I sit here waiting. As the nerves come to the surface I try to slow my breathing and I try to stop my hands from shaking violently. It came to my realization that I was completely ridiculous and that I needed to get over myself. But, nevertheless, my time came. The Teacher asked who wanted to go next, and what did I do? I raised my hand.
I’m an introvert. I’m an internal processor, and I like small groups and sometimes being in class with a lot of people stresses me out. But there is one very important thing you need to know about me. I never raise my hand. Never. Usually I just wait to be called on or for the conversation to come my way, but never do I command the floor, or in this case by raising my hand, the whole class. But I did it. I raised my hand. I actually faced my fears of speaking in class and having all eyes, rather ears, on me. I shared my thoughts, and the teacher agreed. “Yes!” I thought to myself, “you did it! You raised your hand in class and got everything out that you wanted to say!” Then guess what happened?
Another Student Disagreed. As if it wasn’t hard enough to raise my hand and talk in class, I had to sit through someone critiquing my answer. Excuse me, I just went out on an extremely long limb here and you are criticizing my opinion. Then I realized, this always happens. In fact, this happens to everyone, not just to me.
We will live our whole lives overcoming fears, or taking risks and then come to find that not everyone agrees with us. So what! I sat there feeling like this person was completely tearing me down, when really he just didn’t agree with something I said, he wasn’t tearing me down, he was explaining why he didn’t agree with what I said.
Just because he didn’t agree with me doesn’t mean I need to stop raising my hand. If someone doesn’t agree with you it’s not the end of the world. In my case, if I let this guy discourage me to the point where I never raise my hand again, what happens to everything else in my life? Can you imagine if someone disagreed with my desire to play music, or to write teen fiction and I was just like, “shoot, they disagree, I shouldn’t do it.”
I have dreams, and those dreams are really risky. I have a voice and things to say with that voice, if someone doesn’t approve of what really matters to me am I just going to stop using my voice?
Where there is obedience, there will be opposition. I interned at a church this summer, and the pastor spoke on the obedience of the Holy Spirit. This message was all I thought about today while debating writing this post. When we are obedient to the Holy Spirit, there is going to be opposition to try and set back the will of God; that was the bulk of the message. Well, I thought maybe my raising my hand and actually speaking up and using my voice was my being obedient to the Holy Spirit. Which means the discouraging feeling I got from the guy disagreeing with me was the opposition.
In my decisions in life, I will always look for opposition, and charge right on through. Because of this message, and even this experience I had today, I know that life is going to throw some big things to try and get in the way of my dreams. I need to know in those times, to not listen to others criticism (unless it’s constructive), but rather listen to my heart, and walk in the knowledge that God has given these dreams to me for a reason. The enemy will try everything he can to derail them if they will bring gory to God’s kingdom.