This morning my husband was sharing with me that the night before the topic at his meditation class was about fear, the things we are most fearful of.
As he began to share some of what the teachers and students opened up about and I sat there listening, I could feel this knot in my throat and tears forming in my eyes. I started to think about one of my own fears and how hard it was for me to open up about it.
I began to share with my husband how the night before when I had been writing in my journal I was coincidentally writing about one of my fears, which goes hand in hand with something we’ve been hearing about at church.
One of my fears is facing new situations where I don’t know anyone or what to expect. Many people don’t know this about me and the few close friends I’ve shared this with become really surprised because I’m usually seen as very friendly. The usual reaction is “what? but you’re so friendly!” Yes, I am, when I know people and I feel comfortable. But whenever I know I am going to be faced with an uncomfortable situation where I don’t know anyone or what to expect, I tend to push myself away from those situations because of my fear.
So whenever I am interested in say trying a new class or activity, it takes me a long time to take the jump because of how very real this fear is to me. I get very uncomfortable, shy, and quiet in unknown territory. And I shared with my husband how it occurred to me though that when I have taken what are big chances for me, the most beautiful blessings have come of it.
Placing myself in an uncomfortable situation actually led me to meeting my husband and having the family/marriage that we now share.
My husband and I met at a dance studio. It took me almost a year and a half though to have the courage and push past my fear of doing something so uncomfortable and unfamiliar and join the dance studio where I eventually met my husband. I remember doing Google searches on dance studios and finding places but going back and forth and delaying signing up and walking in by myself. And then I would often drive by this area about a half mile away from where I lived at the time and seeing one of those guys standing outside on the corner with the phone # and name promoting the local dance studio. I jotted down and saved the number on my phone. It was months before I had the courage to make my first appointment and go in for a private lesson because I was so afraid of walking into such an unknown situation, where I knew no one, what to expect, and most importantly – not knowing how I would feel.
Which brings me to my current situation. At church the past few weeks the message has been about bridging the gap between our intentions and the direction we want our life to take, ensuring that our intentions match the direction of our life. A week ago our Pastor started to talk about connecting more with the people of our church and becoming part of a home community and then this past Sunday the message at our service was about connecting more with God. Well, God was definitely sending me a message because both of these things are something I have often wanted to do and thought about in the last few months.
Like with any relationship, if I want to form a stronger bond with God I need to put more effort into that relationship because it’s true what our Pastor said, I can’t just “will” the relationship to get deeper, I need to get involved and truly invest time and effort into that relationship. I have also been longing to build a deeper connection with our church by joining a small group with people from our church. It’s one of the things my husband and I love, to be able to connect with people and with our community. There’s so much I want to learn about the Bible, and yet so much I don’t understand and I feel like a small group would be so helpful and something I keep finding more and more that I need and want.
The problem is placing myself in that situation where I walk into such an unfamiliar surrounding, not knowing anyone or want to expect, or how I will feel. The uncertainty and unfamiliarity. And I was writing in my journal how I am getting to a place where I know am going to have to just come out of my protective shell and take the first step and allow God to guide and help me, like he always has in past situations where I felt so afraid and uncomfortable.
I am ready to step out of my little shell on this one. I think 😉