rebelling against low expectations

When was a time you left your comfort zone to do something hard?


J. WRITES: There’s a part in Do Hard Things where Brett and Alex talk about the benefit of leaving your comfort zone to do something hard. There is a story I remember from it about a girl who vowed to go to the park and share the gospel with whomever was there – even though it made her nervous. Instead of finding a mom with a stroller (like she was expecting), she found a group of burly construction workers. Terrified, she turned to go home. But then she remembered her vow and went back. She ended up sharing the gospel with the men and found them all kindly receptive. I’m wondering from you: when was a time you left your comfort zone and did a hard thing? Was it in evangelism? Was it with friends? Share it with us.

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  • One time was telling the truth to my violin teacher who has much more liberal views than me. Speaking up to an adult about the “big issues” like abortion and homosexuality was definitely not something I was expecting or wanting to do that day!

    As an introvert, little things like volunteering to read the Bible verses or pray in Sunday School are things that take me just a little bit out of my comfort zone, and slowly help me to grow to the point where those things aren’t as hard for me as they used to be.

  • In my church I have many opportunities to lead and to guide other youth. I don’t have a specific instance to tell… but sometimes it has been hard to live up to those opportunities and to see them as a positive thing. In many instances these leadership roles have meant having to stand in front of my friends and peers and tell them what is going on, and what to do. Sometimes peers can be disrespectful to someone who is leading and is their own age. That is something that I have learned to deal with and to grow from. I am so grateful for those opportunities that truly did make me nervous and uncomfortable when they first came along.

  • This past summer I was part of a program called CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) and it was a big step out of my comfort zone at first but now I am so happy I decided to do so and am going back this summer.

      • Thanks John =)

        I live In Canada so I’m doing it in Ontario…depending on what your doing during the summer it will depend what type of training you get. This summer and last I was teaching VBSs at different churches throughout Ontario, but first we are at the CEF Ontario facility for two weeks of training.

    • Was it Christian Youth in Action?

      I did that program summer before last. It was a big step for me. But God changed me that summer in so many ways. Now I’ll be starting an internship with CEF in a few months.

  • Mine was last summer when I went to a very inner city community I had never seen before to do a mission camp for the kids there. 🙂

  • So, I hate public speaking, which is almost funny because I sing in front of crowds of 10,000 people or more sometimes and I’m totally fine, but if I have to TALK to a crowd of strangers, I don’t do so well. I love people, I’m cool with talking to strangers, but I don’t like being the center of attention in front of a large crowd when I’m expected to say something.

    When I go to Uganda with my family every year, usually right after we get back from the trip my Mom will ask if any of us want to give the missions pitch during our concert and share an experience from the trip. For some crazy reason I have volunteered to do so twice before. I am very passionate about the work we do in Uganda, and the children in our orphanage over there, and usually right after a mission trip things are pretty emotional, so on top of my phobia of delivering speeches, I have trouble vocalizing my thoughts, but facing that fear made me realize that God doesn’t give us a passion for something without a reason. When I decided that the love God gave me for the mission work my family does is more important than my fear, I was able to share some of my passion with others.

  • I don’t like public speaking, so when I took a speech class, and had to give speeches in front of my peers it took me out of my comfort zone. But, like @Abby Allen said, if I’m singing, I don’t mind at all. I might be a little scared at first, but then I start to enjoy it.

  • When I moved to Zambia, Africa….

    I was 16 years old. I’d JUST hit that age where I had lots of freedoms. I could drive. I could go places alone with friends. etc.
    I’d known for years we’d be moving, but since I’d known for so long, it just felt distant and like it would never actually happen ya know?
    Well, on March 4th, 2015 I landed on African soil for the first time.
    The 6 months prior to the move were the hardest 6 months of my life! Like I said, I had lots of freedoms, went through a difficult experience, and also just had such deep-rooted friendships that leaving them behind was like leaving my own family. Also, a VERY deep-rooted church (where pretty much all my friends were) who were truly family as well.

    It was the hardest thing I’ve EVER done! I was depressed and just had such a rough time!! After I moved however, I realized how super amazing being an MK is! How amazing Zambia is!!! How super duper amazing God is!!! I’ve grown SO MUCH since my move!!!!! Boy was it tough…but boy God knew what he was doing!!

