Getting Out of the Comfort Zone
Student Stories

Getting Out of the Comfort Zone

Malachi Gilbert

October 1, 2022

Excel wasn’t my first choice. It wasn’t even something I was thinking about. I know, I know - it sounds bad but let me explain. So, I heard about this school through my younger brother and one of my best friends. They went to visit and wouldn’t stop talking about it, telling me repeatedly that this place was a place for me, that I would thrive there. They begged me for weeks to visit. Eventually, I caved into them and their peer pressure. I checked it out through a visit to the campus but had absolutely no intention of attending college... again. I had already graduated with my associates degree and just finished up an internship with Konotoor Brands in their Wrangler Division. I knew that my boss was hoping to hire me and I was expecting a job offer from them any day. However, I kept my word by visiting while at the same time continuing to seek God’s guidance through prayer, introspection, and listening for His voice to come through others and other situations. The result? I loved the school! It was amazing but… not for me. Once at home, I made a decision to not attend. But God had different plans for me. My mom told me that I should apply just in case. I kept putting it off. I finally decided to do it just so she would stop asking or should I say, talking my ear off about how amazing of an opportunity this would be. Weeks went by, and interestingly, I still hadn’t heard back from Wrangler yet. Excel had accepted my application to attend Fall 2022. This couldn’t be right. Surely, I was done with school and there would be a place for me inside the professional world of design. I kept praying. I kept speaking. I kept listening. And… I kept ignoring God. More and more people began to tell me how good this was going to be for me. Deep down I just didn’t want to do something out of my comfort zone. I was perfectly happy with the spot I was at even though it really wasn’t the best spot for me. We don’t really grow when we are comfortable. God was trying to tell me. I knew he needed me to let go. Surrendering to His will concerning this came just in time. I made a commitment one week before the fall semester started. Now, I was completely uncomfortable. Had I made the wrong decision? My stomach churned, my thoughts wouldn’t stop flowing, and my doubts began to grow. But then that day came. The day to step into something new, something exciting, something God given - and I was ready!

Yes, I made the right decision. I am growing spiritually already (2 weeks in) alongside a community of awesome people. I look forward to what God will do in my life, the others at the school, and the community I find myself in now (and later). Right now, I’m in a season of being renewed, and will trust God to bring the seasons of my life into being by his perfect timing. For now, the professional world can wait.

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