New Year, New Thing: Don’t Be Afraid to Learn Something New!

Many people make resolutions to learn something new and when I was thinking of someone who could write about that for the New Year, New Thing series, I immediately thought of my friend, Sarah Travis.  She has been learning so many new things lately and I am happy that she is here to share with you all about it!  Welcome, Sarah!

Why does new scare us so much? What is that whole fear of the unknown all about?! It certainly does not come from GodLast week I was at a friend’s house, home with her and her 3 boys for a snow day! Talk about learning something new…I have my first son on the way so being in a house with 3 boys, aged 10 and under, was a lesson for sure!! Anyway, I digress…

After an energetic walk in the snow and lunch we relaxed and watched The Croods. I was immediately struck by two of Papa Crood’s repetitive statements he has taught his children:

“Never do anything new or different … new is always bad!”
“Never don’t be afraid!”

Why does new scare us so much? What is that whole fear of the unknown all about?! It certainly does not come from God as he tells us repetitively “Do NOT be afraid … fear not.” The fact that these words are repeated so many times in Scripture reveals to me how many people were (and are) filled with fear, as He wasn’t speaking to the same person each time!

The truth is that new can be scary. New can be daunting. But new is NOT always bad!

In the past 4 years I have moved to a new country (USA), lived in 5 new states, attended new churches, and made new friends. I took a job in a brand new career field, started writing, faced new challenges of distance from family and loneliness, and most recently the new experience of pregnancy … there is obviously a lot more new to come in a few months! New vocabulary, new grammar … US and UK English are more different than you think! New failures. New challenges. New, new, new! I feel like I have been in a constant state of different and new … Papa Crood would not approve!

So, how do we face learning something new minus the fear?

Don’t do it alone!

“Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with abundant advisers they are established.” Proverbs 15:22

Who can you ask for help? I have a dear friend who is American and married to a Scottish man. Having traveled through the exact same immigration process as me two years earlier, she has been a lifeline of help in everything I have faced. She is also pregnant with number 3 and I ask her questions … all the time!! I have a group of close friends who I see once or twice a year if possible but they are always just a phone call or text away for help, advice, and prayer.

“Two people are better than one…For if they fall, one will help his companion up” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Take a Class

It’s not like I didn’t know how to write but I needed training (and still do!) in the art of writing in order to develop the skills to write on my own website and for Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies. I am a member of Proverbs 31 Ministries Compel Training where I can gain incredible insight into the creativity and craft of writing, while also receiving coaching and be part of a community of writers.

Learning something new can take commitment and sacrifice, but it is worth it in order to work toward achieving excellence!

Ask God

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 HCSB

God wants to help us. He knows all things and has the ability to teach us and help us through all the struggles and trials of life. So the next time you are facing a new situation, challenge, or skill you have to learn, why not start by asking God to help you. “For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:14 HCSB) and He will “equip you with all that is good to do His will, working in us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ.” (Hebrews 13:21 HCSB). Note that He will not help you to do everything, but where He calls you He will equip you to learn the new things required.

I’m not sure why Papa Crood was so afraid of new and you’ll have to watch the movie to see if he has a perspective shift!! But I’ve learned over the past couple of years that new is not something to fear. When God presents something new in my life, it’s something to embrace and walk into with Him at my side.

sarah headshotSarah Travis is Scottish born and bred and immigrated to the U.S. in 2013 to marry Jason. They now have their second baby on the way. She is an author, speaker, and inspirational Bible teacher passionate about helping women believe their acceptance and belonging in Christ, not in the world. She is also a writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies. You can connect with Sarah on Facebook and Twitter, and on her blog at



Compel Training registration opens only a few times a year.  Visit the Compel page to be notified when it does!

Read the other posts in this series on the New Year, New Thing page.


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12 thoughts on “New Year, New Thing: Don’t Be Afraid to Learn Something New!”

  1. Prayer and seeking counsel….two things I really try to put effort toward with new things. The Lord and others can give us such a refreshing perspective. As you said, …”he equips…” us and we can rest in that. NEW is exciting and minus the fear we can do so much more. 🙂

  2. It was a small thing, but I started something very new recently -writing some project out by hand. That sparked a few new “news” in my life -they kid of snowball into some glorious God-given growth don’t they?? Love your tips here, will be using them!! Thanks and blessings in your new (you and Sarah!!) #RaRaLinkup

  3. Sarah, I love, love, love this! Doing something new is being brave enough for change. And change isn’t bad it’s just different. If you don’t change you can’t grow. Thank you for joining us on #RaRaLinkUp today!


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