In 2019 I participated in a Mudraise. Six kilometers of running and slogging through the mud including challenging obstacles. Not for me to be honest, but I did it because my heart cries about girls who are forced to work in the sex industry. With this campaign I raised a few thousand euros for the IJM foundation, which frees people from modern slavery in all kinds of places around the world. Beforehand I never thought I would make it. And I don’t mean running, but achieving the target amount. Because that was quite a bit in the mud…
I am not a talker by nature. In a group I prefer to stay in the background and I prefer to write rather than talk. I am a so-called ‘secondary thinker’ and always need some time to formulate a good answer. In addition, my cheeks turn red far too quickly and I usually only think about what I wanted to say after a conversation. It took a lot of courage to raise this money. Bingo in the retirement home, approaching companies and private individuals, telling my story during an information evening and responding to unexpected questions, recording a video, behaving like a market vendor during King’s Day; it was all out of my comfort zone and many times I dreaded everything that awaited me.
A special process
Besides the fact that pain and passion can take you to special places, I have learned another lesson from this period for myself. Because I noticed how wonderful it can be to step out of the comfort zone. How special I thought it was to help a lonely grandmother with her bingo card. But also that speaking in front of a group went quite well, because I spoke from my heart. I accepted the red color… And while I worked for girls in India behind the webcam, I grew as a person and gained more confidence in what God had already put in me, but which I had not yet seen myself. . What a beautiful process.
I think that’s how God works. That if we go for the other and put ourselves and our limitations aside; that we then grow and increasingly achieve our goal. I think that is another wonderfully contradictory idea of the kingdom of God. Where the world says that you should mainly focus on yourself and there are all kinds of programs available that help you develop, God says; ‘ Commit yourself to the prosperity of the city, for the prosperity of the city is also your prosperity ‘ (Jeremiah 29). I realize that that text is in a different context, but I can confirm from experience that dedicating yourself to someone else has consequences for your own flourishing.
We were recently talking about development in the office. If you take that word apart you get develop; get rid of everything that prevents you from being who you are. God has put so much potential in you and me; we often have to look for it alone, because time and circumstances have made it complicated.
Nowadays, if I find something too exciting, I do it anyway. Just to try and see if it might be there. Because Jesus calls us not to bury our talents, but to use them for His Kingdom. Which talents are still complicated for you? And what steps can you take to develop yourself? Step out of your comfort zone and be surprised by the beauty that lies hidden within you.