Saturday, August 23, 2008

When Words Will Not Come

I've been trying for a few days to type out a post about me. Why? Sometimes writing things helps me to figure out answers to questions that are hidden deep within my subconscious mind. I guess you could say that I'm a deep thinker. What do I think about? A whole lot of different stuff. That Adoption by Homosexuals post was a result of a few of those thinking marathons. It's so weird. I don't even actively think about. It's always in the background rolling around.

So hopefully that explains where this post is coming from. I have a few things that are rolling around in the ol' noggin and I'm not going to be able to let them go until I go over them. A few I feel are at the edges of my mind, but have not fully materialized into coherent thoughts.

To start off with, I've been experiencing a great deal of social awkwardness recently. Well, I guess it's been going on for a few months. It takes me back to the beginning when I was pretty shy. In addition to that, because of my home life I didn't let myself get close to many people. Especially women. I stayed quiet. I held back and I never really felt like I fit in.

Praise God, because he blessed me in an important way early on. At 15, I started my first job. I worked at a small grocery store in Goochland called Town and Country. It was a small store, with only 5 registers. It was like a mini civilization to me. Being there showed me that life on the outside was so much different than what went on at home. I discovered choices and the power to choose who I would be. And no, it was not a Christian environment.

My first and probably most life changing lesson came from a short, skinny man named Archie. He was an older man with thinning red hair. I thought it was interesting that at his age it had not turned gray. He hired my to be a cashier. I started my training one morning with one of the seasoned cashiers. It wasn't that hard. She left me alone for a while to deal with the trickle of customers. I had such a hard time making eye contact then and focusing on the person. I was everything a cashier in a country store should NOT be. Timid, scared and way to quiet.

I was at the register all alone when Archie came up to me. I was easily intimidated by this larger than life, little man. He looked at me with a smile and said, "If you do not start smiling and talking with the customers, I will have to fire you." I shook my head in understanding and he walked away.

To be honest, I was almost in tears. But God made me with an iron will and a strong desire not to cry in front of others. I knew at that moment that I had to have a job. I knew that the store was the only job that I would be able to get in our small town. And I knew that Archie was right. I had to make a choice as to how I would function for the rest of my life. Would I hold my head up high and look people in the eyes or would I stay a shrinking violet?

It a funny thing about defining moments. They always involve a choice. More importantly, they give you a chance. I made the choice to deny my nature. More than that, I knew that I had to change who I was. This scared, unhappy girl was in need of a remake. Over time, I decided who I wanted to be. I didn't always make the best calls. The plan had to be remade many, many times. Each change brought me closer to the person I wanted to be. One of the first things I worked on shedding was my inability to look people in their eyes and my shyness.

Where am I at on all that now? I'm closer to my destination, but the rode ahead is still long. When Daniel and I moved here, I had a major set back. So many things happened at that time. My brother died. My families' true dysfunctional craziness became public for the first time that I could remember. Boy, that was a sight. I moved to a new state and had no friends and no church home. I kind of went back into myself again. I had a hard time seeing people and getting to know folks. I was a bit depressed. I was lonely and my feeble efforts to reach out were often unsuccessful. Daniel and I tried two different churches over the course of our first year and I did not fit in anywhere. It was a hard time. Once we moved to East Pickens, it helped to pull me out of that funk. I started opening back up again.

Then, my sister and my grandmother died. I've felt as if I were backsliding somewhat into that old persona. I don't feel as if I'm fully out there. My shyness is kicking back in. The change has been more gradual this time. But nonetheless it is there. I felt it even tonight as I attended a cook out with the new Sunday bible study group.

I've had to start working hard on getting past this again. It's not fun. The worst part is that I have to keep putting myself out there again and again. Often, I feel as though I'm failing. Then one day what comes natural to most will seem almost natural to me. It will not feel as forced. I will not feel drained by the attempts. I will no longer feel so awkward. It's happened before, and I have faith that it will happen again.

At the moment I'm in the middle of the process. It's never been a easy. Not in all the times that I've pulled myself back up. But it is necessary. Many people think that they can not change. I believe that is a lie straight from the mouth of Satan. We can all change. We all have an example in Christ as to whom we should be like. By His grace, we have all been given the means to do this. For some it will not be hard. For others like me, it will be a lifelong battle. One that I will continue to fight. And with the Lord's help, one that I will succeed in.

Archie died a year or so after I quit Town & Country. He had cancer and it took him quickly. I don't know if he ever knew what that kind threat did for me. I hope that he's in heaven and was able to see what changes that rebuke wrought in my life.

Since this is a long post and since I feel a lot better after typing it out, I'll stop with that one issue. It's been bumping around, in and out of my subconscious for some time. It's feels cathartic to have it out now. Maybe this is another step that I had to take to get back to where I feel I'm meant to be.

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