We stand in the hallway waiting for the next class. I search for words to speak, to reach out and share but they don’t come. My mind empties and I am cloaked in that awkward, uncomfortable feeling that is so familiar. I sink back against the wall hoping it will swallow me up, to just disappear until the next class arrives for pictures.
They are moms just like me.
They are there to give their time to help at school just like me.
Why can’t I talk to them?
Why must I be so shy?
At 40, why haven’t I grown out of this or gotten over it or something? And I dare to ask yet again, with pain gripping the center of my soul, “Why did you make me this way?”
I’ve known shyness my whole life. As a child I would be filled with dread as I entered the bank with my mom knowing that the teller would offer me a sucker. Oh, yes, I wanted that sucker but it would mean I would have to speak to the teller and thank her. That sucker would be mine but it would cost me. And I would ask, “Why did you make me this way?”
As a teenager I fought the battle with hollow advice from magazines that told me to “fake it ‘til you make it.” Pretend you’re not shy and eventually you won’t be. And I pushed through and ate the pain. I faked it and faked it and faked it but in the end I was still shy because it was how I was made. And I would ask, “Why did you make me this way?”
I have asked that question so many, many times. Too many. I know each time I ask it signals doubt so I keep turning to the Truth, bathing myself in God’s words, healing wounds. And He pours his grace out on me even when I doubt. And still I struggle and ask and plead more “How can I serve you if I find it so hard to reach out to people? I want to serve you.”
And He gives me more grace, in the form of commentary related to a passage I’m studying. “Shy people don’t need to become extroverts in order to love others…..Our job is to faithfully love the people God has given us to love, whether there are two or two hundred of them.”*
And I weep until I can hardly breathe and am filled to overflowing by His love. And I know it’s time to stop asking why and accept that I am just as I should be. God will give me the grace to do all He wants me to do. I know this because He tells me so.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10(ESV)
9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
*Commentary from Life Application Study Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, p.2222