“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day,
I had holy plans for you… ” Jeremiah 1:5 (The Message)
I have been directionally challenged for as long as I can remember. I feel sorry for my husband who has patiently tried to help me overcome this issue for over 20 years now to no avail. If someone wants to give me directions, I don’t understand N, S, W, or E. I am a, “turn left at the red barn and then right at the oak tree” kind of girl. If someone repaints the barn or cuts down the tree, I’m in trouble.
However, being directionally challenged doesn’t make me less of a person. It probably says more about which side of my brain I use more. I’m definitely a creative person by nature – one who is driven by feelings and emotions more than logic. I have learned to compensate for my non navigating skills over the years by making sure I ride with someone like my husband who is exceptionally skilled or carry a GPS or old fashioned map with me.
All of us are skilled in certain areas and not as much in others. I used to think I had to keep working on my areas of weakness in order to improve them instead of focusing on improving the areas where I naturally am gifted. However, I’m learning that there are some areas I may never be able to overcome – for instance, being directionally challenged. No matter how many different ways Bill tries to explain N, S, W or E, my brain doesn’t compute how to translate that into something intelligent. I may to some degree figure out the general direction I need to be traveling, but I couldn’t tell you whether I’m traveling north, south, west or east – just either toward home, toward church or somewhere in between.
The older I get and the closer God brings me toward the area of ministry He has designed for me, the more I enjoy working in my sweet spot. I realize how important it is to listen to God’s voice regarding where He wants me to focus my attention and training and what He wants me to leave for someone more qualified. I have found out during this past year I love to encourage others, pray with others and come alongside them as they travel through difficulties in life. While God is growing my organizational skills, I am not someone who understands the ins and outs of business management or accounting. And I’m realizing that’s okay. It’s better than okay because there are others out there who may not enjoy encouraging people but instead love numbers, facts and taking an idea created by someone else and fleshing out all the details.
Being directionally challenged isn’t really all that challenging when I’m with someone who knows the way. I’m grateful God used something I’ve known about myself for the past 20 years to encourage me to focus on growing the gifts He has given me instead of frustrating myself to become someone I’m not.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017