This week, I am doing something completely outside of my comfort zone. I am attending Childrens’ Pastors Conference on my own – without my favourite sidekicks, Andrew & Levi.
If that isn’t enough, I am also leading a breakout session. Don’t get me wrong, I am super excited about both! I love learning more and getting better at what I do and I’m excited about building new connections. I also love being able to share a little bit about what I’m passionate about – teaching kids theology.
But, I’m also the introvert of introverts!
I have wrestled with anxiety for much of my adult life, and doing something like this, well, it isn’t what I would call “comfortable.”
As I reflect on the year that has gone by though, I realize that I have found myself in a lot of places that aren’t necessarily comfortable.
Heading back to work after a year on maternity leave, while exciting, wasn’t necessarily comfortable. It was nerve-wracking!
Many of the things that parenting a toddler requires – discipline, resolve, functioning on minimal sleep – are far outside the realm of what I would call comfortable.
Sweating through a sermon’s conclusion as Levi runs on to the platform screaming? Uncomfortable.
Making changes in a ministry I have grown and loved isn’t always comfortable for me.
Every time I step onto the platform to preach, I’m stepping outside the box I call my “comfort zone.”
Putting myself out there by submitting a book manuscript to a group of total strangers to be edited and put together – terrifying and completely uncomfortable.
While discomfort seems to be a common theme during this year, so does growth. I have a sign on the wall of my office that says – “Great things never came from comfort zones.”
And, it’s true.
Taking the step to go back to work and place Levi into the hands and home of an amazing friend for a few days a week was a great decision. It’s given me an opportunity to focus on ministry, be a better and more tuned-in parent on the days I am at home, and for Levi to gain even more people that love him dearly.
Changing things up in a ministry I love, while not easy, has been worthwhile. It’s meant happier volunteers, more committed kids, and a better-run program.
Preaching and leading worship even when Levi is squirmy and I am sweating? It’s not easy, and I’m still not 100% sure the lesson I’m learning, but I know God still uses me even when I’m sorta distracted. And I know it means something that we are even showing up.
So, as I embark on this next big uncomfortable step, I am equal parts nervous and excited. I believe that God has great things in store as I take a leap of faith this week, and continue to in the coming year. As cliche as that may sound, I believe it’s true.
I hope that you too, during 2019, can take steps outside of your comfort zone. Whether in parenting or preaching, whether in ministry or motherhood, I hope you can find ways to do things that are terrifying, and grow in and through them.
Let’s take the leap together.