at the corner of stuttering and imperfect

i wish i could say we would do it perfectly.

i wish i could tell you, and myself, that we would help when we were needed, speak encouraging words when they were lacking, and do it every. time.

but we won’t.

spanish was my first language, but after i started going to school and learning english, i lost a lot of it. three years of elementary and middle school spanish and four years of high school spanish have improved my fluency but not my confidence.

i worked register yesterday and two women walked up to me. the younger translated for the older, in a language i couldn’t understand.

then i heard what sounded almost exactly like spanish. but it hadn’t been spanish i heard before, i thought, so i held my tongue and kept listening for a little. it was portuguese. i think the woman was surprised when i asked her if it was; she smiled and asked, “do you speak portuguese?” i told her i didn’t.

when i handed the change back to the older woman, who was the one buying clothes, i told her how much it was in spanish. i wished them a good day in spanish, stuttering over those simple words, “que tengan un buen día.”

i stutter a lot at this job, even in english.

i don’t have a stutter.

i feel like moses. i am a severely introverted person whose preferred medium is writing. i’m not cut out for a job in retail. i’m not cut out for a job that involves impromptu speaking.

there’s grace there. right there. did you see it?

i miss it. do you? do you look at the shattered pieces of your broken life and ask why that fight, that passion, that work? you’re not prepared. i’m not prepared. we’re not prepared.

bethany dillon sings a lyric: “Jesus, You are more / than I was ready for.” amen. amen?

because for all the times i haven’t been able to find an item a customer wanted, all the times i’ve been awkward on the phone (ie. every time i’ve answered the phone…), all the times i haven’t been able to make words come out of my mouth, either as smoothly as i’d like or at all, He has given me enough strength to try again with the next person. and that throws me off. i’ve made a staid practice of avoiding things at which i am not accomplished. i’m not used to dusting myself off and trying again.

this is a series on practical faith, and sometimes the most practical thing to do is remember. to remember: none of this is in our control; it never was. it’s firmly and irrevocably in His mighty hands.


  1. says

    Annie, I was just coming over here to tell you how thankful I am that you keep checking in with me over at my blog, and to tell you that I’m still praying for all you wait for…

    … but WOW…

    you, your blog design, your WRITING — they are all so beautiful — and praise God that you seek to point to HIM through all He’s blessed you with! I’m adding you to my subscriptions. Gifted, gifted, gifted by God. No wonder He’s blessing you with a season of waiting — He clearly has His loving hand on you and is preparing you for more than you could ask or imagine!

    THANK YOU for blessing me today!

  2. says

    thanks so much for stopping by my blog so that i could find your beautiful blog! wow, your writing is beautiful. i can feel your emotion through it. i think it is tragic how many people lose their native language after learning a second language. try hard to grasp onto it if you can.


  3. says

    First of all… you are so incredibly talented with words!!! Wow!!!

    Secondly, this is so encouraging to my soul!!! How great it is that God gives us the grace to keep going time after time. (:

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