I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy having to step outside my comfort zone.  I am quite fine with my introverted, please-don’t-take-any-notice-of-me-thank-you self.  My book and I will be quite content over in this corner.  (By the way, if you actually have to interact with me regularly, or if you are an extrovert and work with or are married to an introvert, Thom Rainer wrote an excellent post last week that you should read – “Eight Things to Help You Understand Introverts.”)

And yet, I have been forced (shoved, pushed, kicked) into a couple of places lately that took me squarely out of my comfort zone.  On Sunday, I had to play the piano with our band during the morning service.  If you have known me a very long time, you are probably scratching your head about right now, since I started playing the piano at the age of 6 and once accompanied a high school choral program.  However, having a 2-year-old in the house does not make for much time to practice, and so my piano skills have slowly begun to rot away.  (Not to mention, I have never been one to practice unless I had something to prepare.  I know, I’m a bad example, so don’t let me around your young pianists.)

I did find the time to squeeze in a little practice last week, but Sunday morning found me at church at 7:30 a.m., waiting for rehearsal to begin, and shaking like a leaf.  Not having done this in just over a year, I was really starting to feel inadequate.  But, you know what?  We made it through the service.  No one died from the notes that I missed or the rhythms that were slightly off.  I proved to myself that I could still play.  No, not as well as I did when I played regularly.  But, I know that God helped me overcome my anxiety through the prayers and encouragement of my friends.

As God leads me to step out into areas that He wants me to grow, I am learning to lean more on my friends.  I e-mailed a friend who has worked in the publishing industry a few days ago about the possibility of freelance opportunities, and she sent me the most encouraging e-mail in return.  I don’t know if anything will ever come of it, but her kind words meant so very much in this season of my life.  (By the way, she manages TWO incredible blogs for moms – The Pregnancy Companion and Grace for Moms.  Check them out!)

I don’t know where God will take me or you in the next few weeks, months, or years.  But I do know that God is never content to just leave us where we are.  He has incredible journeys planned for us, but we need to learn to trust His guidance, step out of our comfort zones into new areas of work and service, and lean into the friendships that He gives us on the way.

Let’s learn and grow together.