COMFORT zones and I get along very well, so well in fact that they were once all I knew and anything outside of that was a massive no.
I liked the familiar, the predictable and the expected.
I learnt my limits, I knew how outgoing I could be without feeling self-conscious and I learnt how to take calculated risks.
Basically, I got really good at minimising my chances of getting hurt and really, really good at hiding from life.
Why did I do all that?
Well it was safe, I had clear boundaries and those boundaries formed a sort of safety zone around me, I was in a comfortable place.
And for a while the whole comfort zone mentality did help, I worked on my confidence and discovered a little bit more about myself, but as time went on I began to realise that unless I left my comfort zone and actually lived, I was going to remain the same because once you become comfortable you can only learn so much, you can only grow so much and you can only change so much.
We were made for so much more than the safety zone; life is this crazy, beautiful and rare opportunity and it is far too precious to let it pass you by.
And to be completely honest I’ve been letting it pass me by, I grew so comfortable with who I was and the things I had already accomplished that I had allowed myself to become stagnant not only in life, but also spiritually.
Faith and life go hand in hand; it is impossible to live life to the full without faith, because faith gives life purpose.
Life begins outside of your comfort zone, as Christians we are called to live extraordinary lives to aim above and beyond, with our end goal being heaven.
One quote comes to mind from Pope Benedict XVI: “The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”
Greatness, I’m not going to lie, it can be hard and mediocre just doesn’t fly when it comes to using the gift of life that God has given us.
To aim for greatness you first have to step outside of your comfort zone, the second thing is acknowledging the fact that we have a limitless God and therefore we should stop applying limits to Him.
And the third step is embracing life, trusting that God knows what He is doing and He has got you in the palm of His hand.
Since realising this I have slowly been journeying outside of my comfort zones and opening myself up more to life, to being adventurous and bold. I also realised that I wanted a faith that constantly strived to go deeper, a faith that didn’t settle and become stagnant.
Since day one of NET Training I knew that I was completely and utterly outside of my comfort zone, not only socially but also spiritually.
Training was an intense period of time for me, it was confronting and challenging to say the least but it was also beautiful and transformative.
Staff showed me that it was okay to be where I was at but it’s not okay to stay there, because we are meant for so much more.
God called me to serve a year with NET Ireland so that I would leave the harbour and all that I had deemed as safe.
He is slowly tearing down my walls and breaking through all that has been keeping me distant from Him.
God needed me to step out in faith, fully trusting that He was and is guiding me through the seas of life.
For the first time I feel like I am actually allowing him to be my Captain I’m not sure where I’m headed yet but I know that He does and if I keep trusting Him I can’t go wrong.
I know that setting sail on the winds of trust and faith can be a difficult decision to make, but it’s by far one of the best life choices I have made yet in the 19 years that I have been around.
If you feel like you need something that will wake up your faith in a very powerful and real way, challenging you to grow and journey closer to the person God intended you to be – it’s time to find out what yours could be.
Anne-Marie Williams is a young Catholic from the Gold Coast and serving on NET Ireland. She is a youth columnist for The Catholic Leader.