Out of My Comfort Zone

Photo by Chris Getty

So there I was, privileged once again to be sitting with a group of lovely women, most of whom I know fairly well, ready to launch a new year of monthly bible studies. Since it was our first evening back, and some of the women were new to our group, I decided to start with a little background on myself, my faith journey, that sort of thing.

I had not gotten three words out of my mouth when I felt the heat start to creep up my cheeks. If you can call a flash fire "creeping." I can't tell you why this happens, but when a group of people all have their eyes on me, even people I know, even a small number of people I know, I blush. Like crazy. It is most disconcerting.

It's not like I've never led bible studies before. I've been doing it off and on for sixteen years. But truth be told, I am just not really super comfortable when I am sitting in that chair with people listening to me.

And not really super comfortable is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Have you ever noticed that God likes to get His kids out of their comfort zones?

Moses was afraid of going back to Egypt. Jeremiah didn't want to talk to people. Paul ended up becoming the kind of guy he was persecuting. Little David fought a giant, Esther risked death by talking to the king, Abraham had to be willing to give up his long awaited son.

Truth be told, the kind of things asked of me are puny compared to those.

I really don't like talking in front of groups. One-on-one suits me just fine. And I have always been kind of private about my written musings. I've filled many a journal. Many a private, personal journal.

And guess what. That was just a little too comfortable.

So I pray and I feel led to start bible studies and I just have to walk into it knowing He is going to carry me. I pray and feel led to write online and, well, here I am.

Do you see my red cheeks?

The fact is, I'm rather a bumbling sinful mess. A messy girl looking at a perfect Father and longing to be like Him.

And I tell Him, tell Him over and over, "I'm not really up for this, Lord. Not really equipped. And have you noticed all the things on my to-do list and how I'm struggling to keep up? Don't you have another daughter who is more wise and organized and perfect who could serve you better?"

He does of course, but He still asks me to be willing, and while I am almost always timid, I am also almost always willing.

When all is said and done, there is so little risk, so little lost.  Maybe some pride.  Maybe someone's good opinion.

But the gain?  To actually experience the reality that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me is a faith builder like no other.

Because isn't God's goal HIS glory? And boy can He be glorified when a trembly bumbling shy mess can actually pull off a bible study or write something coherent.

So I am trying to remember: just do it. I am trying to replace the anxious whispers with assurances like: don't worry... trust the God who leads you... it's not about perfection, it's about living.

And I hear Him whisper....

Enjoy the journey. You know the destination.


  1. I sooo know that red-cheeked feeling. I think I need to read this daily! Thank you for the encouragement.

  2. I understand this feeling, too. I always like to think of these moments as moments when He pulls out a cloth and starts polishing me. ;) Great post, Patti!

  3. When I think of the day to day struggles I go through, whether small or large, that it is God refining me like silver. Each fire I am put through cleanses me of my impurities, until finally, I am pure in His eyes. This may mean stretching me to be bold in my proclamation of faith, or just by sitting quietly as my husband leads our home. Thank you Patti for speaking the truth and sharing you with me!

  4. Patti, Thank you for sharing this story. Yup, I know that red cheek feeling and I always wish that I could hide it somehow, I know that I am uncomfortable, but I don't want others to know that I am. Vanity, I guess. God has His way of making us do things out of our comfort zone sometimes, huh? Not sure it is what I would as for, but I know that He has a plan.


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