The cool evening air offers a reprieve from the day’s heat and humidity, so my friend and I take the opportunity to stroll the country lane near the house providing generous writing inspiration. Soon our conversation turns to social media and how we are both easily overwhelmed by the never sleeping, all-day-all-night-ness of it all. We chat about what is best for us to take part in and best for us to say no to. We both know being wide awake to all social media weighs us both down worst than August’s moisture-laden air.
I think about this on a personal level, how I enjoy dancing with social media to a certain degree. Honestly, I love engaging with folks this way! But the truth is after a little while, my feet get tired. I feel Social Media’s pull to keep going a little longer, so I kick off my shoes and oblige. But before long, it tries to sweet talk me into doing some fancy dance flips like something Maks and Meryl might try. And since those moves are out of my ability and comfort zone in all kinds of ridiculous ways, I finally stop moving and with heavy breathing say, forget it.
On a practical level, there are some activities that I’m just not equipped to participate in. Not only do they take up time I don’t have, they take up soul room I simply don’t want to lose.
There’s so much talk about the need to step outside your comfort zone, and indeed this can be a very good thing. But sometimes something isn’t in your comfort zone for a good reason. A very good reason. My comfort zone hangs closely with my soul room, so it doesn’t take long for something in one room to start messing with the other. On one hand, stepping outside of it can expand my soul. But on the other, it shrinks it. For example, stepping out of my comfort zone and past the awkward of introducing myself to my neighbor expands my soul room because I am rewarded with her sweet friendship. But stepping out of my comfort zone to schedule a dozen tweets each day would shrink my soul room. I’d rather let my presence in that venue flow from a natural conversation rather than forced participation.
If you are driven to leave your comfort zone because you see others doing that thing and think you should too, then a word of caution. But if you are urged to leave your comfort zone because you sense God leading you, well then, that is another thing altogether.
The world pushes, forces, grabs and takes without asking. It cares most about what is big and popular. It is ill-mannered and forgets to say thank you more than it remembers. But God holds, leads, places, and asks without taking. When He does ask, He asks while abundantly giving in a hundred different ways. He cares most about giving you soul space and what’s more, He wants to share it with you.
What expands and strengthens your own soul room will look different from what expands my own. That which deserves your best yes will look like my own wise no, and vice versa. Let’s be girls who intentionally follow God’s leading when it comes to leaving our comfort zone, not girls who let the agendas of this world boss us around.
“Whenever there is a conflict between what we feel we’re expected to do and what we feel we should do, it’s time to step back from the decision. And seek clarity from the only source free of the entanglements of misguided opinions and unrealistic expectations. God.” ~Lysa Terkeurst, The Best Yes
So if you feel the world pulling you from your comfort zone, then confidently twist your wrist out of its controlling grip. But if you feel led, then by all means, courageously step out with your Savior and dance right into His best yes vision for you.
This post was inspired by a book I’m reading now by Lysa Terkeurst called The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. Because this topic of learning when to courageously say yes and when to confidently say no is one I’m passionate about learning more about this year, this book had me at the title.
Through The Best Yes, Lysa gently and wisely shows me how to employ the small no so I will have all kinds of room for my best yes. But more than this, she gently shows me how to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading so I can display good judgement in my everyday life decisions. Its message spells freedom for people pleasers like me!
If you’ve ever felt at the mercy of other peoples’ requests and struggle with getting through the awkward disappointment of a well placed ‘no’, then this book is for you. Soaking up a chapter a day is one best yes decision my soul is grateful for. I happily give it 5 stars! Find your own copy here and here. (100% of the proceeds from copies purchased go to support a variety of Christian nonprofits, such as this one here.)