. Our routine was so packed with all the things that made us tick and move that life was easy.
Now it’s not. It’s uncomfortable. Despite the palm trees and the nearby beach (which is ten shades of awesome, by the way), we still feel lost and a little alone. We still look at one another and wonder…will it always feel this way?
Even God Himself seems a little more silent. As I walk, the warm winter air blowing over me, I try to lay these thoughts and feelings and burdens down, but I’m distracted. The dog starts barking at a mystery animal in the brush (which growls back, by the way…what the heck IS that?!), a frog leaps out in front of me on the path causing me to jump and yelp, laughter floats across the pond from a nearby house and I wonder what’s happening that resulted in such a delightful reaction.
All these things work together to distract me. I can’t pray. I’m uncomfortable talking about my discomfort. Even with my God.
But I’m also hopeful and watchful – more so than I have ever been. I look closely at His Creation in a way that I haven’t in a long time. I listen for His voice more closely than I have in many years. I wait for Him, for the soothing balm to my aching soul.
I long to find comfort in His arms. I am seeking Him where not so long ago, I merely gave Him a passing glance. He took me away from everything that made me comfortable – everything that made me feel whole – and He has placed me in a place where I feel vulnerable and unsure of myself.
I don’t understand. I’m uncomfortable. And yet the only thing I can think to say, over and over, is Who am I, that You are mindful of me?
Who am I?
Comfort awaits, I know that it does. I won’t always feel out of place, unsure and uncomfortable. But for now, as I dwell in the place where He has set me, I simply listen to the majesty of His creation and marvel at the glory of His name. Somewhere, amidst all the listening and waiting, Comfort whispers softly.Leave a Comment
Minivans Are Hot | Busch Gardens Fun says
[…] order of business – I am over at (in)courage today talking about being uncomfortable. I’d love for you to read about the hope that God has placed in my heart despite the […]
Becky M says
My husband and I retired and moved to an area where I do not know anyone, and the way of life here is SO DIFFERENT from where we came. I have been told (more than once) when I make a suggestion, “You don’t understand, you’re not from here.” It is hard. Thank you for giving some comfort and a reminder of whose I am. My prayers are with you.
Jan-Western Gal says
My husband and I were thinking of moving to a new area, like you did, where we would not know anyone either. I’m so glad we didn’t make the move. I think I would be lost also. thanks for sharing.
Kelli and Becky….my prayers are with you both!!! I have moved many times and it IS hard. Praying that God brings you to a church where you can serve and worship AND that your roots will grow even deeper…..not only in Him but in the community!
Becky M says
Thank you, Karen.
We just moved here after 12 years at our other home. This really encouraged me today, thank you for sharing!
Donna Hennings says
Hi Kelli! I recently connected with your mom on Face book and it has been fun to reconnect! Amazing to see the young girl we moved from years ago has turned into such a beautiful woman happily married with beautiful children! I loved your blog. I, too, recently moved after living 15 years in Cincinnati, Ohio. After moving from Wildhorse we moved to Naperville, Il and were only there a little over a year when Tom got a job in Cincinnati, where our girls, Sarah and Emily really grew up. They both attended Miami University and now live in Denver, Colorado. Sarah was married out of college and had her first baby boy this January, Emily has decided to go back to school to pursue a nursing degree, business was not for her after all. She has been in a relationship for two years but marriage is not in the plans till after school. Tom and I moved to Omaha, Nebraska a year ago this past year. Moving is hard, even harder when you are an empty-nester. Children are a great source to meet people, I am sure, home schooling makes that a little more difficult, though. Hang in there, God has a plan and to everything there is a season… I find I fill that uncomfortable with Him who brought me here and it is amazing how, in spite of the unfamiliar faces and the disconnectedness, I am happier than ever before. Enjoy this time, embrace it. Life gets crazy, especially when your kids get a little older. So, enjoy the calm before the storm. I guarantee you will look back on this time with a thankful heart. It is a precious time to grow in your faith and give God thanks for those beautiful little smiles that great you every morning! An amazing, amazing gift so many couples in life never experience. I remind that to Sarah all the time. A healthy child! Wow! You are so blessed! You write beautifully, which is another way to bring a smile, not only to others, but to yourself! Life is good, God is Great! Take care ~ XOXO Donna (Mrs. Hennings)
Such a sweet message from someone I knew so long ago. Thank you for the encouragement, Mrs. Hennings! Please tell the girls I said hello. 🙂
Teresa Ahrenholtz says
I, too, have moved several times. I look back at those times when the place was unfamiliar, before I made good friends or found a church home or connected with other homeschoolers and realize those were the times I grew closer to the Lord because He was what was familiar, close, and comfortable. I pray this is a time of growth for you also.
Wow! You have no idea how you wrote exactly what we are going thru!! It’s amazing to me that someone else is in the exact same place – including church and homeschool, except that we are not new to that! We too have come much closer to God here! Meantime, I feel I am waiting until our indefinite time here is done; but I do listen hard now because I don’t want to miss all that He brought us here for, all that He is saying thru this place and time!! Thank you for sharing – we are kindred hearts! I will pray for you to really really hear Him!! Pray for me too!! God bless you!!
