Stepping out of your comfort zone

Romans 12: 2

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

I was reading a daily devotional and came across the verse above.  It is so amazing that you can read a verse several times but don’t think about it too much.  Then a couple years later you are sitting down all cozy on the couch, reading your bible and a verse jumps out from the page at you.  I love these moments.  Bible verses have such deep meanings at every stage and circumstance in life.

I have struggled with thinking too much about what others think of me for way too long.  It is really a very immature thought.  I need to grow up and move on.  I always try to keep people happy and run away from “drama” as fast as I can.  But you know what, “do not be conformed to this world.”   This grouping of words hit me right on the head!   I constantly am anxious about what others will think of me or what others might say about me.  This is being conformed to the world.  I need to live for God and let Him conform me to the person He wants me to become.

I love the phrase, “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  We should be continually learning and challenging ourselves to grow in our spiritual walk.  Learning doesn’t have to mean getting more education, but it could if God has that in His plans for you.  It could mean quitting your job, traveling or even becoming a parent.  All that matters is that you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

By pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, “you may prove what the will of God is.”  It can open up windows of opportunities in your life.  You might even get the inclination of God’s purpose for your life.  You don’t know what God has in store for you until you try and do something about it.  If you sit at home dreaming about the things God will do in your life, life will just pass you on by and you will live a life of regret.

Lastly, everything God does, “is good and acceptable and perfect.” You can’t go wrong with God in you life.  He always does things according to His plan and purpose and it is all good.  Like He said when He created this world, “it is good,”  everything He creates in our life will be “good,” if we let Him in and let our walls down.

I know this can be a scary process.  We don’t know what will happen or where we will end up.  We may get ridiculed or people may “talk” about us.  But in the end no comment or someone’s opinion will matter.  The only thing that will matter is God and His purpose for your life.

Right now, starting this blog is scary.  I am letting everyone into my life.  I feel vulnerable.  But I have this inclination that this is going to help me grow and challenge myself into someone God wants me to be.  Even if no one ever reads my blogs, I know this is a direction God wants me to go.  Maybe it is too sharpen my writing skills.  It might make me read and study my Bible more so I can grow spiritually.   Maybe it will be to influence other young girls around me.  I don’t know what God has in store for all of this, but at least I am trying and stepping out of my comfort zone.

Why don’t you let the world stop controlling you and step outside of your comfort zone?  What will God have in store for you?

My Biggest Sin

When we think of sin we think of the big ones, like murder, adultery and stealing.  For a long time I thought I was pretty good person.  I don’t do any of those sins!  The last couple months I have been re-evalutating my Christian walk.  I have been a Christian for most of my life.  I was saved at a very young age.  I have always felt I should be farther along in my walk with the Lord than I am.  I have realized the biggest sin that has been holding me back is worry and anxiety about the future.  I have always been a worrier and I was aware of this, but recently God has truly opened my eyes to this sin.  When I look back on my life, worry and anxiety have gotten me no where.  I lay awake at night stressing about driving on the highway, my husband’s job situation, finances, family issues, my schedule for the week, my job…the list can go on.  This is such a waste of time.  This passage of scripture really puts everything in perspective.

Matthew 6: 25-34

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Worrying does not do anything for you.  It debilitates you.  It causes you sadness.  It causes negativity in your life and for others around you.  It causes you to miss out on life.  It scares you to try something new.  I think the worst thing it can do is ruin God’s plan for your life.  God has given us so much potential and gave each one of us a spiritual gift that no one else has.  We are each here for His purpose.  We all work together for the greater good.  (To explain more in depth read 1 Corinthians 12)  If you took those times you worry and replace it with prayer, bible reading or actively using the spiritual gifts God gave you-your spiritual growth could be unattainable.  Just think of what God could do in your life, if you let go the strains of worrying.  God wants you to come to Him with your worries. Matthew 11: 28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  God can take away all our worries, as long as you give them to Him and trust Him.

What really convicts me is when I forget what God has done in my life so far.  I have been blessed more than I could ever imagine.  God has been with me the whole way and guided me though every situation in my life.  Every circumstance has always turned out better than I expected because God’s hand has been in it.  Please pray for me.  Worrying is like any other addiction.  It can control your life and take it over.  I know though God’s strength and guidance, He can help me overcome this sin.  He can make me into the Christian woman I am supposed to be.

