I used to be known as a “quiet” person … actually, it was quite a burden. I honestly just didn’t know what to say – I wasn’t born with “the gift of gab”. I really had to know you well to talk to you … Not only was I quiet, I apparently often sat with a serious look on my face. I appeared unapproachable, I suppose. If I had a dime for every time someone said to me: “Smile, Conny, it can’t be that bad …” Well, yeh, I’d be rich.
As I grew older, entered deeper into the world of Army protocol having married a soldier, I knew I had to learn to make small talk pretty quickly! I wasn’t really good at it, but I tried. Usually I’d find the next most uncomfortable person in the room, and we’d find a quiet corner to hang out in – at least I had an ally!
When we entered ministry and I became a church secretary, God really pushed me far out of my comfort zone. My job was now talking to people … all the while trying to accomplish impossible amounts of paperwork at the same time with constant interruptions!! Those 3 years that I did that full time were admittedly not my happiest, however, they were necessary. It was a litmus test of my faith and trust! I didn’t always pass it with flying colors, sadly … and sometimes I really resented the position God put me in. Thankfully, after having tried me, He also provided a way for me to escape incrementally.
Now, here I am … released from many obligations to people but with a knowledge that the only way I will ever be useful much any more is to reach out and talk to people. You’d think that at “my age” I’d finally have figured it out … and slowly, with God’s help, I am learning … but still, talking to people right now to me equals risk. Which is ironic because writing to an entire internet world doesn’t, perhaps because I am somewhat more anonymous here, just one of a ga-billion bloggers.
What else is ironic is that despite my “quiet” tendencies – and maybe because of them – I still struggle with discretion in what I say when I finally open my mouth. “Lord, put your one hand on my shoulder, and your other hand over my mouth!!” … I want my voice and opinions to be heard, to count, and yet, I must still remember the law of kindness.
So, there is still a place for quiet in my conversation. There are times when I do need to keep something to myself, not voice my mind, and just keep it to myself.