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  • Writer's pictureAngela Trunnell

We're Not Built For Comfort

"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;" (Romans 5:3)

Neon sign that says "DO SOMETHING GREAT"

We're Not Built For Comfort

If you have been around church for any length of time, you’ve probably heard this idea before: “Christians are not called to a life of comfort.” Having grown up in a Christian family, Christian school, and various Christian churches, this statement is nothing new to me. It is one of the many mantras that have been so deeply ingrained in my mind that I never thought to meditate on what it really means... until today. While I was driving it totally hit me in the face (as most epiphanies often do).

Grace Beougher and Angela Trunnel at a birthing clinic in The Philippines
Left to right: Grace Beougher and Angela Trunnell

Many Christians tend to walk around with this idea like it is a life sentence: “When I signed up for this deal, I contractually agreed to sacrifice my comfort. My security. My wants. My will. As a good Christian, that’s what I have to do. I have to sacrifice. It is a bummer, but it is my gift to God.”

But what if this is God’s gift to us?

Think about a situation in your life - past or present - that felt or feels completely safe and comfortable. Relationships? Finances? Work? School? Hobbies? Faith? Got that picture in your mind? Good. Now... how long have you maintained that comfy situation and remained happy? Or fulfilled? Or energized?

If you’re anything like me, your natural short-term go-to response is to seek comfort and hang out there. That’s human. But perhaps that is only a surface-level response a knee-jerk reaction. As time goes on and I get lulled into complacency, however, I start to feel bored, restless, and even empty. As I realized in the car just this morning, my comfort and “security,” therefore, became scary. Perhaps this is an indication that we as humans are not just called to step out of our comfort zones but actually wired for it. On a deeper level, we crave stimulation, risk, and forward movement. We're not built for comfort.

Long-term comfort is not comfortable because we were made to live for more.

This has been a crazy week full of lots of changes. It should be terrifying. And though my mind is racing, strangely, I feel nothing but an overwhelming sense of peace, excitement, and appreciation. As I process all of these new changes, I found that the person I look forward to talking to the most is my good friend and personal trainer. Why? Because though I truly appreciate the sentiment behind other loved ones’ “aww, poor thing; let me comfort you and give you a pat on the back” response,... what I really love is the response that I know I will get from my trainer: “Yep. You’re right. That’s rough. Now give me 5 more burpees. It’ll make you feel better.”

That’s when I realized that I love to be pushed. I don’t desire a comfy hug as much as I desire to physically sweat it out. I don’t desire companions who will help me dwell in self-pity as much as I desire companions who will help me stay focused and keep moving. I don’t desire to look for an easier way out of these new changes as much as I desire to take on the challenges and tackle them head-on. I am invigorated by being pushed (or pulled) out of my comfort zone.

If this is the case, then challenges and sacrifices are actually a blessing. They are an opportunity to grow and to actually feel life, rather than just mindlessly drift through it.

I recently had the tremendous privilege of visiting Grace Beougher on her mission field in the Philippines (another “yes” to being called out of my comfort zone, as it was my very first international trip), and I saw this principle in action in a myriad of ways. I saw it in the local people. I saw it in poverty. I saw it in public transportation. I saw it in the sweet patients and incredible staff at the birthing clinic. I saw it in our late-night sweat sessions as we eagerly awaited the power or the water to come back on so that we could find relief from the tropical humidity.

Life in the Philippines is nothing like life here in San Diego. In my opinion, it’s better. This is not to say that it is easy. I am amazed and humbled by the sacrifices that Grace and her colleagues make constantly to build a life in Davao and continue to serve its people. They are truly living a selfless life far outside of their comfort zones. But the quality of their intangible life, their faith, their spirituality, their relationships, their hope, their gratefulness, and their fulfillment is infinitely greater than anything I have ever experienced in my safe, comfy first-world bubble. Though it has been great to be home and back with family and friends, my heart still yearns for Davao. Or perhaps, yearn for the “something greater” that I found in Davao.

This feeling is hard to describe in words. I wish that I could transfer this feeling to each and every one of you so that you could experience the exciting, invigorating, and yes, a little scary, passion for life that I feel burning in my spirit at this moment in time. But that is something that you will have to pursue for yourself.

I encourage or rather urge you to step outside of your comfort zone. Near or far, big or small, public or private... Just do something that scares you a little bit. Don’t take this as a call to be reckless. Approach it prayerfully and use your common sense.

But push yourself just a little bit further than you would normally go. You just may be surprised to find that “scary” is the most fun, inspiring, fulfilling, and comfortable place to be!

On behalf of Grace, thank you so much for your continued support and prayers. The solid foundation that you have built for her back home is making all the difference as she builds her life and ministry in Davao. Her team is delivering and changing lives. What a powerful thing to be a part of!

Live boldly and may you be blessed!

Angela Trunnell

Ready to step outside your comfort zone?


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