In the spirit of back to school, I have been reminiscing about my school days (Which by the way, don’t feel so LONG ago). I remember drill team camp, school clothes shopping, and the back to school eve jitters. Oh, how we would rush to school and get our schedules to compare with our friends: who was in whose class and the most important part; which lunch do I have? I had some wonderful mentors and teachers and am so thankful for my school years.
Another crucial piece of my school career was discovering I am a visual learner. Looking at pictures, hi-lighting words, and taking descriptive notes were the ways of absorbing knowledge. I retained more information by watching demonstrations such as working math problems on the board or conducting a science experiment. I also enjoyed reading books if there were pictures to go along with a story (it was hard for me to develop scenario pictures in my head). This preparation was invaluable for me in college and the workforce. I would describe myself as a visual learner when attending workshops, labs, or classroom courses. I thought I knew myself pretty well until recently when I learned a new part of my learning equation.
I am also a visual teacher.
For years I have been labeled as a headstrong, Type-A, and I can do it better than you personality. I would become frustrated in trying to explain to others how to tackle a project or task because they would not understand or complete it to my specifications. The problem was when I try and show someone what to do; they viewed me as controlling and would give up. I discovered it is hard to find the right words to instruct someone on what to do and I would get frustrated (with myself). I would take control and feel more comfortable in performing the task in front of them then giving written or verbal instructions. I bought into the labeling of myself and would judge others for not meeting my standards. I was convinced I had to do it myself.
Recently I have changed my opinions of blaming others for not “getting it” to realizing perhaps it was me and my communication issues.
“God change my heart.”
And He has.
This has been a recent prayer of mine for the last few months. In all the years I have struggled with the disappointment, anger, and frustration over simple items I thought I had to do myself because no one else could.
It was not them, it was me.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 NIV
I can teach others but I need to approach the teaching moment differently. I have to change the way I present a request and to be patient with the recipient as they comprehend and learn. When I struggle to explain or discuss something, I can be honest and say, “You know I am not the greatest at explaining a task. I don’t want to be overbearing and do it myself. Hang in there with me as we learn together!” It is about being aware of my shortcomings and accepting the change in me-not them.
Letting go and letting God.
What a relief.
What is your struggle? Is there a teachable moment for you in asking God to change your heart? Blessings my sweet friend!