March 2020… we went to sleep one night and woke up to a global pandemic the next morning. What? A pandemic? A Star Wars fan, I’m tempted to add the words, A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. But, that is not true, is it? It wasn’t far away. It was right in the middle of our life story. Catapulted out of our comfort zone we found ourselves totally unprepared for this unprecedented health crisis and thrown into a season of uncertainty.
A life transformation coach, I’m in the business of escorting my clients through change. They choose to leave the familiar—that place of perceived security—and venture out into the unknown. Together we cast a vision, anticipate obstacles, and put together a plan of action. It’s an adventure that results in a bit of creative tension, a tug-of-war between what was and what is to be. But wait! We never saw this coming. Our life as we knew it was halted and replaced with a new normal (I know, I’m sick of hearing the new normal words, too.) We did not choose this change. It chose us.
Three months in…
How are you? Have you established a make-shift comfort zone for yourself? Have you found ways to stay connected with family and friends? Have enough toilet paper? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist) I invite you to pause and reflect on this experience. Consider: Did the pandemic happen to you? Or, for you?
Here’s the deal, we get to choose our #perspective. If you are in the it-happened-to-me category, you’ll kick into victim mode and quite frankly that’s not a healthy place to be. I confess that I surrendered to a few moments of self-pity. I shed tears of frustration. I obsessed over the latest news report. None of that served me. Instead, it contributed to too many sleepless nights.
On the other hand, what if there is some treasure to be mined from this experience? No, we weren’t able to prepare for this event, but we can still explore what lessons we can take from it. What did you learn? What do you want more of in your life? Less? Take a moment to think about the following quotes. How might they apply to you?
Most everything that you want is just outside your comfort zone. -Jack Canfield
All growth starts at the end of your comfort zone. -Tony Robbins
A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what a ship is built for. -Unknown
Do one thing every day that scares you. -Eleanor Roosevelt
Out of your comfort zone…
Going forward consider the benefits of occasionally stepping outside your comfort zone. A bit of intentional change creates just enough healthy tension to add more focus and creativity—to see life with a new set of eyes. It also builds your flexibility muscles to help you respond when the unexpected happens (and we know that it will).
Spiritually speaking, I can’t imagine walking through this season without my faith. I was comforted by God’s Word. In fact, my greatest takeaway has been a closer and deeper walk with my Jesus. In your quiet time, perhaps these verses will reassure you as well, as you embark on this journey to redefine your new normal; your remodeled comfort zone:
When I felt alone: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:8 [NIV]
When I was afraid: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9 [ESV]
And finally, His peace covered me like a blanket: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” -John 14:27 [ESV]
My prayer for you…
Heavenly Father, I thank and praise you for each person reading this article. I ask Lord that you give them eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart that receives all that you have for them during this pandemic season. I pray you give them courage and a boldness to step outside of the familiar to grow in You and in your purposes for their life. Above all I pray that you give them an insatiable curiosity and desire to know You more. As they grow in You may they also grow in Your peace. In your Son’s name I pray. Amen
Photo by Hernan Sanchez