“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
A few weeks ago, I received a call from a photographer friend.
Could I help her with a wedding? She had broken a bone in her wrist and if the resulting cast was not removed in time, she would be hard-pressed to carry out her photographic duties.
I was so excited! (Not about her wrist but about the chance to help photograph this wedding).
I hung up the phone and immediately dove into my photography books, writing down ideas for poses, camera settings, etc. I fell asleep with one of the books on my chest.
Then around 1:00 in the morning, I awoke in a cold sweat.
What had I done???
Was I ready to shoot a wedding??? It has only been one year since I took my first photography class!
What if I messed up? What if all my settings were wrong? What if the photos were blurry?
I was simultaneously thrilled and nauseated. I briefly considered calling my friend and suggesting that a professional photographer we both know might be better suited for this.
However, I never made that call because I somehow knew this was a defining moment in my life.
On the day of the wedding, I was scared to death. This was it. No turning back. I had studied and practiced and studied and practiced some more; yet I had the alarming feeling that all of that knowledge had left my brain faster than a morning mist vanishes under a summer sun!
As I was getting ready, Jesus reminded me of the Scripture He had given me for 2012: “I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into me. I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency).” (Philippians 4:13).
Immediately I felt my heart still.
Jesus had given me this opportunity. He had called me to it…which meant that I was ready for it and equal to the task!
Besides, He is the Master Photographer. He would be there to help me.
To make a long story short, I grabbed my camera and never let go and it was a marvelous ride!
The bride and groom were an absolute joy and their families were a fun bunch. At the end of the day, I was exhausted but exhilarated.
I had done it! I had gone waaaaay out of my comfort zone and lived to tell about it!
He had indeed empowered me and given me the strength to rise to the occasion. The venue was very challenging to photograph for a variety of reasons but I know that He gave me the ideas for the settings I needed to use. He was right there beside me as He always is, cheering me on, encouraging me, supporting me.
Life…real life…truly does happen only when we choose leave the restricting confines of our comfort zones.
Will things always go smoothly? No.
Will you make mistakes? Yes.
But…you will never know the sheer invigorating joy and freedom that accompany taking a risk if you are not willing to leave the shore and launch out into the deep. Rather than being gloriously enlarged, your soul will become small, confined, hardened, stifled.
What opportunity has He given you?
Are you ready to seize the day and say YES? If not, what is holding you back?
If He has called you to it, He knows that in His strength, you are ready for anything and equal to anything.
As Ann Voskamp has said, “Fear makes a life small.”
You were placed on this earth by your Creator to matter. To scale new heights. To make an eternal impact.
What are your gifts?
Are you using them?
The world needs you…your talent, your voice, your passion! There is no one like you on the face of this earth.
At the end of your days, you will not regret the risks you have taken. But you will regret playing it safe and living the small.
Today, make the choice to step decisively out of your comfort zone.
True life awaits you!
P.S. If you would care to remember me in your prayers this Saturday, I would appreciate it! I am photographing the prom at our local high school…another chance to step out of my comfort zone!