We’ve all heard or used the statement, “It’s outside my comfort zone!”
Typically this statement is used when we are facing something new and it is uncomfortable or something we fear. There are situations where we are provided a choice of going outside our comfort zone, and there are also situations that push us there and we have to figure out how to walk through it.
I think it is human nature to want things to stay the same because it is known. It is routine and predictable. We hold on to what is known and predictable like a blanket that comforts us when we are scared.
I know for me, when something comes up outside my comfort zone, I automatically remind myself of my supposed limitations and fears. My mind takes me to all the reasons I don’t want to be there and don’t want to deal with what I am facing.
I have had times in life when I have chosen to grow. I have applied for promotions and taken a chance on a new job. I have moved to a new city to start a new life. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared, but I did choose to go outside my comfort zone in order to fulfill a dream and I wanted to grow.
There are other times when I have been pushed outside my comfort zone and thrust into situations and a life that wasn’t part of my plan. I have faced divorce, miscarriages, loss of loved ones, and breast cancer. Each of these situations were thrust on me, and I faced journeys outside my comfort zone.
Comfort zones can also get in the way of spiritual growth. I think deep within ourselves we have created comfortable places where we don’t want to face the facts of who we are or who we have become. I have learned, in order to be who God wants me to be, I need to confront these places.
So, what if we change our perspective? What if instead of going outside our comfort zone, we make the decision to simply expand our comfort zone?
As I was watching The Chosen series, I realized in a deeper way how each of the twelve disciples chose to step out and expand their comfort zones. They did this in order to respond to Jesus’ call to follow Him. This journey also thrust them outside their comfort zone into situations they didn’t choose and were extremely uncomfortable. Whether they chose or were thrust into the situation, Jesus was with them. He “saw” them in times of joy and sorrow. He became their comfortable blanket they could turn to when facing their fears.
When God begins to nudge us out of our comfort zone, it is because He wants to expand us beyond who we currently are. This can be any area of our life; our faith, our health, finances, relationships, business endeavors, careers, education, etc.
Only you and God know the area in which growth or change is needed.
I believe our biggest enemy and hinderance to that growth is ourselves: our thoughts, our perspective. I have learned that I need to take those negative thoughts captive and get in tune with the Holy Spirit if I truly want to grow.
How do I do that? Surrounding myself with Godly friends, personal quiet time with Him, and digging into the Living Word of God, the Bible.
Even this may require a conscious effort to get outside our comfort zone. It may be a fear of what God may ask us to do, fear that we won't understand the Bible, or fear of not hearing from God, or not praying correctly.
I know. I have been there.
I also know that because I initially stepped outside of my comfort zone and trusted God with my fears and doubts, my comfort zone has now expanded. But more than all that, I love feeling at peace, believing, trusting, accepting and being open to life as it is. And
when it comes down to it, I don’t want to trade fulfilling who God needs me to be for my
My comfort zone has expanded, and I choose to continue expanding it in order to fulfill
what He needs from me. And when things get hard or I start getting fearful, I will find my comfort in Him.
“God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)
With love and joy,