I am not a naturally out-going person. I am actually quite opposite. In a crowd or new situation, I prefer to keep quite, shrink back behind the scenes (aka- my children!), let my hubbie do the talking, and/or leave if I'm feeling uncomfortable. These are all left-overs from my childhood insecurities.
This past week was an amazing eye-opening week. It was probably been one of the busiest we've had in a very long time with traveling to 3 different locations all over the state of Texas in less than a week, but the Lord kept putting people or events in my path that were confirmation of what He wants me to change...my SHYNESS!
Here's a few ways the Lord reminded me of this...
A distant cousin of mine promptly stopped our conversation, walked over to strangers at a family event, put her hand out, and say "Hi, I'm...", without a second thought. I tend to need a while to work up my courage and think about it, she just did it! Another instance was when a sweet couple came up to my family (total strangers) in a restaurant and commented on our larger family. We soon learned that we had a lot in common and we wound up visiting for probably 30 minutes. We were so glad that they stepped forward and went out of their way to say something. Next, a homeless woman boldly and quickly came over to us, asked us for food and money to ride the bus, then told us her life's story. If she hadn't asked, we wouldn't have known what she needed, much less even seen her...what boldness! Lastly, the Lord even used Michelle Duggar on her show 19 Kids and Counting (which we were so excited to get to watch at the hotel one night!). She is so sweet and even tempered. I always feel motivated to change my habits after seeing or hearing her speak.
So why is the Lord showing me that I have let go of being shy?
Because He wants to use me (us) to be a blessing to someone else. I see over and over how others are a blessing to me and my family just by being friendly and out-going. If i choose to shrink back, put my head down, and just walk right past people, as opposed to looking them in the eye, smiling, and saying "Hi", i wonder if i am giving off an appearance of conceit and pride. Of course, I know that this is not true; it's my insecurities flaring up, but they don't know that. Actually, i see now that shyness is just an excuse for not sharing the Lord with others.
Last Sunday, we went to our usual restaurant after church, when i saw a lady there that we see every single time we eat here. Sadly, i realized that we never once have said hello to her or even talked to her. I forced myself (because this is still hard for me) to go over to her and tell her our names and that we were sorry for never saying anything before. She responded by saying that we had sweet, well behaved children and she's always enjoyed seeing us. So, while i was trying to bless her, she returned the blessing! And now, we know her name and can acknowledge her the next time we see her.
My goal is now to look up, smile, and say something nice whenever the situation presents itself. It is a stretching and growing that is difficult for me, but i know that's what Lord wants of me; not only to be a blessing to others, but to be a godly example to my children too!
How has the Lord grown you lately? I'd love to hear about it!