Saturday, August 07, 2004

"I'm Shy, Mary Ellen, I'm Shy"

I've found, in my old age, I've gotten increasingly shy of persons I don't know well. I was always extremely shy but growing up in the Christian Fellowship that I did made it easier because we all knew each other pretty well from the time I was old enough to break bread. Now it is agonizing for me to go out to meeting. I believe my shyness is something Satan is using to keep me from what is spiritually healthy & nurturing, but knowing this doesn't make the struggle easier. Part of the reason I believe this is so is I'm not as shy at work, and am able to be bubbly & outgoing in that environment. It's just the idea of meeting others in the context of church that is difficult for me. If you think about it, church is a deeply personal (or should be) environment; that is what draws us to it. Unfortunately, it is this aspect that I find to be such a struggle. I long to know others in this personal & loving way which is the Body of Christ and is Christian fellowship, yet I panic at the thought.

When I think about wanting to meet other people but being too shy, I'm reminded of a song my brother, Jeff, used to sing in a high falsetto when we were kids. (It was one he got from a British comedy cassette we somehow acquired, which contained this song about a guy who was too shy to date the girl he loved.) He'd sing, "I'm shy, Mary Ellen, I'm shy. It does seem so naughty, oh my!" I can't remember the rest of the song, but thinking of it takes the hurt and shame I feel out of not being as confident and out-going as I'd like. I know I am loved by God "Just as I am" as the old hymn says, and He is helping me to overcome the fear & panic.

What's hard for me, too, is the guilt I feel over not being with my family in this environment as much as they'd like me to be. I know, though, this too, is in the Father's hands. I am thankful He has brought me "safe thus far" to quote another of my favorite hymns!

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