If you know me, you know that I talk. A lot. Probably more than I should.
But back around 4 days ago, I got a cold. I was fine for 2 days or so, but then yesterday my voice was shot. And today it’s worse. I can’t talk at all. I can barely whisper. And when I do whisper, it hurts a lot.
Interestingly enough, for the last few months I’ve been working as a lifeguard at the pool in the deaf school here in my hometown.
I’ve just loved it–the kids are amazing and happy, the teachers are great, and it’s really cool learning some ASL while I’m working!
By Wednesday morning, I had spent 24 hours trying to communicate with my parents in broken sign language, neither of them knowing any sign at all, not being able to talk, incredibly disheartened, and just generally cranky because of the whole situation. It is so frustrating to not be able to get a simple point across, like “please pass the corn” or “where is my jacket?” without it becoming a 5 minute game of yes-or-no questions and charades.
This is one of those rare occasions where being competitive actually helped me come out on top. Not being able to talk was a challenge. I wasn’t going to be able to beat it with my parents, but I knew I could win it at work! So I spent approximately 5 hours Tuesday night watching as many ASL 101 videos as I could on youtube. I sat there practicing and practicing, a mirror propped up right behind my computer so I could see if I was doing the signs correctly or not.
I have never been so excited to go to work in my entire life.
I went from being able to say little more than “Hello, my name is Rebecca” and “blue cow” to having full conversations with the staff, hearing or not!
It is such a great feeling to go somewhere and be understood. It’s crazy how ostracized you feel after only 48 hours of not being able to communicate–and I still have my hearing! I can’t imagine what deaf kids have to go through to simply chat with their parents, siblings and friends! It really has given me a whole new respect for the daily struggle they face in a world that is so uneducated in communicating with people with disabilities, and I feel like I’ve had a small taste of the daily struggle they have to overcome this obstacle.
When we’re faced with challenges, we have two options: give up, or overcome.
I have to admit, usually I just call it quits and give up. But this has opened my eyes to other areas in my own life where I need to start working to overcome rather than give in to the pressure. But what are you being bogged down by? Is there a situation that seems too difficult to get out of? Remember–God always provides a way out. In my case, I know I’m going to be better in 4 days. Maybe your situation won’t just go away. But no matter what, God’s going to give you a way to stand it, and he’ll make sure you have the tools to battle it.
What are some ways you’ve overcome difficult situations?