The other day I attended a luncheon for baseball wives. I had been looking forward to this, but was terrified of going alone. I have an extremely outgoing personality, but when it involves walking into a room full of older, experienced baseball wives- that outgoing spirit leaves immediately.
I hesitated all morning about going. I kept telling Clark, “I’m going to be the only one there going alone. I’m going to be the youngest. Everyone is going to have friends and I’m going to be wandering looking like an absolute loser.”
He kept promising me that I was wrong and there would be so many people going alone.
So, through the encouragement of friends, I headed inside with my stomach in knots. And honestly it was more like forcing hands that threatened me over Facetime me until I got out of the car and went inside.
I walked through the doors and wanted to turn right back around. Clark was wrong. I was right. There were groups of women everywhere. All with their own squads. I didn’t see a single loner, except me.
What made it even more daunting was it seemed like everyone I heard talking was in the Major Leagues already, or at least close to it. Clark JUST finished his rookie season last year (the reactions of whether your husband is minor league vs major league is a weird thing. I’ll have to address it later on).
I casually walked around the tables (pretending like I was definitely looking for someone because isn’t that what we do when alone in a crowd). Trying my best to not make it noticeable I was terribly alone, I headed to the drink station. I took my sweet, sweet time getting a cup of water while chatting small talk with the women manning the station.
For all the lunches I've eaten alone in restaurants during this month, and the games I attended with not another person in the stands, I had never felt this way. I was finally surrounded by 80+ women who shared this baseball journey, yet I felt so alone.
The devil loves to bring us down. Telling us we need to get back in our comfort zone, making us feel self-conscious and judged, convincing us we are the odd man out and everyone can tell. Every part of me wanted to leave.
Anyone else ever been here before? That place way out of your comfort zone.
I’m pretty sure we have all had this moment in one aspect or another. Whether it’s a new job, new team, or the dreaded school lunchroom. We tell ourselves that we’re not going to fit in and should leave. We make ourselves believe that every single person around us notices our singleness.
God tells us the exact opposite. He calls us to be bold. To step out of our comfort zone. To seek community in his people. To trust him.
I sat and looked at the women chatting it up with each other. In that moment, I felt the spirit tell me, “I have brought you here. Stay.”
I've been praying for community here. But the Lord isn’t going to drop friends in my lap from the sky. We have to step out and follow the Lord where he is leading us. We have to act.
So, I stayed. I forced conversation on the sweetest woman. Who connected me with another. And then, by the end of the luncheon I felt at home. I soon realized most of the "judging stares" I thought I was receiving were actually smiling welcomes. When we are nervous to step out of our comfort zone, we make ourselves see things different than reality.
Stepping out of our comfort zone is ALWAYS rewarding. Sometimes it takes a while. Sometimes we don’t see the reward until later in life. But, listen to the Lord. Grow your comfort zone to new boundaries. If we are continually stepping out on faith, the things that once sat outside our comfort zone will become second nature.
One of my favorite verses is Isiah 42:16 -
“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known. I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.”
Though it may seem like small or trivial example of how the Lord has pushed me to trust him more out here, it filters into other parts of my life: Clark’s baseball season, my search for a job, the low valleys and the mountain highs in our marriage. I'm learning to trust the truth of the Lord, and to deny the lies of the devil a place in my heart.
Don’t be afraid to go where it feels uncomfortable.