Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone!
This is a guest post by my great friend Maria Asaad from London who attends St. Mark’s Church, Kensington.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me..
For the majority of my life I have done whatever I wanted to do. I was always the one in charge, doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I would block out that voice in my mind telling me ‘no’ and amplify my behaviour until that voice diminished to an eventual silence. I was comfortable with this lifestyle. I was happy doing what I felt brought me happiness. I didn’t want to change anything about this lifestyle as I thought it was perfect for me. I was ‘happy’ in my daily routine knowing what I’d be doing that day and who I would be seeing.
This comfortable life soon turned into an unfulfilled and unsatisfactory routine. I was living the same way but it felt different. I was no longer satisfied and content with anything. That voice that I had always shunned into a silence was louder than ever and I couldn’t escape it. I was scared. I didn’t want to leave the life I had always known and was so comfortable with, but I knew it was now or never.
My comfort zone break-out had begun. One thing God blessed me with that helped me on this journey was surrounding me with (truly great) people that were an amazing support and encouragement for me. I had seen my brother completely change his life for the better and he badly wanted the same for me. He was the first hand guiding me in this new journey and always pushing me get out of my old, comfortable routine. Before I knew it my daily routine was changing and I was starting to notice how much my life was changing too. I was being introduced to new people and became part of a new community that were bringing me closer to God. This was really helping me let go of old habits.
Admittedly, part of me wasn’t ready to take the huge leap back into my own Coptic church community. I was anxious and nervous of going back to the church I had tried escaping for so long. I didn’t want to face people that I had tried to avoid for so many years of my life and I was scared of rejection and disappointment. God, however, had a different plan for me. He continually sent me people that I could rely on and feel comfort around. These people encouraged me to take that dreaded leap and go on my first ever church conference, which was exactly a year ago now. He taught me to rely on Him and to trust His plan more than my own. I learnt how to really communicate with Him and more importantly how to listen to Him. He started to change my life in so many ways that I couldn’t have done on my own.
The main piece of advice I would give anyone wanting to take that step further in his or her spiritual journey, but is held back by fear of stepping out of what they feel is their comfort zone, is to remember you’re never on this journey alone. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.
Here are some steps that will help;
Talk to God, He knows all that your heart desires and will give you the strength and courage to fulfill all the things you couldn’t do alone.
Remind yourself that there will never be the ‘perfect’ time to take this brave leap and push yourself out of your comfort zone. God’s planning and timing is so perfect that we could never remotely match his plans for us. In 2 Peter 3:8 we read that “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day”. He is a patient and loving God and will wait for us until we allow Him to make us ready to find his promise.
Accept his eternal love for you. He watches over you through your most sinful and corrupt days, not with anger and disgrace, but with compassion and love and will provide you with his free gift of grace.
Obey his word. We are rewarded with salvation when we truly turn to Christ and fulfill His Word. Give Him an inch and He will give you a mile.
Trust Him with the things that scare you the most and He will provide you with bravery and strength you never thought you had.
By turning to God and surrendering my life to Him, he has given me endless rewards and blessings that I thank Him for everyday. He has provided with an amazing group of friends that encourage me on this new journey and fill my life with so much joy. The life I was once so comfortable in is now a faded memory, and all the past fear and anxiety God has now turned into excitement to see when He is going to take me next.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight”
2 Corinthians 5:7