Bridge Out of My Comfort Zone
Do you get out of your comfort zone? Carol tells us how crossing a bridge taught her a lesson about letting God take her out of her comfort zone.
A Step Out of Our Comfort Zone
Sometimes a puzzle piece in our life takes a lot of effort to make it fit into picture of our life which is taking shape. We struggle to make it work with the pieces already in place. We might have to adjust to a new normal or take a step out of our comfort zone – the familiar already entrenched in our everyday lives.
It may be a challenge which forces us into an unfamiliar new season of our lives or opportunities to try something new to which can make you stretch, learn new skills and grow. Once in a while the step might be a bridge to new adventures, unexpected destinations or different jobs.
God Pushed Me Out Of My Comfort Zone
A number of years ago God pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and be willing to speak to groups of various sizes and ages. I preferred to stay in settings where I already knew the people, like the small ladies Bible study I taught. God had been preparing me for a long time before he sent me out, with a gentle nudge, to speak at a ladies retreat where I knew no one. I had met the committee only once but I did not really know them. I came home loving the weekend and with a passion to share stories of God’s faithfulness with others.
When three different ladies ministry groups asked me to take a road trip to Manitoba to be their speaker, I never hesitated to say yes, even though it is a long drive from my home in Saskatoon to Winnipeg. After all this was now a familiar puzzle piece. But my husband thought he should accompany me and we could combine it with a bit of a holiday. I looked forward to making memories with him. I had months to prepare the messages and make the plans.
But a challenging puzzle piece dropped into our lives when my husband became ill. We hoped it would pass quickly and he might still be able to make the trip. As the time to leave drew closer, it became evident this was not going to happen.
My Daughter Accompanied Me
My oldest daughter, Lorilee, decided to accompany me. Her girls were both in university and her husband was busy working. She had time and it gave us a chance to do something which rarely happens – a mother/ daughter road trip. I contacted the three groups to let them know she would be at the meetings too and everyone seemed delighted. We chose to take time to enjoy some adventures along the way and at one of them she tried to push me out of my comfort zone.
We stopped in Souris, Manitoba on our way home with one goal in mind. We needed to see their swinging bridge. We had heard about it from our hosts the night before. Lorilee loves walking across bridges like this, feeling their sway beneath her feet. She has even been known to rock back and forth until they swing further and faster, scaring the timid who might venture on at that time.
One Of Those Timid People
I am one of those timid people who had never ventured one foot on to something that crosses a river, creek or gully, sometimes at a high elevation, that also swings and dances in the breeze. I was willing to stop and see it, read the plaque about how and why it had been built in the first place. It is Canada’s longest suspension pedestrian bridge spanning 184 metres. It has been built high above the river to keep it from being damaged when the river floods. Lorilee challenged me to try walking even a few steps on to the bridge with a promise not to make it sway more than normal walking might make it do.
Let the Bridge Take Me Out of My Comfort Zone
I had a choice to make. I could watch her walk across and back, seeing the scenery of the river and its banks from the middle while I watched from the sidelines or I could be brave and walk out on to it myself. I decided to literally take the bridge out of my comfort zone. I made it all the way to the other side and back again. I felt like I had accomplished a great feat of daring.
Yes the bit of wind made the bridge sway even when we both stood still. Yes it moved even more as we walked and yes it was high above the river which meant this adventure also forced me to confront my fear of heights.
A Bridging Adventure
The adventure allowed me to bridge from my perceived zone of safety and familiarity into new territory. It also offered a picture for other times I feel God pushing me out of my comfort zone by throwing a new puzzle piece for me to try and fit into my life’s picture. If I could not only step out on that bridge and make my way across it, enjoying the journey, I can accept other challenges and allow God to work on teaching me lessons about relying on him for everything including the unfamiliar.
II Corinthians 12:9 tells us what God says, “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Bridging the Comfort Zone Gap
Bridging the gap between the familiar, the comfort zone and the challenging pieces of our lives make us feel weak and fearful. Yet God can supply everything we need to survive the challenge when we rely on Him. We might even look back some day and find the glimpses of joy we had during that uncomfortable time.
What swinging bridge are you being asked to walk across today? What is challenging you out of your comfort zone? Trust God’s promise of his all sufficient grace and take that first step.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
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