Abby @ Many Blessings says
Oh, this sounds so very familiar. My husband and I and our now 16 month old son moved to Mexico City from the U.S. 8 months ago and since then I’ve definitely had my share of times of feeling uncomfortable and longing for the community that knew and supported us so well in the U.S.. Neither of us are fluent in Spanish, so the language barrier makes it that much harder. But through it all I can definitely say that God has been faithful. He’s growing and stretching us, making us redefine home, and gradually making us feel more comfortable. I write a lot about the transition on my blog (dandak.blogspot.com), as I’m sure you know, writing about it has helped in processing it all.
I feel as if I am reading my own story come across the page as your words whisper to me that I need to reach out to my sister in Christ and share that you are not alone. While reassuring you that God does have his very best in mind for you is part of my message, the other part is to share that l, having traveled this road that you’re on, can tell you that one day you will look at this time as one of the most spiritually rewarding times of life. To be uncomfortable means that God is growing you into more than you were before. To be uncomfortable means you will find yourself humbled and surrender it all at the foot of the cross because you cannot bear another moment of missing his presence. We have moved a total of 1780 miles in two moves since 2009 and that first move broke my heart, shattered my very well-oiled machine of routines, life, playdates, etc. Little did I know that God had so much more than that in store. I spent months dragging my heels as God patiently awaited my cooperation in His plan and when I started to seek Him in the those moments
Wow. How this seems to have my name all over it. As that word describes my life in the last 22 months, and yet I keep waiting for it to go away. Moving was from family and friends was the last thing we thought we would ever do, especially so far. It was so much more difficult than I thought it would be. It is a blessing knowing that someone else feels the same. And yes I know God has been so mindful of me. He has placed in my path a wonderful bible study. He is good all the time. Thank you for you wonderful words. God bless.
Thank you for the amazing encouragement this morning everyone. I wanted to reply to each one of you individually but Ir ealized I would be saying the same thing over and over. Thank you for praying and for reaching out through this beautiful thing called the internet to provide me with wisdom and kind words. I am so grateful. May you all have a blessed day, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. 🙂
Julie Lewis says
Wow. I was so encouraged by this blog entry as well because my family is about to move from our home of 8 years. I find myself already dreading the feeling alone, our lives being disrupted, not knowing anyone, and being uncomfortable. Not only did this post encourage me, but all of these comments have as well! Thank you all for the encouragement you have given me today.
Melissa Ens says
I’m another one of the currently uncomfortable ones, having just 3 months ago moved from California to South America. I resonate with so much of what you said. Our kids just started school here yesterday so it’s a whole new world in SOOOO many ways. But there is much good too – Lord, help me look for the good in the midst of the discomfort!
“He took me away from everything that made me comfortable – everything that made me feel whole – and He has placed me in a place where I feel vulnerable and unsure of myself.” ~ These words could have come out of my mouth. We haven’t moved but life situations have made us uncomfortable. We are no longer at our church, my husband (a pastor) is not currently in ministry and picking up part-time jobs until God opens another ministry position. We have landed in a church where the worship (meaning the ministry of the Word as well as the rest of the service) feeds our soul but the church is larger and it has been difficult for us to get involved. I am currently working 3 part-time jobs which equal 1 full-time job in hours. I used to only work 2 days/week. We still live in the small town where we used to minister in a church. I am just struggling to keep up my home and be the wife and mother. All our family struggles with relating as things have changed so much! Where do we all fit in? The things I used to know, I don’t know anymore. The things I used to believe, I question. But just as you said, Kelli, I am seeking Him! I feel unsure, vunerable, hurt, questioning, unknown, misunderstood, confused, etc. All those feelings draw me to Jesus’ feet where I just lay it all down but I don’t know what else to do. I am hopeful. I wait, I listen and sometimes I hear. When I was longing for friendships, I heard God whisper “Aren’t I enough?” When I am praying for financial means to pay bills, I hear “Trust me.” I am heightened to the goodness of God. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with it! When singing with fellow believers, I am overwhelmed with the thoughts of heaven. When I dwell on Christ’s death & resurrection (via lent, upcoming Easter activities, etc), I am overwhelmed with my sin and Christ’s sacrifical love. I know that I (and my family) will emerge from this time…but in the meantime, I cling to Jesus. Here I am becoming less and less uncomfortable.
