Out of Your Comfort Zone

Have you ever committed to something and then realized that following through will require breaking out of your comfort zone?  Did you renege? Find a compromise? Or did you have a breakthrough and move the boundary of your comfort zone?

The Spiritual Seeds Planner has taken me out of my zone, or at least to the edges.  We call this way of planning for spiritual growth a paradigm shift and that alone indicates a change from our current way of doing things.  I love using the planner, and as I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me in ways to plant, cultivate and grow my fruit each week, I’m growing in my commitment to God and living more like Christ.

This month I’m focusing on the Fruit of Peace.  The Holy Spirit led me to Peace as I was confronting anxiety, trying to exemplify peace to others, and preparing myself for Lent.  In my first week I was given an opportunity to serve my community-which during Covid has been the most challenging life plot to impact. Well-I suppose that’s because of my comfort zone! During my weekly Bible study zoom call, a woman mentioned that her friend hands out supplies to the homeless in Old Town Portland.  I have been praying to be less materialistic, simplify my life and environment and in turn, do for others.  I drop donations at Goodwill quite often, but always wish I could just hand a homeless person (perhaps one without shoes, a hat, or coat) what they need first hand.  But I was unsure how to go about this.  God offered me the solution when this comment was made!  So I contacted this woman and got details on how to give directly.  She volunteers by gathering, but also handing much needed items out daily at the Salvation Army.

I started gathering items at home, and it didn’t seem like much.  Then I thought-what if I ask family and friends?  Maybe, like me, they just need someone to make it easy for them.  Time to get out of my comfort zone.  What if people said no?  What if they thought….that’s weird? I pushed through these thoughts and even posted on social media, offering to pick up any donations.  A few friends responded!  One even purchased new items and shipped them to me because she didn’t have any second hand!   

Then the Holy Spirit pushed a little more…..  What about neighbors? Ugh!  Really?  How do I do that?  I made a flyer and decided to put them on select doors, with my number, offering to pick up any donations.  Then I had to do it!  I prayed the whole time I walked.  At each doorstep.  God give me strength to get out of my comfort zone to help others!  Boom! Another comfort zone confronted and smashed!  Again a few folks stepped up and gave me bags of coats, blankets, and clothing for the homeless.  After I had dropped the flyers I waited for calls or texts and heard quickly from a neighbor about a neighborhood Facebook group that encouraged and facilitated giving things away we don’t need.  She suggested I join and ask this community.  Boom! I thanked God and the Holy Spirit for this next nudge. 

Due to the volume of donations, I’m making two drops!  As I write this, I imagine God has a plan for this to be a regular thing-don’t you?

I encourage you to embrace the Fruit of the Spirit, asking the Holy Spirit to show you where to dig in, plant more and maybe pull out a few weeds! I imagine you’ll find some ideas push you to the edge or beyond your comfort zone.  Embrace this growth and be grateful that God has a plan.

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

February 09, 2021 — Julie Rood

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