    I’ve lived in ZA a little over a year now. I’m actually in the U.S. currently with my family on a short furlough. It’s been great to be back here in the U.S. of A!! It’s been great to see all my old friends again with whom I’ve maintained the closeness we had previously. There have been some challenges being back, but it’s also been wonderful to see myself from the perspective of how I was before I left, how God has grown me in Zambia, and to see myself back in the U.S. now….I’ll be back in ZA soon, but I’m excited now. I’ll probably cry saying bye to my friends in the U.S. again, but I’m happy to go back as I know that’s where God has me at this stage in my life. =)

    • Hey, just read this and freaked out because I’ve been to Zambia before! About three or four years ago we went there for a month to visit some good friends of ours (the Lowes) who -at the time- lived in Lokulu. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life! I remember travelling through one of the game parks and stopping for lunch. We literally sat in the middle of the road and had a picnic while watching a herd of Zebra graze by the side of the road. Like, coolest thing ever! Actually, it was our trip to Zambia that inspired us to start leading mission trips into Uganda every year. It’s so cool that you’re from Zambia because our friends the Lowes (who moved to Lusaka) just arrived back in Zambia after a furlough here in the states. =) Anyway, what part of Zambia are y’all stationed in, and where are you from here in the states?

      • No Way!!!! That’s AMAZING!!!!! =O =O !!!!!
        Well, I’m from Missouri…I live in Ndola Zambia which is 5 hours away from Lusaka and REALLY close to the DRC border…I’ve been to Lusaka before but I’ve never even heard of Lokulu..! haha…Do your friends the Lowes know the Turnbulls perhaps???
        Dude, this is SOO SOOO AMAZING taht you’ve been there!! AHHH!!!!

        • I know!!! Way Cool! While we were in Zambia we crossed over the border to Zimbabwe and also did a safari excursion in Botswana (African elephant capitol of the world!), and visited Victoria Falls. Which was beyond amazing. =) I’m guessing maybe Ndola is on the other side of Zambia…? Lokulu is about 6 hours from the capitol. Also, my family’s ministry is based out of Branson, Missouri. =O Creepy….but I was actually born in Mississippi, so it’s slightly less creepy now. Haha. 😉 I’ll have to ask my friend if she knows the Turnbulls…she’s never mentioned them, but then again, I never asked. XD Her family is helping new missionaries settle into Zambia right now (which is why they moved to the capitol) so she sees a bunch of missionaries come in and out all the time. Wow. This is really cool. Like, really, really cool. =)

          • Oh wait, you said you’re really close to the DRC border? So yeah, I was right. Lokulu is on the other side of Zambia. Probably why you’ve never heard of it. =p If it makes you feel any better, I had never heard of Ndola. Haha. 😉

          • OH! Was the Safari in Chobe??? We plan to visit Vic. Falls soon as well!! XD Can’t WAIT!

            And wow…slightly NOT less creeepy! I was born in Oxford Mississipi!!! Moved to MO when I was 2 after a year in MS and a year in Texas. I’ve been back to both states tho. MS a LOT cuz we have family there! =) Wow…REALLY weird…lol! Where I’m from in MO is 2 hours from Branson. I’ve been there plenty of times though! XD

            Okay!! They work with ACU with the Bauchams who just moved there recently. I’m trying to think of other people I know in Lusaka….the Turnbull’s are actually from MO as well! haha…

            So are they on FB??? I’d love to find them! Do they have older teen kids???

            Btw, I just was scrolling your family site!! SUPER AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Chobe….huh…no clue. It was like four years ago so I wouldn’t remember. Haha. 😉

            Ahh! You were born in Mississippi too??? NO WAY! I was born in Jackson. And I have family that lives there too. =O And I have an Uncle that lives in Texas. =O The Lowes are actually from Texas….how bizzare is that?!

            The Lowes have three kids, and the oldest is…I think she’s fourteen. Also I’m not sure about FB…I’ll look it up and get back to you. 😉

            (Lastly…) Oh cool! Glad you like the site! We also have a missions website where you can check out our orphanage and see our kids! =) We currently have 13 kids there ranging from 8 to 3. They’re all adorable, obviously. 😉 I still can’t get over how cool this is, because I’ve been sitting here chatting with my friend from Zambia and helping my mom plan the itinerary for our trip to Uganda in July and all of a sudden THIS happens. Haha, wow.

