It’s good to recognize our strengths and weaknesses, our giftings as well as those things that are clearly not. In these past six weeks I’ve had the opportunity to do two things I never imagined I’d do: mentor writers one-on-one and teach writing to a group.
Both took me way out of my comfort zone, stirring the nerves in my stomach. Both threw me into an utter dependence on the Lord to accomplish the task. Both gave me the opportunity to share about something I love—writing. But I came away from only one experience with a desire to do it again.
Even though my hands shook every time a new woman sat across from me. Even though I sat terrified I’d have nothing to say—or that I’d say it wrong. Even though at the end of the day I was physically and mentally and emotionally exhausted. The satisfaction, the gratitude, the amazement broke through the tired, leaving me to bask in joyful peace.
As I taught the writers group, I felt none of those things. In fact, my words slogged out of my mouth as if through chocolate pudding. My thoughts tangled around themselves until I couldn’t tell where one began and another ended. If I read from my notes, it was better, but I hadn’t been asked to give a speech. I’d been asked to teach. When it was over, I just hoped I didn’t sound as idiotic out loud as I did in my own ears. And I rejoiced that the moment was over, never having to be repeated again. (Sorry Mary and Leslie!)
It isn’t surprising, really. I’ve always been more comfortable relating to people one-on-one. I avoid standing before a crowd unless it is as an actress in a role. But I gave it a shot. And I learned more about myself and my God in the process. And I guess that is really the point after all, isn’t it?