"For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out 'Abba, Father'" (Romans 8:15).
I think it's so interesting that the contrary spirit of adoption is the spirit of bondage to fear. Adoption says, "I am yours. I am accepted. I am complete and secure and made whole and safe and satisfied in You alone." Fear drives insecurity, intimidation - the exact opposite of adoption.
Being in a new town, a new church, with new friends -- all my insecurities and intimidation are only heightened. Nothing demonstrates this more clearly than this week: helping with VBS. When Pam asked me (repeatedly), I felt fear literally creep into my heart. I wanted every excuse not to help: But I don't have kids. But I don't have time. But I don't know anyone. But that's not "my thing." And in the end, all I had were excuses. So, reluctantly, fearfully, I said yes. (She's awfully persistent, too. :))
I have never volunteered for a VBS -- the mere sound of VBS makes my anxiety levels rise. I am introvert, so something like that -- lots of kids, lots of people, knowing no one -- that stresses. me. out.
But, as an introvert, I am learning how to embrace who I am and all that God has called me to. There's nothing wrong with being an introvert--but there is something wrong with using that as an excuse to walk in fear and insecurity and intimidation.
So, I said yes. And for the first twenty minutes or so, I was incredibly uncomfortable: in a room full of women and volunteers and volunteers' children with no "task," knowing no one. But you know what? Uncomfortable is good because uncomfortable is where I get to challenge head on whether I will choose acceptance and adoption or fear and intimidation.
In the end, I was so blessed. I got to work in the kitchen, which is the perfect place for me. Make snacks? Pour lemonade? Serve and play hostess? Clean dishes and throw away trash and wipe down tables? Sure, I can do that. Gladly!
And I still got to serve and love on others the way I prefer: one on one, not in front of a group, not in a crowd. I talked to a sixteen-year-old girl off and on for three hours; every time we were alone for a few minutes, she'd pick up where she left off, telling me her story. And when a little four-year-old was brought to the kitchen because they could not get her nose to quit bleeding: yep, I can handle that, too. I know a lot about nose bleeds. So, maybe out of my comfort zone but in my own way, the Lord let me hold this little girl and encourage an older one in the way that I prefer.
In faith, I stepped into the uncomfortable, and He graciously gave me comfort.