I wonder when we begin to build our comfort zones, the lanes of our life. Some design their lanes with a red carpet, blazing lime lights, and velvet ropes fastened on platinum pillars. Some construct theirs with brick walls, a steel roof, and a skinny doorway. Others complete their zones with a rose petal carpet, diaphanous curtains, and a smoky pink haze.
In our individual lives, we handle material that’s familiar. We use formulas that are tried and true and easy. We take the same route in our customized comfort zones because it’s comfortable, we know it already, and it’s safe.
But at some point…
The carefully laid limits in my own comfort zone are being divinely stripped. God has slowly been pushing me out of warm solidity and into unfamiliar realms.
How do I get out of this? I stared at the e-mail and thought. I reread it, blinked, and thought again. I had been invited to a company luncheon with a handful of other co-workers. It was a free meal with a group of friendly positive people.
A quintessential introvert, the idea of making small talk with colleagues, some of whom I see maybe once a month, made me queasy. What if I embarrass myself? What if I say the wrong thing? What if they don’t like me?
But I erased all negative scenarios, gave myself a mental pep talk, and forced myself to accept the invitation. And it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I instantly clicked with my co-worker, Amy, who is quickly becoming a solid link in my chain of friends. Our conversations are always lively, encouraging, and, at times, challenging. Her periodic pushes have garnered great and surprising results, successes that wouldn’t have happened had I played it comfortable. I definitely see how God is using this friendship to perfect me.
Women pin our beauty on various physical elements: body shape, height, skin tone, skin quality, hair style, etc. If any of those elements falls short in our eyes, thoughts of ugliness can quickly swim in and take over.
As I write this, my hair is the shortest it’s ever been. The trim was unexpected and it’s taking some getting used to. Daily, I run my palm against the mini strands as I look in the mirror. I smooth, I brush, I slick, I gloss.
I feel the complete opposite:
However, I’m starting to believe that this is simply a part of the Lord’s plan to destroy the haze of safety I’d been living in. It is not my hair nor my figure nor my complexion that makes me beautiful.
External factors are always subject to change and deterioration. But the Lord’s constant and never-ending internal renovation give me a beauty that glows from the inside out, an aesthetic aura that isn’t visible in a mirror.
Whenever I take that first step outside my life lane, it’s scary. The ground beneath my soles is unknown and feels quivery, like jelly. But if I just remember that God is ordering every one of my footsteps, including those that lead me out of my comfort zone, the jelly will turn to solid rock.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”