As per the graduation requirements for my MA in Biblical theology, I have been teaching a Bible Study at a local parish for the past few weeks. It has been interesting, nerve-racking, and all around a great learning experience (not to mention somewhat exciting to realize that hey—I actually have learned a thing or two over the past year that didn’t leave my brain during post-finals hibernations).
Now as I said, I’ve been teaching the study for a few weeks now, but last night’s class was the first time that my fiancé came. Actually…last night’s study was the first time that I let my fiancé come.
Something you may or may not know about me: I get very nervous and uncomfortable speaking in public. Presentations in front of the classroom were pretty much my worst nightmare in school. I realize this isn’t that unique of a trait, but it’s still mine. I’m shy. The thought of being the one leading a Bible study was scary enough, but at least if I tanked—I thought—I’ve really lost nothing, because the people in the class don’t really know me anyway. Making a fool of myself in front of my fiancé was a completely different story. So I just wanted a couple of practice rounds to get my feet wet and really see what it was all about before I let him come.
So after a few weeks of Tyler-less Bible studies, I finally let him come. It wasn’t really that I thought I was ready or that I was all that fantastic of a teacher so much as it was that I just missed him and wanted him there. I was pretty nervous, and found myself wondering on the drive over if I had made a mistake in asking him to come. But then something crazy happened.
I was myself!
I was more myself in last night’s study than in the previous weeks combined. I was more relaxed, more confident, and found myself stumbling over my words less. It was as if Tyler was the thing that was missing the whole time—the secret ingredient to my teaching comfortably. And then on the car ride back to my place, something cool happened again. I actually had someone to talk to about how the Bible study went. And surprisingly, I wasn’t too embarrassed to do so.
All this to say: I’m an idiot. Also, the people closest to you in life are a really important asset to who you are—even if you don’t realize it yet. So don’t try and keep them at arms length. When you finally let do them into the most nerve-racking and scary moments of your life, you’ll just end up kicking yourself for waiting so long to do so.
Speaking of public speaking, I have TWO talks to give next week. Please pray for me! (But you can bet I’ll be bringing my secret weapon with me this time )