Courage will always require an element of leaving. Leaving is just plain hard. When my three-year-old knows I’m about to leave, he will often squeeze as hard as he can around my neck to lovingly manipulate me into staying one more minute.
I know how he feels, because leaving comfort for courage makes me want to wrap my arms around every ounce of safety in my life, hoping if I hold on tight enough that I won’t have to taste the pain of the leaving what I know is inevitable.
Leaving comfort and safety looks and sounds alluring and attractive, but the attraction fades quickly—in fact, I have never felt so vulnerable, small, and needy…words that are not known for their alluring appeal.
Moving from comfort to courage will cause you to question your decision.
It will cause you to look around for the safety bars, seatbelt, and any kind of security button.
Moving from comfort to courage will cause you to try to make something happen.
You will scheme, make phone calls, send out Hail Mary e-mails—anything to distract from sitting in the fear.
Moving from comfort to courage will cause you to doubt your abilities.
You will look at everything that you have failed at in the past—failed relationships, failed financial decisions, failed leadership calls—and you will wonder if you will repeat those patterns and if they are indicators to go out and look for comfort again.
Moving from comfort to courage will cause you to doubt the Author of the calling on your life…
…thinking that God is too busy to take care of your little fear.
Moving from comfort to courage will cause you to be jealous of your neighbors.
…who seem to be perfectly content with their lives. You will wonder if you are some sort of crazy person that has a unhealthy propensity to live on the edge.
Moving from comfort to courage will cause you to look for the easy way out.
Moving from comfort to courage will cause you to pray like never before.
You will wonder if you know any Scripture to cast out the inner demon of doubt.
Moving from comfort to courage will cause you to white knuckle yourself around anything that feels secure and semi-safe…
…even though you know earthly security and safety is a mirage and the place where Jesus is, is most where you want to be.
Moving from comfort to courage will cause you to feel weak in the knees.
…a good indicator that you should stop standing up and get ON your knees.
Moving from comfort to courage will cause others to question you.
Especially those that have found security to be a bedrock to build their lives on. You will be misunderstood, questioned, and perhaps even seen as foolish.
So today, God, I feel every one of these fears. I am terrified—straight up terrified. I am calling out to you to be a voice of truth and freedom. Tell me to settle down, to trust you and to release every one of these fears into your arms of faith. I know it is impossible to invite others into a life of obedience if I am unable to live it myself, so today I am re-upping my commitment to obey and be faithful.
Jeanne Stevens serves as one of the lead pastors at Soul City Church in Chicago, IL. Jeanne is the author of Soul School and the soon to be released book, What Lies Beneath.
Article used with permission. Find more great leadership content at CatalystSpace.com. Catalyst and the annual Conferences provide next generation church leaders with creative insights on organizational and personal leadership. (Photo credit: Bryan Scott.)