How to Leave the Land of the Familiar

May 13, 2019 12:31:21 PM Sarah Rymer

Leaving the land of the familiar sounds like traveling to me. Stepping into the unknown, the foreign. Leaving the known, the familiar.

andrew-neel-227873-unsplashA dear friend recently handed me a book “The Dream Giver” after I had shared with her my determination to follow hard after my life dreams and “do it scared.” It has honestly become one of my favorite “life books,” and I am packing it in my suitcase!

In “The Dream Giver,” Bruce Wilkinson, writes in the form of a parable. He tells the story of a character named Ordinary who leaves the Land of Familiar to go after his Big Dream.

Ready to Leave. Ordinary packs up his suitcase, and with only a journal and fountain pen in hand, he sets off on his new dream journey. He is ready to go, ready to experience, ready to see, ready to hear, ready to taste, ready to feel the unknown. Ordinary is ready to travel the world and follow his dream!

Until . . . each step becomes more difficult and he sees a sign that reads: “Leaving the Comfort Zone of the Familiar. Entering Borderland.”

“Now Ordinary felt sheer terror . . . Ordinary hit an invisible Wall of Fear. He stopped, unable to take one more step. He dropped his suitcase and sat on it.”

The Invisible Wall. Waiting, he realized that he had reached a point of decision. Would he continue on, enter the borderland, and follow his dream into the unknown—the foreign? Or would he turn around and return to the known—the familiar? “Ordinary saw his choice clearly now. He could either keep his comfort or his dream.”

We can either remain in our comfort zone and our familiar world, or we can bust through our fears and anxieties and follow our dream to see the world . . . to experience, to see, to hear, to taste, to feel.

Do It Scared! Ordinary hears the truth. Everyone is afraid to leave the familiar and to enter the unknown—the foreign. Everyone is afraid, even if they don’t realize it or admit it. “Ordinary decided. If his fear wasn’t going to leave, he would have to go forward in spite of it.” 

Still trembling, he picked up his suitcase, turned his back on Familiar, and walked toward the sign. And even though his fear kept growing, Ordinary shut his eyes and took a big step forward—right through the invisible Wall of Fear.

And there he made a surprising discovery.

On the other side of that single step—the exact one Ordinary didn’t think he could take—he found that he had broken through his Comfort Zone. Now the Wall of Fear was behind him. He was free, and his Big Dream was ahead. Wow! Who is ready to “do it scared” with me today? Who is ready to take that step today through the Wall of Fear, leave our Comfort Zone, and follow hard after our dream?

I am ready—our family is ready—to leave the “Land of the Familiar.” My suitcase is packed. Do you want to join me?


About the Author: Marci and her family have served in North Africa and Europe for the past twenty years. She enjoys coaching, providing member care, speaking, studying languages and cultures, and writing - for See Beyond (an IDEAS Associates' business) and for her cultural story blog, For the original blog posting, click here.


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