Reach Outside Your Comfort Zone

Have you ever experienced a moment where you are completely out of your comfort zone, and you have no clue if you are going to fail or succeed? When you are at a moment that you are so vulnerable, the smallest touch can send you crashing down? Your thoughts, movements, breathes, have to be perfectly timed and precise, or you can lose your balance?

This is a feeling I get every time I rock climb. I love and fear it, especially when I am the lead climber. A lead climber clips the rope hanging from them through gears and bolts every two to three meters. If the climber falls before clipping into the next bolt, the fall can be big. Most people think climbers fear lead climbing because of the fall. However for me, it is the moment before a potential fall; moving between bolts, not knowing if I am strong enough, brave enough, or good enough to be able to make it past the hard move.

I can easily climb routes that are within my ability, guaranteeing success and minimizing fear; staying completely safe within my experience level. We often make the mistake of getting too comfortable with being comfortable. We stop challenging ourselves, asking others to push us beyond our limits, or seeking our full potential.

In the same way, I have caught myself lingering in a safe place in regards to my faith. My relationship with Christ is solid, but something holds me back from reaching my full potential, fearing I am not worthy, good or holy enough.

We are called to push ourselves to the point of complete vulnerability in our faith and relationship with God. The idea of that used to scare me; ok, it sometimes still scares me! Then, I start to reflect on the aspects of my life that brought me the most joy and peace. I realized they were all times when God called me to take a risk and trust in Him.

I was introduced to rock climbing when I was struggling with vulnerability & stepping out of my comfort zone. God knew my fears and hesitations, so He gave me a hobby that would help me get over my mental obstacles. I wonder if God had a little chuckle when I finally made the connection to how much climbing helped me step out of my comfort zone and clip into Him as my anchor. Climbing helped me apply the physical practice of reaching higher and taking chances to being more vulnerable and becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable in my adventure with God.

There are moments when we have no clue where God is going to take us. We must breathe and pray as we move from bolt to bolt, moment to moment. Let God pull you out of your comfort zone, and he will show you that with Him you are strong, brave, good, worthy and holy enough. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (Is 43:2)


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About the Author

Mary Seidler

The Eucharist, my nephew, family, climbing, the outdoors, and traveling are the current loves of my life. I am originally from Arizona but fell in love with the PNW in college. My move from AZ to WA is one of many things that prove God has a plan for me and a sense of humor. Expect the unexpected.