From early childhood, my mother would agree that I was one of most timid people you'd ever meet.
I was terrified to speak. Outside of family (my comfort zone), I often never spoke.
Hiding behind my husband's coat tail for a number of years, he was good at socializing. I just tagged along. Were it not for him, I'd have never gone in first place. I would have been too frozen to speak. Having him around took a lot of pressure off me. If I thought of a few lines, fine. But, otherwise, I could enjoy following as he mingled among people, with maybe an occasional smile or two.
When opportunity came to not have to play church piano or organ, but to finally get to sing in a church choir, I was so grateful. Though I couldn't speak words, I could share my love for Lord in song. It wasn't that I never wanted to play again, because I did. It was just that I'd discovered a greater ability to worship, making my heart instrument.
As years came and went, growing in Lord, God began showing me prophetic things. Sometimes, those things were so wonderful I'd feel like I was about to burst just to tell someone. When I'd attempt to share, people would immediately quote scripture so fast I couldn't take it all in to even know if I agreed or disagreed with their point. It was so intimidating, I'd close my mouth and just slither away. When messages came with urgency, I'd have to share 'do or die'. It's God's Word to share such things or blood will be upon your hands. Yet, because of their unbelief, God gave me a stammering tongue so others wouldn't understand what I was trying to express. It truly became a long term thorn in flesh. I'd spend hours, days, and weeks (and sometimes even months) just laboring to make one important point in a way that others could finally get it.
Often feeling like I think Apostle Paul must have felt, excellent in knowledge but rude in speech, my words would often create unintended offences. Being misunderstood became a hurtful way of life. Walking on eggs was a royal pain, mostly on my part - never being aloud to be real. Retreating, I'd often find comfort in expression through pen.
Having had opportunity of first hand observance of some of most wonderfully gifted encouragers in world, and effect they had to lift up people ... one day, God said, "Now, it's your turn." I couldn't speak! I'd already promised God I'd go where He'd send me, "But, you know I can't speak!!!"
It isn't that I refused to go. I truly wanted to keep my word to God. But, if I walked up to someone - my brain would go dead. Words seemed to vanish. "God, you know that!"
God responded, "Well ... could you say that you like their tie?" I paused, then responded, "It might kill me, but I 'can' say that." After working up some courage, I walked up to person God directed me to and said energetically, "I really like that tie!" The guy seemed both startled and surprised, as if no one had ever given him a compliment. He gave a big smile, but his 'thank you', seemed to be only thing he could figure out to say (as if he'd never had opportunity to say it before).
Shew! I was glad that was over.
God showed me a lady, wearing a red dress. Passing in a church crowd, I made mention of how nice that color looked on her. Her face lit up and her mouth flew open. But, no words followed. It was as if no one had ever noticed before. She was both pleased and speechless. But, moving on through crowd, it didn't leave time for her to feel pressured to respond. Though just for a brief moment, it felt good to have made a difference. Then God said, "See that lady over there? Go say something nice to her." 'Something nice' means I'd have to figure out what compliment is. I looked and saw she was wearing a pretty broach. I had first line, but she filled in all rest. It's just amazing how people's faces would light up when someone acknowledged their presence. All I had to do was speak first, then we'd find amazing things to discuss.
Oh, man. This was so cool! Just say something to person in need that God shows you and stand back and see what He does with it. (Faithful is He who called you, who also will do it.) Hey! God's Word works!!!! And sometimes, all they need is someone to care that they came.
I was getting pretty good at this. Man this was a breeze. Just about that time ... God upped ante. "Now, I want you to go say something spiritual." Oh, no! Of all things, this would be harder. "Bubububut, God, you didn't tell me what to say!" "Observe," He said. "Find something nice to say about their ministry."