For many years, I believed I was shy. I didn’t know how to talk to people and I was afraid that I wouldn’t know how to have a conversation with them if I tried to talk with them. I was afraid that I would attempt to talk to someone only to find myself stuck, not knowing what to say and looking completely awkward.
Eventually, I realized that my aversion or hesitance to talk to people did not come from shyness, but rather from my autism. This made me realize something- that I was not afraid to talk to people, but rather that I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be enough. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to have the skills I’d need to start a conversation, or keep a conversation going, or that even if I was able to have a decent conversation, that the other person would think nothing of the it or of me. It’s hard to want to do something that is incredibly difficult for you when you think that in the end it won’t make a difference.
Because of these fears, I let a lot of things, or more specifically, people, slip through the cracks. There were many times when I saw a need and didn’t fill it because I was afraid. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I wasn’t just doubting myself; I was doubting God. I was doubting that He could make more of me than what I am. I was doubting that He would help me if He prompted me to do something. I doubted that He could make someone that has the deficits I have into someone that could do His work.
I guess we all might have that fear at times. We doubt that God can take our weaknesses and make them strong. We doubt that God can make us enough to do the work He asks us to do.
It is easy to doubt God because we don’t see it that way. We convince ourselves that we believe that God can do anything and that it is ourselves that we are doubting. But the truth is that if we doubt that through God we can do all things, then we are doubting God. We are doubting that He can keep His promises. We are essentially saying that our weaknesses outweigh God’s infinite power.
One thing I have learned is that faith and fear cannot coincide. As long as we have fear, we are lacking in faith. This applies to almost everything in our lives. If we fear death, we don’t have faith that Christ overcame death and because of that we will too. If we fear public speaking, we don’t have faith that God can use our imperfect skills to accomplish great purposes. If we fear being hurt emotionally, we don’t have faith that God can comfort us and that He has a better plan for us.
I have seen in my life that when I trusted in God and followed His promptings, that He turned my fear into faith. Sometimes the adrenaline rush didn’t go away, but He always comforted me and helped me through.
In the past few years, I had let my fear overcome my faith. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t good enough to do what God had asked. I now realize that I don’t have to be good enough and probably never will be good enough. God is good enough for both of us. He’s the one that is really doing the work. I’m just the person He may choose to use to get it done.
From now on, I have made a commitment to replace my fear with faith and replace my doubt with action. I know that God can do all things and that if He chooses to use me to do something, that I can do that thing through Him. I have hope that as I strive to do what God would have me do that God will strengthen and help me through. I know that He has already used me in greater purposes than I understand and I hope that He will trust in my willingness to obey as I trust in His willingness to help me.