Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Moments {Fear Of The Unknown}

I have always been afraid of the unknown. Well, maybe not always, but certainly after my family moved from one end of town to the other. I was twelve years old, and I had just been displaced from the area I had called home for most of my life and having my cousins right across from me to a ritzy neighbourhood with a predominately Caucasian population.

{I have to insert here, that my family is by no means rich. My Dad worked for a family-owned business and my Mum stayed at home to watch my siblings and I--total number being 11. So the fact that we were able to move to this new area was a blessing from God. We were closer to church/school and my Dad was closer to work.}

Anyway, the move brought out the shy girl in me; I was too afraid to make friends in the neighbourhood except for the few families I baby-sat for. My Mum never understood why I hated to meet new people, or even renew old acquaintances I had not met in a while. She would always ask me, "Elsa! Are the people going to bite you?!?" and I sometimes would say, "YES!" I knew they wouldn't literally bite me with their teeth, but I was shy and didn't know how to start and hold conversations. Unless the person was younger than me or were grandparent age--then I had no problem being open and friendly and having a great time. Even if I didn't know them. As it was, I still loved being around people...just as long as I didn't have to talk and could just sit, listen and observe.

I wish I could tell you that I matured once I graduated from high school and got a job for a year before college...but, sadly no. It took me a while to warm up to my fellow workers. Three months to be exact.

 Then college. Whew. That took me so far out of my comfort zone. For starters it was in a different country, although once I arrived I realized that it wasn't that much different from Canada. Sure, they dangled prepositions at the end of their sentences and there was not a Tim Horton's in sight...but I could live with that--not everyone has had the opportunity to learn how to accurately speak the King's language or have a coffee shop like no other.

I digress.

Also, where before I was surrounded by mainly boys {having 7 brothers and all} I now lived in a dorm full of girls. Definitely a shock to my system. And, of course in college, each new day is an experience. From learning who all my fellow scholars were, to learning new procedures in the college, to meeting new faces in the church--wow. One thing I found out quite quickly is that I couldn't be attached to my friend 24/7...which was good for me because it forced me out of my bubble and meet some really nice people. Out of what I thought would definitely be a scarring experience, I came away with some life-long friends. I learned to appreciate the work that went on behind the scenes. I came to love the bus ministry. I had great esteem for my teachers--especially once I started teaching myself. From my Boss, I learned the necessity of communication {something I haven't mastered, but now understand the importance of}. And I learned so much more, from so many others.

But most of all, I learned {and re-learn} that my fears of the unknown--whether it was new faces, places, or situations--were unrealistically grounded. I don't have to know. I don't need to prepare exact lines of what I am going to say to every new person I meet; I don't need to know the floor plans and what everyone in the vicinity is doing/or will do if I visit a new place. And I don't need a rundown of whatever new situation I find myself thrust into.

Because God knows. He knows what is in front of me. He knows who I am and what I need. I can rest assured that anything that has come or will come into my life is only by His permission. As the song from yesterday's post says, My Father planned it all. And I take great comfort in that. God's ways for me are perfect and if I will but follow Him, not only will I receive great blessings, but also learn some life lessons.

No comments: