Inadequate Teenager

No, the title of this post does not refer to my oldest, Boo, who will be 16 in a month from today.  The title of this post is what I have realized about myself.

You see, I have stage fright.

That’s kind of funny when I tell you that I also graduated with a theater degree.  But I do.  I have paralyzing terrifying stage fright.

I have become interested in practical evangelism (for lack of better words), and how can I personally talk to others about God and Jesus.  I was starting to get concerned when I realized that my “sphere of influence” has become rather limited in size.  I mean, I talk to people at church, and I talk to people at the girls’ track practices, but that’s about it, and most of those people attend church somewhere already.  So what am I to do?

Then I read this post on Facebook by the preacher at a church in Iowa.  (Emphasis is mine)

I read several years ago that within two years of becoming a Christian, the only close friends they have are other Christians. This is because they no longer retain relationships with non-believers, (some non-believers don’t want to hang out with Christians or the Christians no longer do what they used to with their non-believing friends), or they have converted all their friends. This makes evangelism difficult since we usually think of evangelism as ‘inviting people to church.’ Once we’ve invited all the friends and family we have, we run out of people to invite.
So how do we go into the world making disciples as we are commissioned to do?One way is to literally go into the world. 
For many of us life is pretty routine. We get up, go to work, then retreat to our home as a place of quiet shelter, rest and recuperation. We may interact with a few people outside of work at the store, bank or gas station but these conversations don’t usually evolve into an opportunity to share our faith. So what do we do?
In order to show and share our faith, others need to have relationships with us. We need to find ways to develop those relationships. Here are a couple of ideas off the top of my head:
Join a hobby related club. Card clubs, (preferably not poker), running clubs, cooking groups or book clubs, shooting or fishing clubs, knitting groups, or any other groups or clubs give you an opportunity to meet new people and begin new relationships. If you can’t find a club for your hobby, start one!
Volunteer. The possibilities here are endless. Volunteer for a meals on wheels program, read to kids at the library, volunteer at a hospital. Look in the paper for local activities or events that are looking for volunteers and offer your services. When people work together, they tend to develop relationships.Build on these relationships so you may have the opportunity to share your faith.
I could give more, but I’m out of room. I know our schedules are already full,but isn’t the kingdom important enough for us to give more of ourselves to spreading its news? And didn’t Jesus command us to do this? 
If you have other ideas of how to get out into the world and make disciples, please share them with me. I’d love to pass these on.

The author went on in the rest of this seven part series to say that it also takes a lot of time to build these relationships.  But it got me thinking about what could I do, where could I go to build these types of relationships.

One thought was to join the D&D night at the local card shop.  The biggest issue is that it is on a Wednesday night.  Dale wasn’t too happy about that, and I think the girls would not be either.

Then this other idea, this opportunity practically fell into my lap.

The Kansas City Renaissance Festival held their first recruiting party in my hometown.  Instead of an hour away, it was 5 minutes from my house.

The Maestro (the director) was talking about all the different roles they have to fill and talking about this character and that character and what he is looking for.  I decided to talk to him about the role of the Fairy Godmother after his speech.  (They are including fairy tale characters this year.  We can talk about their relevance to history later.)

I was PETRIFIED to talk to this man.  You can ask Dale.  I kept wavering back and forth (and still am) about do I want to audition, or do I just want a stage manager position?  Do I audition?  Do I not audition?

And as I was thinking about this whole incident later, it occurred to me that I felt like an inadequate teenager.  It doesn’t matter that I’m a year and a half from turning 40.  It doesn’t matter that I am raising two children.  I still feel like an inadequate teenager.

I feel like a teenager when talking to my dad.
I feel inadequate because I don’t have a “paying job.”
I don’t feel successful because I haven’t had that paying job in several years.
I feel like a teenager who shouldn’t have kids, let alone a child old enough to drive and to start thinking about college.

I don’t feel adequate enough for Jesus to have died for me.

And that’s why my stage fright prevents me from auditioning.  I have never ever felt like I was adequate to the task.

So that’s where I’m at right now.  I’m trying to figure out if I’m going to audition for a role, if I’m going to become what equates to one of their stage managers, or if the balance of work, time, and family is going to be doable at all.

Why am I telling you all of this?  Probably because I crave your prayers.  If I got a role, it would mean an incredible amount of work, plus I would miss Sunday morning services for the month of September and a good portion of October.

Secondly, because of the memory verse that is written on my board at this very moment.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  I Peter 5:7

God cares.  He cares enough to take my anxiety.  He cares enough to send Jesus, that even though I AM inadequate, he died to take away my sins, anyway.  And in doing so, made me adequate.  With him, I have success.  With him, I have victory.


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