Monday, January 22, 2007

Shyness Part 2


"...and put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh..." Philippians 3:3

There was (and is) a whole other side to my shyness (see my last post for the first side...).

There I was in Junior High, one of the most shy kids in all the halls. And yet... and yet... when teachers called upon me to read my essays or reports while standing in front of a classroom of my giggling peers, I became only a tad nervous. Part of me loved being up there, reading my words on notepaper.

(I know... You're asking, "For heaven's sake, why?")

Because, though I lacked confidence in my short, cowering, so-blah self, I had great confidence in my ability to write. I loved sharing-- with any soul who'd listen--my written words which seemed to drop from the sky down into my head and on down through my usually ink-smudged fingers.

Don't laugh, but I remember at 14 feeling that writing was to me what Samantha's powers (from Bewitched) were to her. I even felt like, just give me a subject--any subject--and I could write about it well enough to fool any teacher into thinking I actually knew what the heck I was talking about (sometimes I even succeeded). And since I knew darn well what I was capable of (not much) I could only conclude that writing was my talent from God. It certainly wasn't a talent from me.

And somewhere in all that, there's a good lesson (you knew one was coming, didn't you?).

These past 12 years shyness has been falling away from me like the skin from a snake because I'm learning where to place my confidence. Not in myself--heavens, no! But as I learned early to place my confidence in the talent God gave me, I finally got a clue and realized I could place that kind of trust in God for all things I face. The speaking to neighbors and people at supermarkets. The phone calls I must make to repairmen, business offices and friends. The instances I must make confrontations (when I'd rather do just about anything else). The sharing before crowds of people and the boldness I need to share here in my blog in a vulnerable way (it isn't always easy).

For you see, I have all confidence in what God can do. I've watched Him do things through me which would have terrified me to even picture myself doing 20 years ago. And now He and I have a history together... whole long strings of memories when He did through me what I could never have done with just confidence in my faulty, weak, shyness-personified self.

And through time, experience and lots of walking on water (so to speak), it's gotten easier and easier to boldly go where I'd have floundered and sunk with just confidence in what I, alone, can do.

Like I said, God and I--we have a history now. He's never failed me yet and I don't imagine that He ever will.


***

Another reason I liked reading my essays in front of the classroom? No one was allowed to interrupt me. I hated being interrupted while standing around with friends outside--it always made me feel that what I was saying was unimportant. Still does.

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