One of my new guiding principles in life is that I will engage. It is part of the ongoing work of God in my life. See, I am an introvert, but more than that, I struggle with social anxiety. In my case, I have trouble meeting new people and being in large groups of people. Only recently, have I been willing to talk about it. My journey through Faithwalking in the last year has helped me to realize that there is no shame in this and that just because I struggle with it, doesn’t mean I can’t work on it.
Recently, a good friend held up a mirror to me that let me see that I was becoming too comfortable with working at home an not having a lot of contact with people. That encounter challenged me to be more intentional about engaging and finding ways to work on my anxiety.
One of my ideas was to join a tennis meetup. Meetup is a kind of social network where you arrange to meet up with people to do things that you are interested in. My thought was that I could meet some new people by doing something that I enjoy (the bonus being another form of exercise). Last night was my first meetup and to be honest, I was anxious all day. Several times I almost talked myself out of it, but I was determined. I had some difficulty finding the courts, and in the past, I would have just turned around, but I kept going. It was a victory. I had fun and I look forward to going back and getting to know these people better.
I have some other ideas and friends who have been supportive and helpful with ideas. I continue to be grateful to God for friends who are walking this journey with me and for Faithwalking which has given me insight, tools, and a challenge to show up differently in life.