Protect Your Space

When I first told my friends I was going to California for Spring Break, they all responded with the same message:

“You’re not going to want to come back to Ohio after you visit.”

Two days ago, I landed in California for the first time and I was excited to experience all I had seen on television and social media. The beaches, the sunny weather, celebrities walking on Hollywood Boulevard all filled my expectations on what it meant to be in California. Native Californians gave me a list of places to eat and things to see while in their state, though none of which would replace a powerful message from my friend Chalese. After picking me up from the airport, she began to tell me about a message she had heard in Church earlier in the day. She echoed:

“When God gives you a vision, you must set boundaries.”

Now these boundaries can be physical, emotional, and spiritual but they must work collaboratively to protect to your space. To be honest, these words didn’t resonate with me until I was walking around San Francisco alone and realized the following:

  1. You don’t know what you don’t know
  2. Comfort friends are just as bad as comfort foods (Thanks, Pastor Steven!)
  3. If your weather app says it’s going to rain, bring an umbrella

It was at Vocalo Coffehouse that I realized that in order to protect my vision, I have to expand my perspective on what it means to serve, lead, and love. I love traveling to new states and countries because I enjoy meeting new people, seeing new places, and trying new activities. Most importantly, traveling alone pushes me out of my comfort zone and into a place where I am reintroduced to vulnerability and self-reflection.

Zocalo Coffeehouse in San Leandro
Zocalo 2
Zocalo Coffeehouse

While on this trip, I have come to understand that I have been very comfortable in Ohio over the last 20 months. I was raised in Ohio, my mother and grandmother are only 80 miles away, and I eat the same meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every work week. Daily routines are comforting and set a standard on what to expect each day. However, I wonder what things I view as commonplace are actually the vibranium I was given to dismantle systems and help liberate other people.


San Fransisco and Oakland reminded me how critical it is to look beyond myself and trust in God’s plan for my life. His purpose supersedes my personal preference on where I want to live post-graduate school and the number of kids I want in a marriage. Every day I am alive is an opportunity to inspire vision and walk in my purpose. I refuse to miss out because I am failing to acknowledge the gifts that were given to me to help change the world.

San Fran 2
Streets of San Francisco
San Fran
Streets of San Francisco

To live my best life is to live for a greater purpose beyond my comprehension. God has given me a clear vision to help others identify their why on this Earth. I’ve been disoriented several times on the BART and streets of the Bay Area over the last few days, but I will continue to set boundaries to protect my physical and spiritual space.

Besides – You’re never lost when you know where you’re going.

Encourage somebody to be great today!

Tim Bryson

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