A Time to Speak

shy

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak
Ecclesiastes 3:1,7

As a young girl I was shy and deeply introverted. This resulted in a rock wall of silence that took me years to chip away. In my high school classrooms I never spoke. I answered every question in my head. I came up with witty responses to the silly banter of adolescence, but never actually delivered them. My teachers begged me to participate, but the words just wouldn’t come out. Looking back at my high school yearbook, almost every note from teachers and acquaintances remarked on how quiet I was. Only to my friends did I open up and reveal my inner life. I felt safe with them. I could trust them with my truth.

This reticence lessened in college and more so in graduate school, but only by a little. My graduate advisor understood. She knew I wasn’t just sitting there, disengaged with all that was happening in class. In fact I was quite busy. I was learning, discovering, uncovering, soaking in, turning over, deciding, proving, agreeing, dissenting. All this was happening within the safe walls of my own mind. I knew that more was expected of me, but the words just wouldn’t come out. Almost like a crowd of people trying to get out of an elevator all at once. They were wedged in. Stuck.  If you’re an introvert like me, this feeling is probably all too familiar. Continue reading