When we moved to Arkansas I have to admit I felt out of my comfort zone. The first week we were here, the kids and I drove to Central High School, home to the Little Rock Nine. If you’re familiar with history, then you know the story of the Little Rock Nine. If the facts are fuzzy, here’s a recap that I took from Wikipedia.
The Little Rock Nine was a group of African-American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The ensuing Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, and then attended after the intervention of President Eisenhower, is considered to be one of the most important events in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. On their first day of school, troops from the Arkansas National Guard would not let them enter the school and they were followed by mobs making threats to lynch.
Growing up in California and spending most of my life in Montana, I was as far away from the Civil Rights Movement was as the War of 1812. But being in Little Rock, this history didn’t seem so ancient, especially when the young, beautiful, African American tour guide admitted her mother was one of the Little Rock Nine.
It wasn’t just a tour of the high school that intrigued me that day. It was the drive to where Central High School was that was even more inspiring. We left the new, safe-feeling west side where we lived into a part of town that still felt like 1957. We drove past houses that were boarded up, old businesses that looked as if they’d been left to crumble. I didn’t feel completely safe. This mama wasn’t in Montana any more.
Maybe it was that day, or maybe a few days to follow, that I made a decision. I didn’t want to stay safe. I wanted to leave my comfort zone. I had a feeling God had plans for me there.
You see, all of my friends were FamilyLife staff. The loved on us like I never expected. They brought us meals and offered to babysit. I was overwhelmed by their love. We’d also started attending an awesome church, but walking in the doors it was hard to tell the Civil Rights Movement had happened at all. I could have stayed their and worshipped with those amazing people forever, but something inside didn’t feel right. God had different plans for me. For my family.
That’s the cool thing about God. He has a unique plan for each of our family. It’s amazing really.
What about you? OK, maybe God isn’t calling you to physically leave your comfort zone by driving across town, but is He stirring something else inside? Is He asking you to walk across the hall to another set of lockers? Walk across the gym floor? Walk across the living room and pick up the phone . . . make that text?
God wants us to leave our comfort zones–all of us. Why? Because it’s there where He meets us. When we aren’t comfortable, we look to Him for our comfort. And that’s exactly where we need to be.