Looking back over my own journey – especially over the past two years, I realize some of what I have learned.
One: Once you leave the comfort zone things will never be the same again. Even if you’ve wondered beyond the familiar and find yourself returning to that zone at a later time- for whatever reason – you soon realize that it is not as comfortable as it used to be. The thing about leaving a comfort zone is that it changes you – I know it changed me. The person returning to that place is not the same person with the same desires, fears, dreams, inhibitions, naive ideas, etc. And for this new person – what used to be comfort – is simply not comforting anymore.
I read a quote once: “A mind that has been stretched can never return to its former shape.” I have often thought of this and realized that it is very true in my own life. Once you’ve explored new horizons and been new places – whether physically, emotionally or spiritually – you change shape and you simply don’t fit into the moulds of yesterday anymore. Trying to fit can be rather confusing and very painful. I have found it best not to try, but to rather embrace the new and find the mould that you DO fit into.
Once Joseph’s beautiful robe was smeared with blood and torn it would never be restored to its former glory. Once Jesus hung on the cross things would never be the same ever again. Once you’ve left that job you would never know the same life that it was part of – even if you ever return to work for that company again later on. Once you’ve gotten married your life will change forever, even if you do get divorced at some point. Once you move to another country – even if you return at a later time – it is never the same again. What examples can you think of in your own life?
Two: You will see this sign several times during the course of your life; not just once. Every time when you’ve moved beyond it to somewhere unfamiliar, what used to be hard becomes easy(ier) and soon that unfamiliar place becomes familiar also over time. Then, when you make another bold move, you are in fact leaving “Familiar” again.
For me it is important to never stop growing. Change is not always easy, but it is the only constant thing about life. It is also adventurous and exciting. It is so easy to get caught up in the fear of the unknown that we forget to have an adventure. We should really learn to think about it like that more often. Life is there to be lived – to the full. Being afraid to make changes can cause you to lose out on a great deal of what God has in store for your life. He is not afraid because He knows it all, and where He leads us, is good because He is a good God and a loving father. We shouldn’t be afraid either. Even when you make a mistake, but your heart is with Him, He will help you find your way again and He still works it all for our good.
On the one hand certain things do become easier over time. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. However, the more we grow and learn, the more challenging it also becomes, but we can rest assure that God is always preparing us for what is ahead, and He will never allow anything that we can not overcome victoriously – with His help. Many have probably heard it: “His plan will never lead you where His grace will not sustain you.” I can testify of that. As long as God is in it with me, it will be ok.
We are never 100% ready, but we are as ready as we’ll ever be. The rest is faith and courage.
The further I travel on my journey I say: Take the leap when God nudges you! Don’t let fear cause you to be complacent. God’s dream for you is simply too wonderful to miss out on.