Monday, May 23, 2011

Don't be afraid to dance

Really, that's what this whole blog is about I think. Sorting through my strengths and weaknesses and determining where I go from here and not being afraid to follow that path. To gain the confidence to move forward.
It seems that everyone I know, has known their strengths and what they wanted from life from a very early age. My youngest daughter is a prime example. She has known what she wants to be and where she wants to go to college since 7th or 8th grade. This seems completely foreign to me. But I think perhaps I am the exception rather than the rule. This explains why I didn't graduate from college until I was 41 years old.
There are also lots of things I find very interesting but not many that I actually have talent in. or at least I don't see it.
For example, in college, I had several professors tell me that I was very good at academic and analytical type writing. I much prefer creative non-fiction and fiction to academic writing. I have to tell you that I HATE  academic writing! Especially when a professor said things like "minimum of 15 pages" or something similar. I feel like I spend at least 8 of those pages saying the same thing in different ways. What is the point in that? I like to make my point as succinctly as possible and move on.
Why then do I have this urge to finish my project from senior seminar?
 Sorting out my strengths and weakness also presents a problem for me because some of my strengths don't always translate into the areas of service I think they should.
For example, I am good with kids, especially those with special needs or learning disabilities. I come up with creative ways to get a concept across in ways the kids actually enjoy. Actually, God puts the ideas in my head because I am not that smart. Because of this ability, I thought I should become a teacher. It turns out I am a really stinky teacher at least for a school that wants everybody to use the same methods all the time. My way of doing things is ummmm inconsistent. I am big on daily schedules, rules of behavior and organization and a plan. But when it comes to learning, when you can see the sheer panic in a child's face over a particular method of learning something, it is time to shake things up. Not everyone likes to be shaken.
My greatest strength,in my opinion, is my ability to see things not as they are or how they were "meant" to be used but how they CAN be used. Second is my writing ability.
My greatest weakness is not being confident in these abilities to use them to their full potential. I have been told to enter writing contests, submit my stories and so on and so on. But where do I even begin? Do you have any idea how many writing contests and literary agents and publishers there are? In my mind, for every one of these opportunities there are 1,000 other writers trying to get noticed. What do I have that makes me stand out?
And what does all this have to do with dancing?
Last night at church we had a worship/prayer/healing service. I helped with the praise dance team passing out their props and such. After their performance we enjoyed a time of prayer. You could pray by yourself or with the pastor and elders or someone else entirely. Now before you get the wrong idea, this was not your TV Evangelist kind of healing service. It was simply a time of prayer. I asked a friend to pray with me because I have really been struggling with depression, panic attacks and confidence issues. As she prayed she affirmed talents I have and even some I had forgotten I had because I haven't used them in so long. She reminded me that I am not in charge and it is not my plan that matters. At the end of her beautiful prayer she hugged me and said "Don't be afraid to dance!"  That is my phrase to remind myself that I was not given a spirit of fear!
I want to seek HIS WILL for me, not my own. I don't want to waste the talents I have been given. I want to give God the glory for each and every success HE blesses me with. I want to be BOLD! I want to DANCE! 

1 comment:

  1. Your way of teaching sounds ideal for a tutor. I'm looking into becoming a volunteer tutor to see if I can handle the pressure enough to make a job of it.