I mentioned in my last post my frustration concerning my dream of interpreting for the Deaf because of the new requirements having to be met before I could be 'registered' or 'licensed'. Well, it seems that every time I decide not to pursue sign language, God reminds me that it's not really my idea or my choice, but His. You see, I've gone through this cycle of "to be or not to be" an interpreter for years. Again, if you'll remember a post I wrote before on the Fear of success, it's because I'm a scardy cat that I don't pursue ASL regularly! God doesn't seem to care that I'm a scardy cat because He constantly brings people and events my way to remind me that HE wants me to do this and I really need to do it!
So what's the most recent sign God has given me concerning this? I'm glad you asked! Last night I went to the grief support group that I've gone to occassionally since my mom and grandmother's death last April. There was a lady there that I haven't seen before (I haven't been in months, so it's not surprising). Well, she has a 15-year old daughter who is deaf and she came to the meeting. I promise you, EVERY TIME I tell myself that this sign language thing is just a pipe dream and I'm not going to do it, God brings someone like this young girl directly into my path! Why would God want me to pursue sign language? Well, ultimately to share the love of Jesus with the Deaf. They need to 'hear' the Gospel just like every one else. I have had this interest, desire, whatever, since I was a child. When I was about, oh six years old, I started teaching myself the sign language alphabet from my grandmother's encyclopedias. When I became an adult I started taking ASL classes at HRID. I was going fairly regularly there for a couple of years and was becoming more confident. Then I had Haley and didn't have time to continue my education. Since I wasn't using it - I lost it! So, I've had to practically start over and did that several times. But that only frustrated me because I wasn't progressing fast enough, so I stopped completely.
However, I still knew that I was supposed to continue learning and begin using my ASL skills more regularly. How did I know this? Again, I'm glad you asked. Every time, and I do mean EVERY time (sorry that's the 2nd time I emphasized 'every time') I would be in church, my mind would constantly be translating the pastor's sermon into ASL in my mind! I would feel the strong desire to sign the music but held back. I did at one point try to begin a Deaf Ministry with a close friend of mine who has the same interest. I would sign the music/worship portion of the church service and she would sign the sermon. However, we didn't have any Deaf people who came on a regular basis, so we stopped doing it with the intention of beginning again if someone inquired about it and wanted to come. Well, so far that hasn't happened. Now I know it's not gonna happen unless I go out there and invite people to come. But now I've lost my confidence all over again, so of course I haven't invited any body. Also, my friend has had a blow to her confidence because of extremely harsh "constructive criticism" from a fellow interpreter; this lady is a professional, so her very presence in the service was intimidating.
Well, I'm still on the mailing list for HRID and I receive announcements of their events and meetings and so forth. This coming Friday they are having a social at a coffee shop in South Huntsville, so I intend on going. I will be petrified, but I'm sure I will settle in once I get there. The Deaf community is so warm and welcoming and they simply enjoy it when people at least attempt to speak their language. Also, later this month, there will be an HRID business meeting which I will plan on attending. I guess I'd better start obeying God on this one before He has to make it abundantly clear (as if He hasn't already, but you know what I mean).
Thanks for reading and your prayers would be greatly appreciated!
Oh I just thought I'd mention that yes, I DID, speak to the girl at the meeting last night and it was really nice communicating with her. Her mom seemed to appreciate that I did, too.