Thursday, July 19, 2007

Moving Out of My Comfort Zone... Again - Meyer

I don’t know how it is with you but it seems to me that every time, I start to get a little bit too comfy cozy, God decides to move me into an area that is not quite so comfortable.

And yes, it’s happening again. I never thought this small town girl would actually come to enjoy living in the big city of Winnipeg but it’s been kinda growing on me. I can navigate the downtown core (and sometimes even find a parking spot!) and I’ve begun to feel that this is “my city.” Winnipeg has been very good for my writing career and it’s also a good stopping off place for our grown children who have to travel either west or back east (all roads lead through Winnipeg!).

Alas, it is time to go. On August 29th, we’ll be packing up and moving 8 hours north of Winnipeg to a First Nations community called Norway House. And yes, we are going because we want to go but… but… I was just getting nice and comfy cozy here.

It seems to me that God is constantly doing this same kind of stretching and growing process in my writing as well. I’m cruising along with a familiar group of characters, a nice setting and a comfortable plot. Then the Lord says, “Okay, that’s cool but now I’d like you to write about a man who is homosexual, married to another man, with a child together – and oh, by the way, he’s dying of AIDS and his final wish is that his daughter will be cared for by his brother whom he abused as a child.” Okay, that’s really not very comfortable. I’d so much rather write a nice little romance about some white settlers in the 1800’s – did I mention that the characters in my books are predominantly First Nations?

My initial reaction when the Lord introduces me to these topics is “NO!” I don’t want to do it. I’m not qualified to do it. And… and… I don’t want to do it.” I end up coming around eventually as God’s gentle pressure continues. And, of course, the way is always well prepared for me as soon as I’m ready to open my eyes and open my heart. I meet people with AIDS. I find all kinds of books on the topic. It’s suddenly there all around me in my immediate field of vision. And by the time I start writing the story, I feel confident that I can communicate in such a way that my readers will relate to the characters and perhaps allow God to stretch and grow them a little bit too.

I think that moving out of our comfort zone is what following Jesus is all about. He did tell us, in a lot of ways, that we shouldn’t get too comfy cozy here on earth. He said stuff like “take up your cross and follow me” and “in this world, you will have tribulation.” And, oh yes, something about being pilgrims and wanderers on this earth…

I like where my computer and desk are. I like where my pictures are on the walls. I like where my couch and chairs are and my plants… I don’t want to move and have everything be unfamiliar again. But I know the Lord is in this. We have felt his clear direction. It’s time to go. And I know He will prepare the way for us.

Dorene Meyer


Patricia said...

Both your desire to "stay put" and your celebration of the excitement and growth involved in being pulled out of that comfortable seat resonated with me. My husband's aunt talked of spending some very happy days at Norway House. (a family of teachers and missionary clergy who preferred to work with First Nations persons) Isn't it "co-incidental" that your budding story and your new site could mesh together so well?

Marci said...

I can relate, too, Dorene. After almost 20 years here we're about to move. Only half an hour down the road, but it's still a big shift for us in many ways. Exciting, scary, filled with opportunities to trust. Blessings as you go.

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