The Blessing of Uncomfortable

My husband and I decided to go camping for our anniversary a few years ago in March. When someone says they are going “camping,” it could mean many different things. When I say camping, I mean grab the tent, air mattress, some blankets, the propane camp stove, an ice chest with food, fire starter, and the “chuck box” with everything we need to cook and clean dishes. With packing complete, we headed a few hours out to a State Park, found a great spot to reserve, and set up camp. This was going to be amazing!

As we started setting up our tent, I began to get cold. It was nearing the end of the day and the sun was setting. When we finished, I was ready to find some heat so we went to a nearby town to have dinner. I hadn’t thought about the temperature much before this trip because during the day, it had been nice! I now started to realize what lied ahead of us… COLD.

As we drove back to camp that night, we discussed how cold it was going to be and how to handle it in our tent. We had no heat source other than the warm bodies of each other, some clothing, and a few blankets. When we arrived, we immediately went to our tent. The wind outside was a little too chilly to even sit around a fire. It had been a long day and we were ready to go to sleep anyway. 

We crawled under our blankets and held each other tight, waiting for the night to pass. 

That night was absolutely miserable, reaching a temperature in the low 20’s. I was so cold I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to move so my body started hurting from laying in one spot for so long. I had a thought to get up and put on more clothing. I had a nice soft jacket that was really warm across the tent in my bag. But I didn’t want to get out of the only warmth I had to go get it. So I laid there for hours, in my misery. Around 4am, something else forced me out of bed. I needed to go to the bathroom. So I got up, put my soft jacket on and some other clothing, and made the trek outside to the campground bathroom. Brrr……

When I returned, I crawled back into bed and snuggled next to my husband who’d been patiently putting up with me all night. I begin to feel a bit warmer. In fact, the extra clothes I had retrieved during my brief trip across the campground made me more comfortable. I still wasn’t as warm as I would have liked but it certainly was better than it was. I wondered why I hadn’t taken the step to become more uncomfortable for the chance at finally being able to rest.

Recently, our Life Group has been doing a study on the Holy Spirit and I’ve realized that I will do just about anything to create a comfort zone. But you know what? My comfort zone is not where I’ve heard from the Holy Spirit most clearly. It’s in the moments that I’ve been uncomfortable. It’s in the trials of life. It’s in the times that I choose not to let fear smother me but rise to overcome it with Jesus’ help. It’s in the cold nights and hard seasons. 

So why do I resist moving so much? Why do I nestle in, satisfied with where I am? 

Do you experience this as well? When is the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone:

  • to reach for a lost soul?
  • to listen to someone who needs you when you are busy?
  • to do something for your health that is hard but beneficial?
  • to step out on the stage and sing praises to Him?
  • to volunteer to help in your church even though you’re busy?
  • to start writing from a prompting in your spirit?
  • to pray with the lady at the restaurant who is crying even though you don’t know her?
  • to walk into a Life Group or join virtually even though you don’t know anyone?
  • to tell someone about what God has done in your life?

And those are just the little things. You could be called to sell all you have and follow God’s leading full time into missions, or quit your job to follow a different calling He has on your life, or something else. Whatever it may be, big or small, there’s one thing we can be sure of – If God calls you to do something, He will equip you. And when you start living this way, you will see that in the middle of the uncomfortable is where you will find the greatest reward.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

When I was young, I played basketball. I loved it and spent much of my free time practicing and playing. I started out my education in a very small Christian school and in the 5th grade, I began playing on the basketball team. And when I say “the basketball team”, that’s exactly what I mean. With an enrollment of around 100 students k-12, there was one team. Period. In the 5th grade, I was on the same team as the seniors.

Being from such a small school, doing new things and meeting new people greatly intimidated me. I was outgoing and talkative in the small group of friends I had within the school, but otherwise I was very introverted.

So when my dad wanted me to try out for a traveling basketball team when I was 13, I told him “no way!” He didn’t listen to me and made arrangements for me to attend a practice. I begged for him to not make me go. I was so scared of not being good, not knowing the girls, not knowing the plays, etc. On the night we were leaving for the practice, I cried and begged him one more time, claiming that I didn’t want to play with them and was afraid. He took me anyway.

It was one of the most uncomfortable things I had ever done up to that point in my life. Even after the first practice, I held to my opinion that I didn’t want to play with them. My fears were realized. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know the vocabulary they used, and I felt like I wasn’t nearly as good as everyone else. I secretly hoped they wouldn’t want me to come back, but that didn’t happen.

The series of the next practices became better and better and as I became more comfortable in this new team, I began to really enjoy it. This decision (of my Dad’s) led me to 4 years of playing travel ball and ultimately led to me developing as a player enough to play basketball in college. I made good friends, had lots of exposure as a basketball player at the National level, and ended up making incredible memories that I would never have had otherwise.

All because of my Dad pushing me out of my comfort zone.

This is a simple story to describe how sometimes getting out of our comfort zone can lead us to things we may have never experienced before. Though this example is of little significance compared to our spiritual lives, we can apply the principle to many things that we go through in life.

God spoke about not being afraid many times in the Bible. I believe He calls us to step outside of our comfort zone, to stretch ourselves, to help us see new worlds, to help us reach people for Him that we would not have otherwise reached. We can prepare ourselves for this comfort upheaval in all areas of our lives.

The more we experience, the more comfortable it gets to be uncomfortable.

And we hang onto His promises that He will give us His peace and calm our troubled and anxious hearts.

There’s a quote that says “Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.” I believe that life really begins when Jesus is invited to be our Savior and that life is full and fulfilling when with Him, you step outside your comfort zones to face the unknown and grow. 

How is it that you are being called out of your comfort zone? Whether or not you have been forced out or are being called out, I encourage you to embrace it and know that God can use this situation in your life to help you grow and to quite possibly if you are willing point other people to Christ.



*Disclaimer: If the uncomfortable zone you are being forced into or pressured into isn’t following God’s principle’s, then that’s the time you should stand up and fight against it. The discomfort I write about is morally sound. 🙂