“I can do this. I can do this. I can do this!” I pulled up, took a deep breath, and put the car in park. After a slow and steady exhale, I looked at the house and then quickly glanced at the clock on my dash–6:20 pm. Ten minutes to go. With that thought, the reality of my situation washed over me. There I was, sitting in my car alone, parked in front of a house that was filled with women I had never met before. Instantly my anxiety flared and my self-doubt took over. Before I knew it, I was fully engaged in a mental argument with myself.
“What am I doing here? These women already know each other. I’m going to feel out of place. I should just go back home.”
Ten seconds later…
“No! Stop it! This is ridiculous. I’ve signed up for this twice. I’m not backing out this time. I'm going in!”
Five seconds later…
“This is going to be so awkward and uncomfortable. Why do I do this to myself?”
I was doing such a stellar job arguing with myself that I didn’t notice the lady standing next to my window. Her gentle knock not only brought my mental debate to an abrupt end, but also gave me a slight heart attack. I rolled the window down and heard a warm and welcoming voice say, ”Hi, I’m Nancy. Are you here for our Basin Group?”
I took a second deep breath, smiled, and responded, in my best (forced) confident sounding voice, “Yes! Hi, I’m Kara. It’s nice to meet you.” With that, I shut the car off, grabbed my purse, and whispered a quick–“Well played God!”–and followed Nancy into the house (where I was pleasantly surprised to find that I, in no way, felt awkward or out of place).
At 40 years old, I am still trying to determine why I am so shy and am having difficulty meeting new people. Maybe it is from moving hours away from friends and family when I was nine. Maybe it is from the way my mother-in-law said at our first meeting, “So you’re Kara. I’ve been praying you would go away.” Whatever it is, I can honestly say that if I could change anything about myself, my shyness would be it!
Some days my shyness feels like a prison with no escape. I know it’s easy to walk over to someone and introduce oneself, but for me, it’s like there is an invisible chain that won’t let me move, much less speak. Believe me when I tell you there are times it holds me captive.
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I am so thankful for a Savior who knows and understands my fears, and battles. While I feel I have to explain them to some, it brings me comfort and a sense of peace to know I do not have to explain them to Him. He gets me. All I need to do is place my trust, and the situation, in His hands and He gently leads me to the other side each and every time–without fail.
In the last 11 months, Jesus and I have gone to a spring and fall Bible study, joined a Sunday morning Tribe, a Tuesday night women's coffee group, and the really big stretch...decided to write this blog. While my shyness still creeps up from time to time, Jesus is quick to remind me that He is right there with me and there is nothing we cannot do together.