The Power and Importance of Prayer

Philippians 4: 6

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

Prayer is the communication between God and you.   The Lord wants to be your rock, your fortress, your deliverer, your God, your rock, a place you take refuge, your shield, the horn of your salvation, your stronghold (inspired by Psalm 18: 2).  You don’t have to use fancy or big words when you pray.  All you have to do is come to Him with your troubles and He will listen.  The best part of talking to God about life is that you can tell Him anything you want.  He already knows what you are feeling and going through, He just wants you to come to Him with your requests.  From past experience and from daily reminders is that prayer is the best and only option you have to get anything solved.  “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” Psalm 118:8.  It is great to get wisdom or advice  from a friend or family member, but in the end God is the only one that can improve and solve the situation that you struggle with.  He can provide guidance, strength, hope and countless other options you could of never dreamed that were possible.

Praying for a specific request and watching it unfold in your life is one of the most amazing examples of God’s power you will ever see.  When you look back on that specific prayer request, you honestly would have never envisioned that it would happen the way it turns out.  That is the beauty of God and how He maps out everything according to His plan. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.

I have had many experiences in my life, where prayer has been answered in the most amazing ways.  I have always prayed for my husband.  I think it is one of the most important duties as a wife.  (Side note: I am reading The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian at the moment and it is defiantly a Must Read.)

To give you an example of how prayer has affected my life, I will tell you a story that is still unfolding in my life.  My husband is an amazing man.  The Lord has blessed him with a creative, artistic and original mind that blows my mind on a daily basis.   My husband did not believe for a long time that his skills were “good enough” to achieve something great.   I prayed daily that he would use the skills that God has blessed Him through a career that would challenge his intellect.  While being humble is a great quality to have, if you are not living up to God’s potential for you, you really are not fulfilling His purpose for your life.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” 1 Peter 5:6. That is why I also prayed that my husband would gain confidence and step out of his comfort zone to do God’s will in His life.  My prayers were getting answered right before my eyes.  He decided to finish his associates degree in business and find an office job that could get his “foot in the door” somewhere.  He had currently been working in the automotive industry that was already taking a toll on his body.  This was a complete culture shock for him.  Working in an auto shop where you are on your feet all day to sitting in front of a computer all day is a complete 360!  The first week at his new job was rough, but soon after it all clicked and he started to move to new positions in a short period of time to gain experience.  Then, to my surprise he decided to go back to college and finish his bachelors degree.  He realized he had the potential to succeed and he had more to offer than just sitting behind a desk typing in numbers all day.  God is the only one in this universe that can make a change to a persons perspective and way of thinking.  Since he decided to go back to school, we were worried about finances.  God took the lead once again and astonished us.  My husband decided to sell his luxury car (the car of his dreams) to pay for his schooling.  He sold the car within a week and we were able to pay for school the following week.  Prayer after prayer was being answered by our amazing and powerful God.  Shortly after he started his schooling, we were introduced to an amazing Christian couple that are still our great friends today.  (They are the most inspiring couple God has placed in our lives.)  They quickly noticed that my husband had way more potential and originality than where he was working.  They were such an inspiration to us, pushing Steve and giving him the confidence he needed to move on to the next step.  My husband applied, went through all the testing, interviews and was picked to co-op at one of the best companies in the world.  “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”  Isaiah 40: 31. At this point, God made me speechless.  I would have never dreamed or the thought had never crossed my mind that my husband would be using his creative, artistic and original mind at such a well respected company.

After his co-op ended he unfortunately did not get a full time roll for lack of job openings.  But guess what??  God left us speechless once again.  He received six job offers in two weeks.  He decided to go with a company and role that would give him the experience he needed to go even farther with his career.  What a blessing this was!!  I don’t know if God’s plan for him is to stay at this company or has other plans for my husband-all I know God’s plan is always the better way.

Another thing I learned from this situation that places we go or people we meet may be stepping stones into God’s ultimate purpose for us.  I prayed so hard that Steve would get a full time position to where he co-oped at, but that didn’t happen.  He would have been stuck in an administrative role and would not be using his creative, artistic and original mind that I originally prayed so hard for him to use in the first place.  This just gives more evidence that God is looking at the big picture and knows what is best for us.

Prayer can change your life.  Prayer can give you peace.  Prayer makes you closer to God.  Prayer guides and directs you.  There is nothing more powerful than prayer.  I urge you to “Rejoice always, pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18.   My goal is to turn to prayer more often and replace prayer with anxiety, worry or fear.

If you have a story about the power of prayer in your life, I would love to hear about it in the comments.