I’m not going to lie; I like to be comfortable. I think most people do…but I also don’t think that most people are as terrified by newness and change as I am. See, change makes me very uncomfortable. I like predictability, routine, security. That’s part of why our drastic move a year and a half ago was so traumatic to me. I was excited, of course, to begin the ministry that God seemed to really want us to do, but I also mourned the comfortable and beautiful existence that I had worked so hard for eight years to create. In fact, this blog started as a kind of catharsis for me to work through all my Big Feelings about our new life.
Now, however, a year and a half later, I’m comfortable again. I love the community we have here through our church, and I love the mission that we all share. I especially love how that community has woven itself so comfortably into our daily lives.
I love, for example, that the kids and I could come home from a ten day trip and pick up right where we left off at a church community night:
I loved that as I walked up to the cookout, I knew that I had friends–good friends–waiting there for me. It was a nice, comfortable feeling.
And yesterday morning, I was so excited to get my first opportunity to teach the literacy class at Y.E.S. that I wrote about here. My friend and a Y.E.S. intern taught while I was out of town, but now it was my turn:
Being that it was a new class, I guess I should have been uncomfortable, but since I knew most these kids already and taught them in the same room in which I have so often taught Sunday school, it felt more like coming home than embarking on a new journey. (It also helps that I’m a language arts nerd and absolutely love discussing phonograms with young kids).
Class went really well, and the kids and I left straight from there to go swimming with Greg and a bunch of middle-schoolers from Y.E.S. We went to a pool that my kids had never been to, but I had been there several years before on a mission trip to Y.E.S. with our then-youth group. Going to the pool brought back so many memories, as I looked at the picnic spot where we had had an afternoon devo so many years ago, and remembered how I had been learning to like Hot Cheetos at the time. Back in the present, I bummed some Hot Cheetos off one of the teens at lunch, and she told me, “Mrs. Kim, I’ve never seen an adult eat these.”
I watched my kids playing with their Daddy and one of our interns, Antwan. I watched how comfortable they were with Twan, using him as a human jungle gym, and I remembered all the teens from our past that they’ve had that same kind of relationship with. Now, they have it again. We are comfortable.
Maybe my favorite part of the day, though, came in the evening, when I got to take my friend, Viviana, out to celebrate her getting her driver’s permit:
Regarding the permit itself, all I have to say is that, having been born in the U.S., I had no idea how much work this can take for people. But even more than that, as Viv and I laughed over dinner, I realized how easy it was to talk with her. Back in the day, Viv was a teen at Y.E.S. while I volunteered there during college. Now, she is my friend, and I genuinely enjoy her company.
It’s all very comfortable.
Here is what’s not comfortable right now.
If you are friends with Greg or me on Facebook at all, you know the craziness that has gone on alongside of all this comfort. Greg was recently named a finalist in a video scholarship competition to win full tuition for his MBA from Lipscomb University in non-profit management. For his entry, he had to make a video, explaining why he wants this degree. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it, I highly recommend it:
Our church has lots of dreams and plans for our community, and an MBA would go a long way to equip Greg for those plans. It goes without saying that without the scholarship, there’s no way we could afford an advanced degree from Lipscomb.
Honestly, grad school itself is a daunting prospect that threatens to bring change to our stable and comfortable lives. It will make life more uncomfortable, absolutely. However, it is that same kind of discomfort that came from plunging into ministry at Woodbine, and it is an opportunity that we long for, even though it will bring change.
What makes me even more uncomfortable right now is the means of making this dream of a scholarship become a reality. See, the contest is decided by popular online vote. You can vote every day between now and June 20, and you can use every email address you have, according to the official rules. What that means for us is that we have been begging, badgering, pleading, and pestering everyone we know to please, please, PLEASE vote daily and share the link with all their friends.
To some people, maybe that’s not a huge deal, but I’ve really had to overcome my discomfort with…well, with a lot of things. With begging, for example. With putting myself out there. With appearing–and in fact, being–desperate. With throwing myself on the mercy and grace of my friends. With feeling like I’m imposing. With asking for favors. I have had to swallow pride I didn’t know I had! For their part, our friends have come through beautifully, doing much more to help than we had the right to expect.
Also, I am thankful for the past 24 hours, which have reminded me exactly why I’m beating the bushes for Greg to get this scholarship. The truth is, we love our community, and we want to invest in them. We can (and will) do that without the scholarship, of course, but it would provide a great opportunity to further our church’s goals.
So, in closing, let me put myself out there, and desperately beg, badger, plead, and pester you to please, PLEASE vote each day for my husband to win this scholarship–and, if possible, share the link with your own communities. It’s uncomfortable for me to do so, but the most worthwhile things in life usually are.
Thank you so much!