Faye Gilkison says
……Hello, I have never been part of a sharing site before but how wonderful to see that connections can be made which support us at our deepest times of need with a word of encouragement. I lived in Seattle Washington for over forty years with my husband. Within the past year the economy caused a huge challenge to our semi-retirement plans. My husband lost his own business after thirty years which took all our savings forcing us into bankruptcy and the foreclosure of our home which we couldn’t even sell with the current market. Enough money was given to us through Christian friends to allow us to move to Nashville, Tn. four months ago where living is cheaper. After 200 job applications we still have no job. Social security is not enough to live on. The Lord has still been our beacon of light and strength as we know and feel His presence. New friends at my age are hard to come by but we connected with a Bible based church. I joined a Bible study to begin with and have had more time to study His word right now. I am looking for ways to serve others and by this I can connect. I feel lost some moments and miss dear friends but the Lord is and always has provided for my husband and I all these years. This huge change did not surprise Him as He knows the meadows ahead and will bring us safely through. I am truly finding that as I lay it done I enter a deeper walk with my Saviour. Press into His side where you will feel safe….the Shepherd leads!
Thank you, Faye, for sharing this. It really encouraged me.
Bert Nichols Stauff says
Love to see you and hear from you again after all these years.
It seems like life is a paradox. We don’t know happiness unless we have known sorrow. We don’t know comfort unless we have felt the pinch of discomfort. It is God’s subtle reminders and NOT so subtle reminders to find gratitude and happiness in everything.
I have been uncomfortable with where I was spiritually lately. I mean I am a believer, I practice it, but to the depths of my soul I just didn’t feel committed. So, that is something I have been working on. He pointed it out to me and then I work on it…
Good luck at finding your peace and comfort, and with God’s help, you will. 🙂
Thank you for sharing. I am going through the exact same thing. I have to say I keep hearing my mothers voice saying its just growing pains baby don’t worry. I know God works beauty from pain and being uncomfortable. Hang in there it is worth it. I feel him at work for sure. It’s nice to know someone else is going through this as well. I pray for you and your family will find peace and wonderful friendships. God always knows better than us. 🙂
Wow – I am in a different place in life (kids are grown), but my husband is away working in a town 600 miles from here and is only home infrequently. We have not made the move because the job at this point is temporary. Most of my friends have moved away in the past two years. I feel so uncomfortable, alone and afraid in this very unfamiliar place – even though physically I am in the same place. Your post really encouraged my heart that God is with me and He understands my feelings, perhaps even orchestrated this time so that I would have to seek Him for my comfort and encouragment instead of from people in my life. Thank you for sharing. I don’t like this odd uncomfortable feeling but know that He has a purpose. As Melissa said, Lord help me look for the good in this uncomfortable place.
This made my soul cry for you. I too have been plopped in a place where it has been hard to make friends and it has been uncomfortable in every sense of the word. We are moving yet again to yet another place where I will know noone and have to start all over again. Today your post made me realize that He is working on His plan in His own time. I have found that I have grown closer to Him and now listen closer to His whispers. The Lord doesnt need to shout or make me have a wake up call. I am quiet now to hear Him. I have enjoyed walking closer with Him and look forward to continuing the walk at our new place. I really enjoy all of your posts. Thank you!
katie @ Imperfect People says
Oh I love your precious words. It is so true. God is GOD and I am not. Getting that in order makes everything else work.
Yes, Ashley. The answer is always the same. Look Up. Looking ahead to the future we find questions, concerns. When our focus turns to the past, we find things that cannot be changed and things that are no longer there. When we look down inside, we all see that same incompleteness that your baseboards show you. Looking up there is hope, peace, pleasure in Him. Thank you Lord that your Spirit within us reminds us of our incompleteness and draws us to You. Thank you Lord for Ashley. You are using her as one our your artistic tools. You have blessed me today dear one.
All of the comments in this post have blessed me deeply. I kind of wondered if I was the only one who felt this way. I even felt silly because it’s not as if life is really that hard! We are in a beautiful place with all our needs met so why does it stil feel so off?
Thank you all for letting me know I’m not alone.
Mary @ The Mommy Job says
Kelli- I love your openess here. Moving to a new place is scary. My family and I moved a few months ago to a town where we actually know a lot of people. The hardest part for us is the new routines and schedules. Every new thing takes some getting used to. I hope you feel comfortable soon 🙂
Leigh Kay says
You bless me. This post is breathtaking. Your heart is humble and lovely. I am enriched by reading your vulnerable, truthful heart. Thank you for sharing this with your sisters. You are enveloped in the folds of His robe, in the arms of your Shaper and Master Carpenter. And He KNOWS you need community. Tangible, in-front-of-you community, and I truly have a peace in telling you that I fully believe He is preparing that for you as I type. As you type. As you pray. It is coming. I can feel it. For He know how his lily needs to be clothed. And you are splendid. Rest in the music of bullfrogs. Rest on the porch of you new days. You are seen, heard, held. Thank you for your heart.
that would be so hard.
I moved from Ohio into beautiful Tennessee almost ten years ago. I experience much isolation since moving here. Finding it so hard to meet new friends. Everyone has their set of friends and I find it so hard to be accepted. While the south is friendly, you cannot enter bonding friend groups or even families…they all seem to cling together and you are not welcomed easily. My husband spends 95% of his time with single friends and my loneliness continues to grow deeper. I was attending a small church but have stopped attending as I found the same going on there as well. I read my Bible alot but yet so much is missing within me. I love your blog and find it very in-couraging…thank you.