Can you imagine what it felt like when you were born? Imagine what an incredibly scary and uncertain event that had to have been. Here you are, just minding your business for nine months. You haven’t been there an incredibly long time, but the place you’re at has become your world. You’ve found solace in the darkness. The sound of your mother’s heartbeat lulls you to sleep every night and the sound of her breathing comforts you throughout the day. You’re fed, you’re warm, and you’re safe. You have everything you need. Sure, your world is tiny and has grown increasingly uncomfortable the past few months, but it’s all you’ve ever known. You couldn’t imagine yourself anywhere else. It’s what you’re used to. It’s your comfort zone.
Then out of nowhere, the world that has been so peaceful and comforting for months, suddenly turns on you. The same world that has embraced you peacefully, is now contracting violently and pushing you out. The heartbeat that has lulled you to sleep now is pounding and the breathing that has comforted you has now been replaced with gasps, screams and crying. You don’t know what’s going on, but you’re scared. Really, really scared. You’re being pushed out of the only world you ever knew and out into the unknown. You have no idea where you’re headed but it can’t possibly be good if things are happening so quickly and dramatically, right? You don’t have time to gather your thoughts, or come up with a game plan on how to survive outside of the world you knew. You don’t even get a heads up about where your going next and you’re confused. Really, really confused. You keep getting pushed further and further out of the world that you grew to love and thought you’d never leave. You can’t turn back, even if you wanted to, because the world that embraced you so much has suddenly rejected and turned on you. Your only option is to leave. The next thing you know, you’re in a completely new world. One that is nothing like the world you left. The darkness you knew has been replaced by glaring lights. The sound of your mother’s heartbeat and breaths are now replaced with the sounds of oooh-ing and awww-ing, cheering and shouting, chatter and laughter. You went from a world where you were warm and safe to one where you feel cold and vulnerable. Really, really vulnerable. You cry and scream out into this cold, strange world because your scared, confused, and vulnerable. Life as you’ve always known it is over and you can never, ever go back.
Little do you know, the world that you’ve just entered is a world where you will flourish. It’s a world where you will do things that you never knew were possible. It’s a world where you will grow and learn beyond your wildest dreams. You will learn to crawl, walk, and run. You will one day learn to talk and read. You will achieve things that people in this strange, new world will marvel at. You will face challenges you didn’t face before but you will also accomplish what was impossible to do in the world you just left. The world you’re scared you can’t live without. The world you’re confused about having to leave. The world that shielded you from the vulnerability that comes with staggering growth and change. You’ll look back one day to realize that the world you were pushed out of was only necessary for those nine months. That world helped you grow to the point where you could handle all the things that awaited you in this new world. That old world had to push you out, not out of rejection, but out of love. In infinite wisdom, it knew you had exhausted all the resources it had to offer and even though you didn’t feel ready to leave, it knew it was time for you to go so you continue to grow.
Sometimes life treats us the same way and we go through major transitions that feel a lot like we’re going through the birth process all over again. We get pushed out of our old world and we’re separated from the people, places and situations that we’ve grown so used to. Often times, those transitions aren’t calm and peaceful either. We often feel rejected and completely forced out of our old world. Maybe we lose the job we had for 20 years or go off to college in another state. Maybe our closest friends turn their backs on us or we experience the death of a parent. Maybe we’re going through a painful divorce or dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. Whatever that transition is, we often feel like a scared, confused and vulnerable baby pushed from the world of its mother’s womb. We don’t have time to gather our thoughts or come up with a game plan. We often feel like we have no idea where this new world we’ve transitioned into will take us. We were so comfortable with our old world because it had become our comfort zone. It’s what we knew and what we were used to. It sustained us for so long that we can’t imagine how the new world we’ve been pushed into could possibly be any good for us. However, just like that baby will flourish in incredible ways that it couldn’t in it’s old world, we have to trust that when God pushes us out of our comfort zone, it’s because He’s knows we’re ready. He knows that the environment that surrounded us before sustained us for months or maybe even years. However, we’ve finally grown to the point that what once sustained us will now stifle us if we continue to stay there. He forces us out into a new and strange world, knowing that even if we don’t feel ready for the change, we are ready. He knows that coming into a place that is completely out of our element will allow us to grow and learn in ways that we couldn’t in our old world. He knows we’ll accomplish things that were simply impossible in our old environment. He knows we’re not going to be bound by the confines of what once was and we’ll now have room to reach more of our limitless potential. Yes, making huge transitions in life are scary, confusing and often leave us feeling vulnerable, but they are absolutely necessary for growth. Trust God as you face your transition and know that He will never push you out of your old world until He’s absolutely certain that you have everything it takes to flourish in your new world.