I moved to this city almost 20 years ago and had many blessings through the logistics of getting settled. Old friends and family provided places to stay. I found work quickly through a temp agency and connections at that placement led to a career position. I also had the good fortune of meeting a man named Shanon pretty early on. He heard from a mutual friend that I was new to town and our fellowship of believers and called to invite me to a mid-week bible study. Despite such a kind gesture, I didn’t want to go. I was emotionally, mentally and physically tired from moving across the world, starting a new job and a big family issue. — Reverse culture shock is no joke. I’ll dive into that another day. — I retreated to my “shell” most evenings to refuel. As best I remember, I told him, “Thanks, but maybe another time.” Thankfully, He gave me the address anyway, and the Spirit nudged me to go. I really didn’t want to take another step out of my comfort zone, but I did want to form deep relationships. I logically knew staying in would not lead to those, and I realized invites would not keep coming if I continually refused them. In the end, I decided to do something I still have a hard time doing out of thanks for a stranger going out of his way to include me. I walked into a house full of strangers and met new people and found both a robust study of the Word and a new community.
Looking back, this positive outcome has helped me find courage and answer “yes” when I’m nervous about something. More often than not, the thing I worry about with the unknown not only doesn’t happen but instead leads to something wonderful. I now know the Spirit led me to “Do it afraid” as Paul Martinelli says.
What do you desire that requires getting out of your comfort zone? What is something you don’t feel ready to do even though it may lead to the very thing you desire? What past success can you pull from to give you the courage to do it afraid?