First Third Conversations

Comfort in the Reality of Life

A blog post by Sara Quarberg

Image Credit: "Peace I Give to You..." by Sharon on Flickr

Almost two years ago, I met the love of my life. Before meeting Joe, I truly didn’t know what true love was. I now know that it’s a profoundly beautiful thing that can only be experienced with the right person.

So, naturally, what society and my childhood of watching Disney movies tells me is that when I meet my prince charming, birds will sing, life will fall into place, and we’ll live happily ever after. Well, let me enter back into reality and admit that I know I will most likely not live in a castle and life may not always be easy. But, what I do know is what I have is rare and a profoundly beautiful gift from God.

As a 27-year-old emerging adult who lives in her parent’s basement, I find myself deeply wanting what’s next for my life. I’m experiencing my true passions come alive and am beyond excited for where I’m feeling the Spirit leading me. Many of my friends are getting married, making homes with their spouse, having children, and/or working their dream jobs. That looks so appealing to this emerging adult who is straddling the line between different worlds as I graduate from Luther Seminary this spring.

To add to that, the economy hasn’t been working in our favor, and Joe’s been struggling to find steady work in his trained field. This is where a fear begins to boil in the back of my mind that we will never have the home that we dream of and that I’m going to be waiting a more than the desired amount of time to marry my best friend.

But, Joe is proof to me that the God I love and serve is real and the Spirit is busy at work in both of our lives. So, for this, I’m thankful. Through reflecting upon this, I’ve come to realize that at this moment in my life, I’m struggling with a fear of not being comfortable.

Comfort looks and feels so different to each of us depending on factors like our upbringing, context, and interests. So, of course comfort feels great, and as one who has known nothing but comfort her whole life, this makes the thought of being uncomfortable even harder. But in this, I’m learning a very important lesson for my future ministry roles.

As church leaders, what does this mean for us and for ministry? Do we always have to be comfortable in doing God’s ministry? What if we live in the uncomfortable for a while and allowed God to be at work? If we take a look at God’s story, the biblical narrative, and the world, we see that we are an uncomfortable people, a broken people. And, this is where God can do God’s thing. God has more clay to work with as our potter. In the brokenness, think of all the pieces of clay that have fallen, broken off, or been unable to stick to the masterpiece. Beauty can come from darkness, and God’s light always overcomes the darkness.

Sometimes God calls us to places of the unknown like a wilderness and oftentimes, we’re there for an uncomfortable amount of time. There’s a human reality here and also messiness here. But , God shows up and God can really do God’s work once we allow God into that space. God continues to show up in big and small ways. Many times, in this wilderness, we must have patience, hope, and trust to allow God to continue to do God’s thing.

My hope and prayer for all of us called to public Christian leadership is that we continue to embrace the messiness, brokenness, and the uncomfortableness. The moment I recognized this and allowed God to fully enter in was the moment when my eyes were shifted to the small things God is doing in my life and in this situation. This moment is when I can fully enter into peace and comfort that God truly knows what God is doing in my life and what I need to do is continue to follow where the Spirit is leading me. For this, I am grateful, and I am excited to see what God has in store.

Sara QuarbergAuthor Bio:
Sara is a Senior at Luther Seminary, graduating in May 2014 with an MA in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. She is from Blaine, Minnesota and has been a member of Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Mounds View, her entire life. Currently, Sara is the Contemporary Service and Band Leader at Abiding Savior as well as Children's Worship Leader at St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church in Plymouth, Minnesota. She holds a BS in Vocal Performance and has a passion for using her gifts to serve God and the church. Sara embodies a passion for high school and young adult ministry by providing opportunities for young people to explore, wrestle with, and gain a better understanding of their faith and identity as a child of God. 

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