This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

Meals on Wheels

>> Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I once saw an episode of 'Dr. Phil' where his guest was a woman scared of styrofoam. That was not a typo. She was terrified. He brought some styrofoam out on stage with her and she was physically shaking. She looked just like I would have if I had been on that stage and he had brought out a gigantic snake (or a tiny snake, if I'm honest) and expected me to hold it. Truthfully, I was laughing at this woman a little bit. How could you be scared of styrofoam? Then he brought out his next guest. A woman who was scared to talk on the phone.

Suddenly I wasn't laughing so much. I, myself, am phone-phobic. I used to think it was just me, and that no one else in the world could possibly be experiencing the same silly (and it is totally silly) fear. Seeing this woman on 'Dr. Phil' made me realize that I wasn't alone. I wish I could explain it to you all, but I can't. I am perfectly able to talk to my husband, or my mom, or a select group of friends on the phone just fine. I am even able to talk to perfect strangers on the phone without problem. It's the "in-betweens". The people who I know enough for them to have some expectation of me on the phone, but not enough to be totally comfortable talking to them. It's bizarre. My palms sweat, my heart beats really rapidly and my mind goes totally blank. I can't do it. I know you all are laughing at me just like I was laughing at the woman afraid of styrofoam. You're thinking "How could someone be afraid to talk on the phone?!" And my answer to you is, I don't know. But I am.

I've spent a lot of years making excuses for why I didn't answer the phone when someone called or why I didn't return their calls. I was living a lie, people. It was not good. I finally started to realize that this was an obstacle in my life that was not benign. I was lying to people. I was less effective in any ministries I participated in because I couldn't call people. It was terrible. I started to pray about it.

My friend Jonna organizes the "Meals on Wheels" ministry at our church, and she is amazing at it. Our friend, Becky, just had a baby last Wednesday, July 2nd, and Jonna had put together a sign-up of two weeks worth of women to bring meals to Becky. Since Jonna left on vacation later that same week, she asked if I would be willing to make the reminder phone calls every day to the people signed-up. Instantly I knew this was way out of my comfort zone (and Jonna knew it, too. She's one of the few people aware of my phobia), but I thought it was the perfect opportunity to face my fear. I would have to make a single phone call to an "in-betweener" every day for 2 weeks. Perfect.

Little did I know, God had more planned for me than that. The very day Jonna left on vacation, our friend Sara, who was pregnant but not due for three more weeks called to tell me she was at the hospital having the baby! All of a sudden I wasn't just the reminder-caller. I was the call-people-and-actually-get-them-to-sign-up-to-take-a-meal-person. I won't lie to you. I panicked. For a good hour I was absolutely convinced there was no way I would be able to accomplish this.

Then God reminded me that I had been praying for this very thing. I had asked Him to get me past my phone fear. I had wanted Him to just make the phobia vanish. In His wisdom, He is requiring that I work it out of me.

Since I got the phone call from Sara at the hospital, I have had nearly every person on the list for Becky call me needing to change days or cancel all together, meaning I have had to make even more phone calls to juggle people around and get days filled. What started out as one phone call a day to one "in-betweener" has become many phone calls a day to many "in-betweeners". God brought the styrofoam out on the stage and is expecting me to hold it. I have to say, as scary as this has been for me, it's been a really great feeling knowing that He is that interested in growing me as a person that He is taking me through this. It humbles me.

But Jonna totally owes me.


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