Sometimes we need to step out into the unknown to discover what God wants for us—our purpose. And sometimes, that may mean making huge life changes.
But, most of us like to remain in our comfort zones, don’t we? It’s easy to stay with what’s familiar. So, we may opt to play it safe rather than risk failing and feeling disappointed or looking stupid.
But what if we were willing to leave that protected space? What would happen?
In 2005, I found the courage to travel from Seattle to Nashville for my first American Christian Fiction Writers national conference. I hadn’t been a member of ACFW for long, and the only member I’d had any personal contact with lived in Arizona. We shared interest in a particular story topic and had communicated a bit through e-mail. She was attending the conference and had already committed to sharing a room, so she connected me with an author who was looking for a roomie.
This nervous introvert got off the plane alone, determined to step out of her comfort zone and be intentional about meeting people. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. That trip changed my life.
My roommate turned out to be an outgoing person (many writers are introverts) who not only knew tons of people, but who was willing to take me under her wing and introduce me to her friends and professional acquaintances. I had an amazing time, it was a huge growing experience, and the result was that I attended six national conferences after that one. Those events helped me create close friendships with other writers, taught me to network with professionals in the industry, and gave me a strong foundation for knowing what it takes to make it in the publishing world.
If I’d never ventured into that scary territory, I might have given up on pursuing a writing career.
Instead, I did the following:
- Challenged myself as a writer
- Learned how to set up and manage my blogs and websites
- Taught several workshops at local writers conferences
- Left one job to start an editing business
That’s just a small list, but the point is, my life would now look completely different. So, I try to be brave and not hold back. I’m not always successful, but I’m getting better.
If God is calling you to move out of your comfort zone, take that first step and trust that he’ll help you take the next, and the next, and the next…
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)
Is staying in your comfort zone keeping you from pursuing your dreams or fulfilling God’s purpose for your life? If so, what do you need to do to change that?