Encouragement is vital

Encouragement is vital

“A true friend shows love at all times,                                                              And is a brother who is born for times of distress.”                                          Proverbs 17:17

I have never been one to roam with a broad posse.  I have always been shy and making conversation was never easy for me.  I am usually quiet but astute.  While my presence may be silent, my thoughts are never.  Still, due to my noiseless presence, I tend to come across as serious, stern, and even arrogant.  I hate that.  As much as I try to smile and contribute to conversation to combat this false impression I find that some tend to be unsure of my intentions.  I am aware of this so I make efforts to smile and contribute, but adding to the conversation is not my strong point.

28100_133758576637870_4245489_nServing where the need is greater helped me a lot.  It put me in a position where I had to try a little more.  I have to combat the shyness and the feeling that I don’t fit in.  I can honestly say that the friends in DR made it easy for me.  Even in my quietude, they accepted me.  I didn’t feel judged for not speaking but I still didn’t cease my battle against shyness.  I don’t like being shy.  There are times when my mind is pure white.  I have no words or thoughts to add to a conversation–at all.  Other times I do have a thought but I am fearful of sounding stupid so I remain quiet.  I make strong attempts to be conversational.

There are those times and moments when I feel completely comfortable to be me, to say what is on my mind.  There are some people that have this special quality to completely open me up.  With them my mind is full of words and thoughts and I never feel embarrassed to speak.  The truth is, I don’t know why I am shy around some and open around others.  Those that have seen me wide open would most likely deny my confessions of being shy.  Those that have never seen me open up will tell you that I am a quite person.  Both groups are only half right.

The friends in Dominican Republic made me feel that I had their friendship whether I was quiet or not.  They included me.  They always showed interest in me.  This taught me to show interest in others which is a challenge for a shy person to do but I learned because of their examples.  I work at it constantly.  I am a work in progress.   I will take these underdeveloped skills with me to Portugal.

Because of my timidness, I keep a small circle of friends, but those who have accepted me no matter which  side of my personality I display when with them have taught me how to be a friend.  I thank them all.

Through the years I have seen many of my friends reach out in so many different ways.  I am always interested in hearing and listening to their experiences.  No, they are not bragging about the privileges they enjoy; they’re encouraging.  If it had not been for their blogs, emails and phone calls full of experiences, how would anyone be encouraged to reach out?  How would others know what steps to take to follow in their foot steps?  There has never been any envy on my part whatsoever, only admiration and encouragement.  Through them I found out how to teach online, which areas of service I could choose from, which countries need help, what the challenges are, etc.  I am grateful for their generosity in sharing all of this information with me.  My ears were wide open and they still are.  Everyday I am learning from my friends.

I hope that my experiences, whether I’m sharing challenges, mistakes or triumphs through Jehovah’s guidance will encourage others as well.  My true friends know my heart and the reason why I keep you all informed, not to tell everyone how awesome I am, but tell you how wonderful Jehovah is and how he keeps his promise in Matt 6:33.  I only hope to help and encourage.  This is the best life ever.

If you have a blog or information you would like to share with me, my ears and eyes are wide open to learn from my friends.