Wednesday, December 30, 2020

When God takes you out of your comfort zone


Today, I've reached full freak out mode. In just one day, I'll be standing before a group of a dozen people to teach them an art class. 

About a month before Christmas, a woman I'd met on our trip to Israel asked me if I'd be willing to teach some of her friends and family an art class. She said she'd paid me to do it. In haste, I gladly agreed not taking time to consider all that would be involved. 

For the past few weeks, I've been gathering the art supplies I'll need for the class. I've made a "lesson plan" and worked hard to perfect my teaching technique by using my youngest daughter as a guinea pig student. 

The practice lesson went well but took longer than I thought. By the time I was through teaching, I was physically and emotionally drained. My back was killing me from standing and bending to paint at the easel for 3 straight hours. I had a splitting headache from clenching my teeth and holding stress in my neck as we worked. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was a nervous wreck. 

After finishing the lesson with my daughter, I prayed that evening as I went to bed - "God, what are you doing? Why are you taking me out of my comfort zone???" I told Him I wasn't a teacher, especially an art teacher and that's when He reminded me I used to teach preschool and Sunday School for teens. 

The more I prayed and questioned His motives, the more I felt Him impressing upon my spirit that I needed to be taken out of my comfort zone because without this experience, I'd never grow. 

Yikes! 

Of course, I wanted to grow. My entire life I've done my best to continue growing in my faith, but I never dreamed I'd be put to the test this way. 

Standing in front of a group of strangers, I'd be putting myself at risk of failure and humiliation. 

When I shared my fears with my husband, he told me to relax. When I talked to my youngest daughter about it, she said, "Mom, it's supposed to be fun. Just enjoy yourself." Those were wise words I needed to hear from both my husband and my daughter. 

So, tomorrow is the big day. And even though I know God's ordained this, I'm scared silly. And even though I know I'm to be anxious for nothing, I'm shaking in my boots. 

What's the worst that can happen? I become the laughing stock of their little gathering. What's the best that can happen? I'll succeed at teaching the class, the students will complete their project and leave happy and fulfilled. I'm hoping for the latter. 

I guess I need to learn to trust God more and that's why He's using this opportunity to teach me to step out in faith. 

I could use a few prayers to boost my confidence. If you have a moment, would you lift me up? 

Thanks in advance and if you feel God calling you to step out of your comfort zone, I hope you're a more willing student than I. 

Remember, and I'm also speaking to myself here, God causes all things to work together for our good. All things - even art classes. 

So tomorrow, as I stand in front of a group of women I don't know, I pray God will give me the strength and courage to succeed. I pray He'll allow me to teach without fear or dread. I pray He will be my ever present help in times of trouble and that He'll go before me and prepare the way. Most of all, I pray He'll use this event to grow me into a stronger witness for Him.

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