Welcome to my Summer Blog Swap! This month I am inviting four of my blogger friends over to this space to share some of their posts and perspectives. It’s a fun way to introduce some of my favorite people to all of you. This week I’d like you to meet my friend Carol Graft. We met through a writing group called Hope*writers. Carol loves to encourage women to be creative and cultivate their faith. She writes on her blog here and for the Breathe Writer’s conference blog.
Matthew 14:22-33 tells the story of an encounter Peter had with Jesus. The disciples are on a boat in the middle of the Galilean sea when a storm happens. Peter was in a situation of uncertainty. I’ve been there many times. I’m sure you have as well.
Your Galilean storm, your fishing boat, may look different but it’s still a call to step out of your comfort zone.
Over the years my comfort zone for many things has been stretched. Whether that was getting up in front of people to lead worship, or speak, or teach, it has required a lot of stretching and even more faith.
I was especially challenged when I was asked to do things I hadn’t seen anyone do before. This was traveling in what was new territory for me. A step out of the boat moment.
There have been times when I wasn’t sure if I was entering the Twilight Zone, or if I was hearing Jesus saying, ‘Watch me.”
Now, in this season of life, stepping out of the boat requires putting words on paper. My comfort zone became chapel speaking or Sunday teaching. Writing has involved a lot of apprehension, a lot of intimidation. This writing life is definitely not comfortable. It’s still new to me. As writers, we always wonder, “Will my words have any impact?”
Like Peter though, I am stepping out. The water may be rough; the voices of the enemy and the naysayers are harsh, much like the winds Peter and the rest had to wrestle against. Jesus though, is there, asking me, asking the rest of us to step out of the boat.
Stand on the water and start taking those steps. Take that small step out of our comfort zone.
“Wait! Don’t look down.”
“Look straight ahead,” Jesus says. “Keep your eyes on me.”
His arms are outstretched, His face is encouraging. His hand is waiting to grasp ours when we get to where He wants us to go.
If we take those first steps out of our comfort zone and out onto the water, He will meet us. He will guide us.
He will also wait until we are comfortable again, and say “Now, step out some more.”
Carol lives in West Michigan where she’s close enough to the beach to chase sunsets. She has been married 34 years and counting. Carol is mom to 7, mostly grown, children, 4 of which are married and blessed with three grands. She loves to teach and encourage others in this journey with Jesus. She is learning to follow God and step out on the water.