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On Faith & Family: Getting out of our comfort zones 

faith column paso robles

By Leah Gibson of Paso Robles

If you were to get to know me, you would soon realize that I am a terrible conversationalist. It isn’t because I’m an introvert, trying to be rude, or that I’m preoccupied or even because I’m disinterested. It is quite simply because my brain doesn’t operate like a normal brain. Instead, it functions like a typewriter.

Leah Gibson

Leah Gibson

Just as Spider-Man was coined for his “Spidey Senses,” I have what I like to call my Writey Senses. It’s incredibly weird and I’m not even sure I like it, but I’m slowly realizing that it’s just who I am.

I’ll give you an example: “So, Leah, how are you doing today?”

“Good, how are you?” Most people would respond. Not me. Instead, my writey senses kick in and I begin the tedious process of typing out my response. It looks something like this in my head: “I am well…” Hmm…that’s a super boring opening line. Backspace.

(Blinking curser.) Oh, I know! Let’s try this:

“I am doing incredible!” Wow. That’s way too in your face. Backspace, backspace, backspace. Okay, got it. Let’s try this again: “My family and I are doing great.” Wait a second, they never asked about the family. I need to delete the word family and replace it with something else. Backspace, backspace, backspace.

Outside of my head, my sentence oftentimes comes out something like this: “My family and I is doing incredibly swine. Yours too?” At this point, little mayday flares are going off in my head because I realize my lips are moving faster than my backspace button.

In addition to my typewriting brain, my husband has what we lovingly refer to as Verbal Dyslexia. He once asked me to pass him the “Squirshy Hyrup” when we were assembling ice-cream Sundae’s and neither of us realized he said it backwards until one of our friends was bold enough to ask what a “Squirshy” was. Needless to say, we are a pair.

I’ve always found it super comforting to hide behind a computer and tap out my thoughts, but ask me to strike up a conversation with someone? It freaks me out to not have time to run the final edit. What if I intend to say something and it comes our wrong and someone is offended? Or what if someone needs encouragement and I totally say the wrong thing?

When I was younger, this was something I had hoped I would grow out of. Now that I’m twenty-seven, I’m starting to lose hope.

We all have our comfort zones. Some of you might hide behind your jokes, or your striking personality. Maybe you’re the life of the party and everyone counts on you to keep the conversation flowing. Maybe you speak through what you do, like dancing or painting. That’s great! Each of us are given a gift by God to use to minister to others. But what about when God asks us to step outside of our comfort zones? Are we willing?

Age isn’t always everything. Did you know that Moses was eighty years old when he and his brother Aaron were sent to deliver Pharaoh a message? You would think someone who had walked with God for as long as Moses had would be like: “Absolutely, God! On my way. No problemo,” but instead, Moses is cited over and over and over again replying to God this way: “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

It can be incredibly easy for us to hide behind our comfort zones, our handicaps and our personalities.

After all, Moses was an old dude when God spoke to him and he was still hiding behind his security blanky!

Yet, we see over and over again through scripture times where God calls people out from where they’d like to be and causes them to do things they don’t necessarily feel comfortable doing.

Contrary to popular belief, God doesn’t promote a message that tells us that we are rockstars or that we can do anything we put our minds to. Instead, when God calls us outside of our comfort zones we embark on a humbling journey of discovering how utterly insufficient we are and how overwhelmingly all-sufficient God is!

Let’s encourage one another this week to not only continue using the gifts within our comfort zones to exalt Christ, but also to trust in His ability to help us when we have opportunities to serve others outside of that as well.