Learning to Stretch

Those who know me might argue otherwise, but I am an introvert. I am most comfortable in intimate settings, or small groups of two or three. Growing up as the only child in my home has likely contributed to my preference to turn inward rather than face outward. It is also a likely factor in why I chose a professional that would afford me the opportunity to operate primarily in my comfort zone. So, although I am passionate about my faith, my family, and my professional endeavors, my tendency is to fly under the radar.

A brief, but frank conversation with one of my writing mentors resulted in a harsh and unsettling reality that I’m certain I knew before her words were spoken. She informed me that as a writer, I would not be able to remain in the background, if I wanted my works to reach others. I would have to be more intentional about putting my work/myself out there socially. So here I am, writing my first blog, and stretching beyond my comfort zone, because I believe this is what God has called me to do.

Last year, while attending the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Women of Purpose Retreat, God revealed to me that this would be a season of growth. In every workshop I attended, and with every encounter I had that weekend, God showed me that it was time for me to stop facing inward. It was time for me to walk boldly to do what He has called me to do. The fact that I am here, re-introducing the world to my memoir is confirmation of this. It is not the most comfortable place for me to be, but I must say, it feels good to walk in obedience.

If I am honest, my introversion has not been my only obstacle in sharing my testimony. Fear has also been a hindrance. Fear of what others might think, or that what I have written would not be well-received. I am reminded of Moses’ response when God asked him to tell the people of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:14, New International Version of the Holy Bible). Moses response was “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. (Exodus 4:10, NIV). In spite of his fears and insecurities, God gave Moses what he needed to accomplish the task, and I know he will do the same for me.

So here I am, at 45 years old, learning to stretch; sharing my thoughts, my most challenging and vulnerable experiences with you. But to God be the glory, as uncomfortable as this road may be for me, it is time. I have learned over the years that many of the things we go through, are not for our own benefit or learning. Sometimes we go through trials so others might be blessed by seeing how God has worked in our situations. We have to share our stories, so others can get their blessings. So, this is what I plan to do.

I hope my blogs and the introduction of my memoir blesses you, and in some way inspires you to stretch, so that you too, might walk more fully in your purpose.