Have you ever found yourself staring at the opportunity of a lifetime? Have you ever felt God calling you to something larger than yourself? Have you ever really wanted to step out and do something great? Yet, despite these desires you were paralyzed with fear! I can definitely relate.
I have never been one to willingly step out of my comfort zone. I’m not a super outgoing person. In a room full of people, you can usually find me somewhere off by myself. And I am perfectly okay with that. Meeting new people has never been a strong suit of mine. It’s just how I’m wired. In fact, this is a little out of my comfort zone….but I am doing it. Let me share a little story with you to help you understand why I’m doing it anyway.
This past month, my husband and I went to St. Louis, MO for what they call “Mid-Winter.” It’s where all the youth presidents from the United States and Canada get together for business meetings and a little fun. Because Jason and I are new to this whole youth president thing, it was our first year and we were going into it knowing almost no one.
Anyone who knows me, knows that a room filled with a couple hundred people I have never met before is one of my worst nightmares. As I stated before, I don’t usually step too far out of my comfort zone. This was miles away and I was pretty nervous to say the least.
At any rate, January 6th, we were on a plane to St. Louis. We showed up for our first meeting and with all the fake confidence I could muster up, I smiled and walked in. Of course, everyone was very friendly and we were greeted with nothing but smiles.
That night, all the ladies went off to a meeting room for our own set of activities. The chairs were set up in a huge circle with over 50 seats. We all had to find our name and sit down wherever we were put. For our first activity, we were all given a sheet of paper and we all had to stand up in the middle of the circle and do whatever our sheet of paper told us to do.
By this point, I was sick to my stomach. I was thinking, there has to be a way out of this. Just as my brain was working overtime trying to find a way out, the girl next to me says, “You have got to be kidding me.” Turns out, the people I was sitting next to were just as uncomfortable as I was. We were all in the same boat. We all got up, just as uncomfortable as the next, and did whatever we were supposed to do. We ended up laughing and having a great time. It helped us to get to know each other and relax a little bit. The whole weekend was full of stories like this. From crazy icebreakers to incredible God moments, things that seemed so intimidating, turned out to be enjoyable and very much needed.
I’m pretty sure that I came home a changed person. All of the sudden getting up in front of people or making conversation with someone I didn’t know was just a little bit easier. Sure it was a little intimidating, maybe even a little awkward at first but I didn’t want to miss out on what could be because of a fear of what would or wouldn’t happen. It took me being completely forced out of my comfort zone to realize this.
I also witness this to be true in the lives of one of my children. A couple months ago, our family took a trip to Disney World, in Florida. While we were there that morning, they had a “dance party” in the street with some of the Disney characters. One of the characters in the group invited all 3 of my girls to go out there with them. All of the sudden my crazy girls, who don’t know a stranger, got shy and didn’t want to go. It was the chance of a lifetime and they didn’t want to do it?! Allee, my youngest girl is a little more reserved than the other two but for whatever reason, she decided to go out there. She ended up having a blast! She got to sing and dance around with all the characters and ended up having the time of her life and a memory that will last forever that the other two girls completely missed out on.
I think sometimes, we psych ourselves out. Outreach, evangelism, teaching Bible studies, even just a new year at school or first day of work. If we go confidently with Jesus and do whatever it is, it’s usually not as bad as we have made it out to be. If you are in a place where you are feeling just a tad bit uncomfortable or even out of place, embrace it! Don’t miss out on something amazing or life changing because of fear or intimidation. Let God help you little by little step further and further away from your comfort zone and watch where you end up.
It’s going to be great!
– Sis. Cherice Brooks
MNYD Youth President’s Wife