Just As I Should Be

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

By Janet Ridgeway, Frugal & Focused

  • Jules Green

    thanks for your post:) He made you that way for people like me, who are also shy, can easily recognize you in a crowd, and maybe feel brave enough to come on over and say Hi:)His grace is sufficient!

  • http://humblegrace.blogspot.com/ Debbie

    I struggle with shyness too, often asking the same ‘Why?’ questions. I am slowly learning that we are all unique, and are just as He made us in order to accomplish HIS purpose in our lives. Thank you for your honesty.

  • http://alittlecrazyalotoflove.blogspot.com/ kbreints

    Beautiful Written!

  • http://breatheshinelove.blogspot.com/ Kristi

    This took courage to write. I admire how honest you are…how authentic! I was struck by the fact that I’m extroverted, and I still ask God “why did you make me this way?” I’m very self-conscious about the way I talk, how much I talk, ect. I can be reassured a million times by people that I’m an equally good listener but I voice inside me still whispers….”You look and sound silly. Be quiet, fade into the background”.
    I guess this is my back handed way of reassuring you that self-doubt exsists at the other end of the spectrumand the grass is not greener over here! :)
    You inspired me with your words …”It’s time to stop asking why and accept that I am just as I should be” I will try to remember that the next time the self-doubt creeps in.
    Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  • http://eileenknowles.blogspot.com eileen

    Enjoyed your post. I was extremely shy growing up and still, at times, struggle with this. Over the years, I realized that God has found a way to work through my shyness. When I speak publicly or lead a ladies bible study I have to depend on His strength. I also feel God has filled me with compassion for others who struggle with shyness. I tend to be able to sense people in a social gathering who are uncomfortable and always feel compelled to make them feel more at ease. God will work through our weaknesses and turn them into strengths!!

  • http://momedy.blogspot.com Kirsty

    Beautifully written Janet! Our weaknesses really can become our strengths with His help. Thank you for the reminder.

  • http://afterjonah.blogspot.com Katy

    1 Cor. 12:9-10 has been my saving grace through so many ups and downs. I do delight that my God is made perfect in weakness! You are so inspiring to write what you wrote and make yourself vulnerable to encourage others. Thank you!

  • http://www.fogpromotional.com Anne

    While I am not shy like you are, I have other things that make it easy to relate to what you say. I have been thinking A LOT about how God has made each of us. I have a friend who studies all the time – reads blogs, listens to podcasts, reads books – always sending me or posting interesting snippets that she\’s found. I am not a studier, but I see needs of people all over the place – a word here or there, encouraging or asking about difficulties I know of, setting up an online calendar for people to sign up to take meals. We are all different so we can serve in different roles. Maybe you are a prayer warrior and people will know that they can get their concerns to you and you will be in prayer for them – prayer that makes a difference. You CAN serve others. It’s only a matter of figuring out the combination of the shyness and the serving!

  • http://simplysus.blogspot.com/ Susanna

    I needed to read this! I am the same way and still find myself trying to “fake it until I make it.” Now that I am a mother and have a child who shows the same traits as I do it’s such a battle. I want to show her how to be forward and talk easily to new people, but it’s a strain for me and simultaneously I don’t want her to think she isn’t “right.” Two or Two hundred. That’s what I needed to read. Thank you for sharing this.

  • http://www.intentionsoftheheart.blogspot.com Brenda

    I’ve been shy most of my life as well. I used to run and hide whenever someone would knock on my door- from childhood well into adulthood!

    What helped me was a book by Ray Comfort called Out of the Comfort Zone. He struggled with shyness until God showed him that shyness is a form of pride- the worry (even obsession) of what people will think of you. I had never seen it as sin before and doing so really made me want to let the Lord take it from me and glorify Himself through me.

    “But my righteous one will live by faith.
    And I take no pleasure
    in the one who shrinks back.

    But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” Hebrews 10: 38,39

    People are going to form opinions of you whether you’re an intro or extro…whether you speak or don’t speak. Hanging back doesn’t help our cause any :) We need to let the world see who we are- what’s in our hearts- what the Lord has done or is doing in us… If we don’t make it known (who we are), all there will be is speculation. We don’t glorify God by hiding under the bushel :)

  • Susanne


  • http://leannajoi.blogspot.com/ Leanna

    thanks Janet-
    I know this is an older post but it’s what I needed to hear.
    Brought tears to my eyes.
    Thanks again.

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