Wednesday, October 01, 2014

When I Had Shyness Surgery

"He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less."   "Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being ..."... John 3:30 & Psalm 51:6


Another weird thing about the teenager me? I considered myself extremely shy, yet I enjoyed--enjoyed--reading my essays or reciting in front of a classroom of fellow students.

But place me in a group of friends around a lunch break table? I'd freeze, cocoon into my own quiet world lest I speak and be ignored or my deepest ideas be laughed at.

Why this disparity? Because up there beside the teacher's desk, I knew no one would interrupt my recitation, tell me my ideas were foolish, nor send me to my room. The freedom, the opportunity to express my thoughts without being shut down--that is what I craved. Needed.

That dread of being interrupted and told to hush? Oooh, that haunted me for decades, probably more than anything leftover from my childhood, and when it happened, I'd often explode(!), but then crawl away and feel like that insecure, second-rate-ideas child again.

Fast forward to my 30's. A wonderful revival happened in our church--not the one week type with a minister who then leaves town--but the kind that lasts for years. I watched many friends marvelously change and guess which area God picked to change in me? Yep, the area of that nagging shyness and hatred of being interrupted.

Basically, over a couple years, God performed shyness surgery on me. Oh, He cut me open and went deep:

He asked me to spend hundreds of hours with Him and while I felt His great love as a pain-reducing anesthesia, He'd tell me there was too much "What about Meee??" going on. I (I, I, I) was too big on the inside. I needed to decrease so He could increase. 

He said with too much Meee on my mind (my insecurities and fears of appearing silly), I'd be blind to others' needs and that is not love, the most important thing. 

He told me I needed to forgive everyone who'd shut me down. That I must realize sometimes satan had attempted to keep the God in me quiet and myself so discouraged that I'd hide--and help no one.

God got brutal, too. He reminded me that often I interrupt people and He told me I needed to repent (ouch!). I must let others finish their sentences and respect their ideas, even if they differ from mine.

He also put me through exercises where suddenly! He'd nudge me to speak to or help strangers, giving me only a few seconds to obey lest the opportunity pass. His aim was for my instant obedience to His still, small voice and because of my growing love for Him.

Well, this took years and there's more, but this is a blog post, not a book. 

Anyway, I just wanted to clear things up after my last post: My being set free in this area was no half-done deal using tricks or reminders from books while still holding onto messes, pride and hang-ups inside. No, the garbage had to go to make room for true freedom. 

I had to let The Great Surgeon slice away the junk and 'replace my heart of stone with a heart of flesh.' And only He could do this. And these decades since that surgery? Life has never, not once, appeared the same. Thank God.


"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."   ... Ezekiel 36:26

"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."   ... 2 Corinthians 3:18

"The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion."   ... Proverbs 28:1


Oh, and for the record.... I'm not speaking here about being an introvert. That's a whole different animal.  :)


Free Kindle books:

Sixty Acres and a Bride

Wishing on Buttercups


Our personal freedom will always be limited as long as we play tug of war with God's will and ours.

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