Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
What comfort zone? God has been having me think about this a lot lately. Not only has He had me thinking about it, He has been really pushing me out of mine.
I was recently able to travel to Cuba. This is the sixth (first with The Point) mission trip I have been on. I have to admit; this was the first time I was truly nervous about a trip. You see I’m what I like to call an extroverted introvert. I am a major introvert. Crowds make me anxious and talking to people (especially new people) is not something I excel at. The extroverted part comes from the job I have and the team I serve on at church; in those areas I have to be extroverted.
There were two differences between this trip and previous ones. The first is the other trips were mainly physical. We built houses and worked behind the scenes (Its surprisingly easy to hide behind a 2X4, hammer, and some nails). These were perfect for an introvert. When I heard our focus in Cuba was mainly relational my anxiety kicked in overtime. My introverted side tried to take over and I had to pray through anxious thoughts. Whenever I met a new person or prayed out loud during one of the visits, I had to say a calming prayer before hand, so I could get through it.
The second was that the group size was much smaller. It’s hard to hide in a small group. Especially when we each lead devotions and shared our testimonies. It’s one thing to talk to people you may never see again. It’s completely different to share part of your life story with people (some we had really just gotten to know on this trip) you see on a weekly basis. I am so proud of the group I was able to travel with. I am happy to be able to call them friends.
That said, I am so thankful to God for continually pushing me out of my comfort zone. I now see a confidence in myself that I haven’t seen before and I didn’t know I could ever have. Going to Cuba was just the latest step in His amazing plan for me; Cuba was an experience I’ll never forget. Each time I prayed through the anxiety it got easier to do what God wanted me to do. I am so excited to see growth in myself and others as God gets us further out of our comfort zones. Lessons learned from Cuba are that it’s okay to let your guard down, allow people to care about you, let them make your heart happy, and don’t be afraid to dance in the rain. Most importantly, allow God to lead you out of your comfort zone. You won’t regret any of it. He puts us where we need to be; He won’t steer you wrong.
God, I thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone. I may push back but I am so thankful that you never give up on me. I know that your plans for me are infinitely better than anything I could ever plan. I can’t wait to see what you have planned for the next chapter of my life. I pray that as you lead us out of our comfort zones you ease our fears and help us to live out the trust we know we have in you. In your most precious name, Amen!