          • (Also, ignore the picture of me on the website with the short, straight hair and ridiculously bright lipstick. I am happy to say my fashion sense has improved since that…*shudder*…nightmarish photo shoot. =p)

          • Haha! No worries! XD

            Awesome!! Wowza…we have really similar back stories! HAHA!!!

            Cool!! Yeah, just let me know! =) We go to Lusaka occasionally and LOVE meeting fellow missionary fams! =)

            Awesome!!! I definitley will! This is legit SO AMAZING!!!! haha

            and don’t even worry about the picturees! XD All the ones I saw you looked gorgeous! ;D

          • Oh! And I also just discovered your brother Jared’s blog! AMAZING!!! i started following it!!! You guys sound like a super fun family!!! It would be so fun to meet one of these days! XD

          • Thanks! I was just thinking the same thing. About how it would be cool to meet you, I mean. 😉 Yeah, his blog is super cool. I have a hard time keeping up with it because he posts like every day and if I skip a few days I feel like I’m way behind Haha. =p When do you head back to Zambia? Btw, talked to my friend and she said she doesn’t know the Turnbulls, but her Mom has an FB page. Look up “Robyn Ferguson Lowe” and she should show up. Her profile pic is her and a Zambian baby. Kinda hard to miss. 😉 Also, yeah, we are super fun. Haha. XD If you want, you can look up Home Sweet Bus on and get it for like 2 dollars. Back in 2014 TLC filmed a 40 minute special on our family kinda showing how we live on our bus full-time, how we originally started 20 years ago and what-not. Well, technically we aren’t living on our bus right now because we just got a new one and we’re building it at the moment, but that’s kind of a long story. 😉

          • YES! It would totally be amazing! I don’t know how likely it is, but if you ever come to ZA again, let me know!! And I’ll try to keep up with your tours when I might be able to see you. 😉

            HAHA! I noticed that! XD I might not be able to keep up, but I can at least read not and then. 😉

            We head back about a month from now. =)

            Oh okay!! Awesome! XD I’ll definitely look all that up!! =D That’s super cool!! =D

          • Yeah, I’m not sure how likely it is either, but that would be super cool. Technically all you’d have to do is cross through Tanzania, so no big deal, right? 😉 Although we could go through DRC as well….not sure I want to do that considering everything that goes on in that part of the world though. Haha.

            Well we’re touring in North Carolina and Tennessee for the remainder of this month…too bad we didn’t bump into each other earlier. We were in Springfield, Missouri back in March, so right around your neck of the woods.

            Anyway, I’d love to keep in touch with you and hear about what all your family does in Zambia. We lead in large groups to Uganda for two weeks every summer and I head up the children’s ministry team and help organize the trips, so I always love getting new ideas from other missionaries. =)

          • Hehe! Yeah, how about no to driving through DRC! LOL..

            and I’d love to stay in contact too!! DO you have email since we don’t seem to have compatible social media?? lol

          • You know the Bauchams? That’s cool! I haven’t met them exactly, but I attended several of Mr. Voddie Baucham’s speaking sessions when he was at our Home School Convention here in VA. He is a great speaker, and I really enjoyed hearing him in person!

          • I don’t personally know them…I just know where they live and who they work with and stuff..haha! I’ve only met him once and it was also at a convention. 😉 We would love to get to know them better though!

    • WOW! I bet God is using you to do AMAZING things for His children over there!!! I really admire you!!! God Bless you and your family!!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

  • Yesterday I wrote to two missionary families in Jamaica who’s husbands were literally just murdered. I don’t actually know them and it’s a crazy situation so that was like 56 light years out of my zone.

    Y’all, let’s pray for them, and that God would use this in huge ways like he did the Ecuador 5, their names are the Nichols and the Hentzels.

  • Since I’ve been homeschooled my whole life, one thing that terrifies me is walking into a school (especially alone when there are school kids everywhere!). I stand out, I’m not wearing a uniform, and I am usually not sure where to go.

    However, I’ve been walking into schools three times a week recently because I help a lady teach two Religious Education classes in a public school on Fridays, and I also have a job twice a week tutoring a grade three boy. I enjoy both, and it’s becoming more comfortable too.

