It will come as no surprise to those of you who know me in real life that I would describe myself as an extrovert. I love to be with people, carry on conversations, be social, and while I do enjoy moments alone, I feel most energized being with others.
Over the past week and a half, I have been blessed to cross paths with many interesting people, and to have many interesting conversations. These conversations are still swimming around in my head, almost so much so that I am having a hard time coming back down to earth and caring for the mundane details of life.
There has been lots of activity around our church that has facilitated all of these conversations. Apparently that’s one of the benefits of being at the Big church – many of the events come to you! It’s been a lot of fun, and definitely one of the perks of being here.
Thankfully, I seem to have developed my conversational skills to the point that my husband is no longer worried when I open my mouth to speak, nervous about what I might say or how I might say it. Tact hasn’t always been my strongest skill. My willingness to say practically anything to anybody has caused my husband more than a bit of consternation over the years, especially because he is so (perhaps too much so) very careful about what he says and how he says it. But, as time has gone by, we’ve softened each other, sharpened each other, been each other’s best teacher and toughest critic, and now when I speak, my husband is almost always grinning with pride at me as I talk. I’m still not perfect, but I think I’ve matured quite a bit.
It’s interesting to look back and see how our former congregation was such a good learning experience for me. Boy, if JJ’s first call had been to this big church we’re currently at, I would have been quite a liability for my husband. This past weekend I heard a pastor say that one’s first church always remains dear in a pastor’s heart, because they’re the church that really had to put up with you. When I heard that, I immediately agreed! I wasn’t the pastor, but I was the pastor’s wife, and our former congregation certainly had to put up with me!
It’s lovely to feel like I can be confident enough to say what I think, and to know how to say it (for the most part) nicely. It’s not going to my head, though; don’t think I’m bragging. But just like it’s nice to finally know how to tie one’s own shoes or to finally get one’s driver’s license, it’s nice for me to know that I can do this. I can talk to people and be myself without embarrassing myself (or JJ), which hasn’t always been the case..
This is especially important when those people that one is having conversations with are Important People in the little world we call the WELS, which is what has been happening the week or so. For example, JJ and I went out for a private dinner with the president of MLC last night (who, by the way, is one of the kindest Christian men JJ and I have ever met)! How many people get an opportunity like that?
I know I’m still not finished yet, but it seems I have, for the most part, finally crossed this milestone. Of course, who knows what new milestone will be around the next bend in the road, waiting to be conquered? But it’s a good feeling to know that, just as he has in the past, God will continue to send me the people and experiences I need to continue becoming the woman he has always intended me to be.
As the president of MLC said last night, “There are no coincidences in the Lord’s economy of events.” Whatever happens is God’s way of working things out for my good. What a blessing!