Day 2: Beyond Our Comfort Zone
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I love my comfort zone and having a plan for everything. I thrive in situations where I have the opportunity to create and follow a clear course of action in a familiar environment, to feel at home. However, God has been teaching me an important lesson about how to respond when things don’t go as planned, when He is challenging me to go beyond my comfort zone and let go of control, to trust His plan over mine.
I have often felt ill-equipped and beyond my comfort zone when unexpected challenges became obstacles in my well-laid out plans. This past year was another opportunity for me to lean on Him and simply trust in His plans, His leading. My summer included a trip with our OBOH education team to Liberia to assist with a 5-day teacher training. This trip was a long time in the making, but God provided the perfect timing for when we could be used most effectively.
As we made plans and figured out who would go, there were only three of us from the team that would be able to go—all ladies, only one of whom had been there before. We felt a bit uncertain about this. I had doubts that the trip would happen. As we committed to going, God provided two teachers from Unity Christian, who were excited to join us as our school partner. I continued to feel anxious about the details of the trip. Each planning meeting, vaccination, visa form, and travel insurance application were steps God was providing to prepare my heart and mind for what He had planned. I knew God opened the door for me to go and continue to affirm this, but I still had fears around going to Africa for the first time and leaving my kids for so long. I was also nervous about accomplishing the rest of my to-do list before and after this trip. God spoke to me several times over the summer by whispering truths whenever I felt anxious. Again, He provided.
As the team leader, I laid out each goal and how we planned to meet each one. I followed the trip protocol to make sure we checked everything off the preparation list. God had more to teach me… Although we followed every step, our visas did not arrive until an hour before we needed to leave for the airport. Once again, God provided. Throughout our trip, I saw how God knit our team together to accomplish the goals He had planned, which were so much more that what we planned on our own. We taught, we learned, we worshiped, we prayed, we celebrated, we connected. God allowed us to better understand His Kingdom, and to connect with so many people passionate about serve God and His Kingdom in Liberia.
I am still processing all the things God taught me through this experience. I still LOVE planning and staying in my comfort zone, to be where I feel at home, but I am learning how to let go of control and welcome God’s revisions to my plans and to simply trust Him. I believe our job is to be open to His leading, to listen intently, to obey, and watch Him work through us and around us. His plan is always better than ours.
Jeremiah 29 states, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” What does this look like in your life?
Where do you feel most “at home”? What situations or experiences have pushed you beyond your comfort zone?
God, thank you for your continued faithfulness in each of our lives and in the lives of our OBOH family in Liberia. I pray that you will help each of us to trust your plans for the work you have laid out for us to do, no matter where we call home. Please help us to be open to your leading, to reflect and revise our plans in ways that honor and reflect You.
Dig Deeper Challenge
As a family, choose an opportunity to serve others beyond your comfort zone this week.