I'm a creature of comfort. I like cozy. I like warm. I like inviting. I really like familiar. I don't completely balk at change, but it's generally best if I can have some time to process that change is happening. I have to warm up to the idea.
I've lived in the same apartment for four years, and I have never rearranged furniture. Not even once. I've added a few odds and ends here and there, but all the rooms are basically the same as they were four years ago when I moved in. Once I get a room how I like it, I keep it that way. I've never been one to just randomly rearrange furniture. Goes back to that whole loving-the-familiar thing, I guess.
Last week I got this itch to rearrange my bedroom. I couldn't explain it. I didn't really understand it. I just needed change. I stood in the middle of the room and turned around and around, taking stock of what I had to work with and carefully thinking. I thought about what arrangement would make the room flow best, and I visualized what I wanted where. The more I thought about it, the more I was pretty sure it wouldn't work the way I wanted it to. If you know me even the tiniest bit, you know how stubborn I am, so it should be no surprise that I decided I would make it work. I forged ahead and moved a few pieces of furniture only to be slapped in the face with the realization that it definitely was not going to work. I kept thinking to myself "If that wall was just a tiny bit longer..." or "If that window was just a smidge more to the right..." I got so frustrated. I finally just gave up and put everything right back where it started. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't change the size and position of the four walls and two windows in my bedroom.
A few days later, I struck out on one of the last trips of summer to visit some of my best friends. I was in the mood to roll down my windows and sing realllllllly loudly, so I needed realllllllly good driving music. I decided it was a John Mark and Sarah McMillan kind of day, and I promptly set my phone to shuffle through all their tunes. Pretty soon, the song Walk Around My House played. I honestly don't think I'd ever listened to it before that day, but man oh man did the verses catch my heart. (Y'all, apparently this is a thing for me - listening to the McMillans' music and Jesus simultaneously throwing me a curve ball...)
Walk around my house and turn it upside down Your love pursues me Walk around my house and turn it upside down Your spirit moves me Open up my windows and unlock all the doors You know you own me Open up my windows and unlock all the doors Blow right through me
The Lord's timing is so funny to me sometimes. My mind had literally just flitted back to my overwhelming desire to rearrange my bedroom when this song came on. It was while listening to these lyrics that I felt a gentle nudge from Holy Spirit to really pay attention.
You see, there are some habits and practices and thought processes that I seem to fall into step with when I'm not carefully guarding my mind and my heart and walking in the knowledge and fullness of my identity as a daughter of the King. These habits and practices and thought processes are the creature comforts of my heart, the places and spaces that feel most comfortable to me when I face hard times - when I find myself hurt by someone or when I'm comparing myself to another woman or when I've found myself in the middle of an everything-seems-to-be-going-downhill day. If I'm not standing guard, these creature comforts take over my thoughts and actions and start worming their way into my heart, chipping away at the identity that I've turned my back on, even if only for what seemed like a nanosecond.
And while I really love the comfort and the warmth of the familiar, I really don't love the familiarity of these particular creature comforts. It was in realizing that these places exist and assessing the damage they have caused that I felt an intense need for change within my own heart. I wanted God to have the space to rearrange the furniture of my heart.
I love that God is not limited by four walls and two windows like I was when trying to rearrange my bedroom. He is not bound by any earthly constraint. He can push away anything that hinders so that his will and his purpose for me have room to come to light in my life. I want him to walk around my house and turn it upside down. I want him to open up my windows and unlock all the doors. I want him to have full access to every part of me - even the creature comforts that have been part of me for so long.
I'm learning to give him full permission to move things and change things and tweak things and really get me into the place where I will be most comfortable. And in the process, I'm learning that living in the comfortable space I created is sometimes not the comfortable space he wants for me.