Have you ever purposefully moved away from your comfort zone? I’m curious, friend, how did you manage? On what or who did you rely? Have you ever felt like a fish out of water?
My dear man and I are closing in on 18 months living in a new everything on the opposite side of the country. We moved in faith, as a yes to what we agreed together (a miracle in itself) was a call of God. At this point we’re too far gone to go back. And we’re far enough in to know we’re way outside our comfort zone. Kind of like the Israelites half way across the parted Red Sea.
We’re quite happy and thankful for we never would have splurged on such a beautiful and expensive location without God’s great big hands nudging us forward. This simply feels like home to us in the strangest kind of way, and so we’ve reconciled together that it must have all to do with our Heavenly Father living here with us.
At the same time we’ve never felt quite so out of sorts. We mess up every other day in communications and actions. Our most common response is this: “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” After a year, I wonder if the goodwill toward a newbie is ready to expire?
We feel like fish out of water.
This week I have heard myself use a familiar phrase in several conversations. “I’m just a fish out of water.” So I’ve started to ponder what it actually means to be a fish out of water.
We can relate. It feels like we’ve mostly flopped about relying on ourselves to get back to comfortable waters. At times, we’ve been successful in rescuing ourselves by keeping quiet, apologizing for not understanding a generally accepted norm, and by observing and listening to the natives.
A fish that has landed on dry ground is in trouble. It needs water to breathe, and primarily to move. However, the fish for some short period of time can flop about in the hopes of getting back to nourishing, life giving water. If the fish can’t flop itself into the water, the only other hope of survival is to rely on a kindhearted person to place it back in the water. Otherwise, the fish will die.
Primarily though, my dear man and I recognize that we’re very much in need of help. We need a kind person to gently rescue us and get us back into the water so we can breathe and move about. Most assuredly, Jesus has been with us as we determine to live among the natives in peace and with love intentionally trying to avoid offending those we encounter.
For even in the times we’ve relied on ourselves, we recognize that Holy Spirit has nudged someone toward us. A kind person has translated for us or given us a heads up on protocol. Generous hearts and hands have come alongside and listening ears have understood that we don’t know what we’re doing.
The long and short of it is that fish out of water need help. It’s been the best kind of challenging to be reminded every day of this current adventure that we don’t know everything. In fact, it’s been refreshingly unsettling to find out we don’t know nearly as much as we think we do.
It’s been humbling to need, and to have to receive help. Yet, walking humbly, watching, waiting, and learning is the way of Jesus. He tells us we can rely on Him. So, I guess if we can remember this we won’t have to worry about being fish out of water. In Him we have life abundant!
Eyes on Jesus and Shine,