I posted pictures today of our church’s Mardi Gras Talent Extravaganza and was reminded of how I totally stretched out of my comfort zone.

When I was in middle school I belonged to a church with an awesome music program. I was very gifted with singing abilities but would get extremely nervous about singing in front of people. I loved to sing and felt like I had a true gift from God, but because of my nervousness I would often get sick and not be able to sing in front of people.

Once I started playing the guitar, things changed. It was like my guitar was an invisibility shield, allowing me to sing freely in front of people because, after all, they couldn’t really see me.

I’ve sung in front of people to lead worship but never “just for fun.” Until last week, at our Mardi Gras Talent Extravaganza. I took some winter songs and mashed them up in an “I hate winter” mash-up, featuring “Go Away! Go Away! Go Away!” * “Dying in a Winter Wonderland” * and “I’m Dreaming of When Spring Comes.” It’s hilarious to look at the video because of how nervous I am, as if I’m singing in front of people for the first time. But I was, because this time I didn’t have my invisibility shield in front of me.

I admire people who do this for a living. It puts you in a very vulnerable position, almost as if you’re naked, revealing raw emotions and thoughts through song.

Either way, I’m glad I did it. My church is very affirming and supportive, so it was a great experience and I hope to stretch my comfort zone even more next time and possibly move around instead of stepping side to side.

What comfort zone can you challenge today?