Take a Chance Even if You Are Shy

March 27 2008 / ShareHim in Dominican Republic A, Mar. 14 - Mar. 29 '08 #261
by Carolina Rivas

Personal Testimony of Carolina Rivas.

Hi. My name is Carolina Rivas, and I am a student at Thunderbird Adventist Academy. I am a senior and 17 years old. My passion is music and letting people know about the love of God. There are a lot of things I can write about this trip, but I just wanted to write about one that has made a huge impact in my life.

I can be an extremely shy person when I don’t know anybody at all. I used to be one of the girls that never really talks in large groups. I am usually the confused one that is always behind or the girl that you see walking by herself in her own thoughts. Due to having ear problems when I was young, it has been so hard to express myself with anybody. I was born with infection in my ears and I was never able to hear anyone well. I always liked playing by myself and I often yelled at my parents for no reason. I really think it’s because nobody understood me when I wanted to express myself, but I just couldn’t talk.

As I grew, I had several operations to recuperate, and my ears got better. From then on, I could live like a normal person, but my personality didn’t change. I was still stuck in my own little world. During my Elementary and Middle School years, it was such a huge struggle because my parents didn’t have a job and my dad was studying at the University. We lived with my grandparents and my parents couldn’t really afford to buy me clothes and cool stuff. So at school, I was one of the weirdo poor girls that nobody liked or cared about. There are so many things I just hate to remember—like the time when everyone made fun of me. Around late spring, early summer, it started to get really hot. I never wanted to take off my black jacket because I was so self conscious about my weight (I was a chubby 6th grader). So, since I wore the jacket everyday, I started to sweat and eventually start to smell. My classmates would make fun of me because I just didn’t want to take off my jacket. They would plug their noses every time they passed by me and said “Carolina smells.” I struggled so much with depression because there was just no one there for me. My dad had school all the time and my mom struggled with hernias and back pain all day long. I don’t blame my mom and dad for not being there. They did everything possible for me and my brothers to be happy.

At this age, I can finally realize how much they loved me and how much they’ve tried so hard to give us our needs and to put food on the table.

My life as a young teenager was such a huge struggle and now with this Dominican trip, it finally came to my senses that there is a living God that wanted to be there for me all along. He wanted to love and be with me through all the hardships and struggles through life. I have always considered myself to be really shy. In the past, I had to make a huge effort to step out of my comfort zone and talk to people. On this trip, God has really blessed me, because now, it’s easier for me to talk to people. I do realize that being shy just means I am very self conscious, but if I started caring about other people, I put my fears aside and have confidence in God. I help them when I preach the gospel to their hungry hearts. Not only that, I feel really good about myself for reaching a step higher in life.

Being shy or depressed shouldn’t stop anyone from preaching the gospel of Christ. We are all children of God, and He loves everyone equally no matter who you are or what you’ve done. I thank God for teaching me a lesson in life. I pray I can make a good example for those people who THINK they can’t preach. I want to let them know that they are capable of doing great things in life too. It’s not just the cool, powerful people that do great things. You, too, have the power to speak out if you let yourself do it. Stop holding back. Take a chance. Take action!
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