    • Oh yeah…..I know that feeling!!!!
      Once when I was little, mum & Dad went to vote at one of the schools and there was some other kids from the school playing there.
      They noticed that we weren’t wearing a uniform and asked what school we went to…. so I’m like “Uhhhhh….actually we’re home-schooled……”
      and the kid’s response was “Oh, really??? I thought home-schooling was illegal!!!”

  • This is driving me crazy. Multiple times now I’ve seen this question in the corner of my window. . .and it always looks like it has something to do with time zones!!! LOL

    Hmmm. . .good question. Maybe I should go do something hard before I try to answer it. . .or. . .*Are our good works supposed to be in secret?*

    • Huh… perhaps you could travel to the south pole and attempt to convert all those heathen reindeer. Nasty lot, those reindeer…plus, that would cover ALL the bases. You know, a hard thing, something to do with time zones, AND -because reindeer tend to be strong, silent types- you could keep the whole thing a secret.

    • Um, yes in that we aren’t trying to bring attention to ourselves. But we do the good works in the first place so that when others see them they’ll glorify God– because they see more of Him when we act like him, right? I don’t know, good point though!

      • Yes, very good point. And I do not think this discussion is specifically talking about ‘good works.’ I think it is focusing more on doing hard things and going outside your comfort zone. 🙂 I have to think hard on this discussion question as well.

        • Yeah, I definitely agree. I always think of “hard things” as a specific type of good work though, what do you think?

          • I think a “hard thing” could be described as anything you do for the Kingdom that requires you to overcome your fear or discomfort. You have to decide that following Christ is more important than your own physical comfort.

        • Oh! Wait a minute… you mean that, when you glance at the question in your desktop window (on theReb home page), it looks like it has something to do with time zones?
          If that is what you were saying, then it is just now that I UNDERSTOOD WHAT YOU MEANT!!! LOL

  • Oh man, this happened about an hour ago and I´m still feeling awkward over it … so here goes…. I was walking home from a leadership team meeting with my arm in a sling and there is this ancient gentleman struggling to drive himself on a wheelchair. I notice him, think “poor guy”, and keep walking. Then, the Holy Spirit (or at least I think it was) ordered me to stop and go push his wheelchair. In my mind, I answered “Can´t you see my arm is in a sling!? TAKE A HINT!” And then the Spirit was quietly still there, commanding me to go do it. So, begrudgingly, I turn around and offer to push that man´s wheelchair, and his face shines. This made me feel so convicted of my own dualism of saying I serve Jesus, and yet not jumping at the opportunity to actually follow his command of loving service to the orphans and widows. I ended up pushing him a couple blocks during which time he so trustingly allowed me to leave him where he was going. It was such a humbling experience, and something I would not normally do, and totally out of my comfort zone.

  • The most recent time I stepped out of comfort zone was to participate in the first “Pure Grace Home School Spring Dance.”

    It was targeted toward high school age kids, and they had practices leading up to it to teach the kids the dress code and how to dance, and ask and lead a partner out to the dance floor. My brother was in it, (but I hadn’t planned to be because I’m older than most of the kids in the group) and he told me that they didn’t have very many girls participating, and I was like, “What?!” and he was like, “I wish you would do it with me.” and I was like, “Okay, I guess so.”

    It was very last minute though, and I had to scramble to get formal attire and dance shoes within a week’s time. (God answered my prayers there:) There was only one practice left, and when I arrived at the church where they were having it, I was terrified.

    I hadn’t danced any ballroom dances in years, (the only one I remembered was the hustle, which they weren’t doing) and my ballet experience didn’t comfort me much. Fortunately, I have a great brother who taught me some of the steps beforehand. All the same, I was praying that I wouldn’t faint, and feeling dismayed at the fact that a glass of water had failed to help. (The movies lie!;)

    The Lord was looking out for me however, because the first partner I had was an experienced dancer, and the next wasn’t, which succeeded in making me comfortable quickly. I caught on fast, and by the next day, the day of the dance, I was ready to have a good time.

    We had prayer, conversation, and good food, and plenty of chaperons! (Our parents were all invited of course:)

    I had the best time I’ve had in years, and danced nearly every dance. I even learned a few more new steps on the floor from my partners. It made me happy too to think that for every dance I danced, one of the guys got to dance as well, who probably would’ve had to sit it out without me. (Since there were fewer girls than guys) It felt good to know (at least, I hope!) that I was helping contribute to everyone’s good time.

    It made it that much better that everyone actually liked to dance, and wanted to dance. I’m so glad I did it. 🙂

    If I had listened to my fears and doubts, I never would have gone.

    • I know….I once had to go to one of the dances and I felt really shy too….but at the dance I went to, there was not enough guys! I ended up having to partner with one of the girls for one of the dances…..

      • I actually did dance with one of the moms at the dance. I was sitting down because I was tired, but about halfway through a song she asked me if I’d like to dance with her. She really wanted to dance and had no partner. We had a lot of fun. 🙂

        Did you have fun at the dance?

  • I was in a sculpture class last January with my sister. Our instructor wanted us to do a piece that would define who we are. She would say things like, ‘None of us know why we are here, let us create something that defines our passion’ My first reaction was that’s a bunch of hunky bunkie! I know exactly where I’m going! My Momma made it clear that this could be a big out reach for my sister and I. My sister ended up doing a life size sword representing the armor of God with a reference to Ephesians. I did a three dimensional painting symbolizing Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. It took a lot of hard work, but in the process we got to explain what our pieces meant and also show our classmates that there is a reason we are all here. Even though we felt out of our comfort zone a lot. We were both proud to be salt and light for Jesus’ glory!

  • This winter, my whole youth group went to Dare to Share, a conference challenging teenagers to change the world for Christ.

    Being a mostly introverted kid, the conference itself pushed me beyond my comfort zone. But as if that wasn’t enough, during our lunch break, my group traveled to a mall where we blessed, prayed for, and shared the gospel with countless people.

    Although it pushed my way past my limits, I am so thankful for the opportunity, and am hoping to attend next year as well. Until then, I work to spread Christ’s love in my every day life.

  • Saturday (4 days ago). I felt it was God’s will for me to go talk to someone about an important matter, but it was quite uncomfortable to do, but I went and God is good!

  • I spent hours at the hospital with my friend’s family. Last year my friend was in the hospital due to a medical emergency. I dont like hospitals to begin with but my friend’s family needed the support. So for a month I was at the hospital a few times a week to play with his siblings or just spend time with him so his parents could have a break. It was super hard every time I went. But it was worth it.

  • I have a few different times that I specifically remember, but I’ll mention the most recent one.
    My family spent the last three days at a church conference and yesterday I actually stepped a little bit out of my comfort zone to do something that was hard. Granted, it was a little hard thing, but sometimes those are the hardest. So, at the conference, they had everybody split up and go to different sessions. Well, I lead worship at the church my dad pastors and they had a worship leaders session, so I knew that I was going to go to that one. But the rest of my family all were going to other ones, and I’m not the most outgoing person. (I’m more outgoing now than I was when I was younger, but still pretty shy at times.) So I had to go to this session by myself, with a bunch of people I didn’t know. I actually ended up sitting on the front row (it might not sound significant, but it was a big deal for me), introducing myself to several people (and talking to them for a significant length of time), and even saying my name and the church I’m from in front of everybody (a really big deal for me).

  • This book is amazing it has changed my life so,so,so much the way I have stepped out of my comfort zone is by talk and sharing so much more about myself with all my friends and those who aren’t my friends and 2 nights ago was my school dance I was just going to stand in the corner with my friends but then I read this part of the book part 2 chapter 5(THAT FIRST SCARY STEP) step 3.You Can’t Get Success Without Risking Failure it helped me get out of my comfort zone to go out on the dance floor have have the most fun that I’ve ever had.
    Alex and Brett Harris if you guys read this I just wanted to tell you guys thank you so,so,so very much for this awesome book it has changed my life so much. 🙂

  • When I stopped playing on my iPod to make music and practice music and listen to music. Oh yeah I also learned music.

  • Taking n playing the worship for my church. I don’t really struggle with nerves when performing, but that was terrifying. Plus we have several amazing pianists in our church and they would know right away if I messed up. This probably sounds lame but, I hadn’t even done a recital before this so the only time o had played in front of anyone was at my musical examinations in front of one person.

rebelling against low expectations

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