[quote="GlorytoJesus, post:1, topic:271134"]
I want to give my entire life for Jesus - I want to be like Him, and I want Him to work through me. But my biggest cross that makes this so difficult is inhibiting shyness and social inexperience/awkwardness.
I look at the people who helped bring Christ into my life - They were vibrant, outgoing, confident, friendly, outreaching individuals who had a warmth of love and care which they generously gave to all the people they met.
It makes me feel so inferior and insufficient, because however hard I try it feels entirely out of my capacity to serve God in that wonderful way.
So how am I to "take up my cross"? Must I work actively to get rid of my shyness, because it seems to be a block in the way of service to God, or am I to somehow find ways to serve God within the context of my unfortunate personality? (How?)
It doesn't seem like a poured-out life to live as a recluse, keeping to myself for the most part and avoiding uncomfortable situations. The best thing I am able to do as far as I can see is to give myself up to prayer for all the people whom I am unable to reach in any other way.
On the other hand, I could make a concerted effort to be friendly and giving and put myself in situations of service. In order to do that I would have to totally sacrifice my comfort and allow myself to be humiliated by my own inevitable awkwardness. But through past experience, even trying my hardest to be friendly and giving I feel like all I do is make other people feel uncomfortable, and put the burden of charity on them.
So what can a shy person do to serve God and spread His love and the gospel?
Have you ever read Saint Therese's "Story of a soul"? - tanbooks.benedictpress.com/index.php/page/shop:flypage/product_id/828
even though it may not feel like it, it is Gods will that you are shy, not that you are meant to accept and conform to your shyness, but God has allowed it for a reason, and you can make good use of it even though it seems like more of an impediment rather than a gift,
i can't tell you why you're shy or what good it is for you, that's something you'd have to meditate on and pray on, but some light sides to shyness just to get you started, for one, it makes you a deeper thinker, and most shy people tend to be more independent, and often times shyness is a kind of shelter from the many evils of the world, and it gives you much more time to grow closer to God and to grow in holiness...i know it seems like more of a mental problem(as the world would have us believe) but there's really nothing wrong with it,
although that doesn't mean you shouldn't brush up on your communication skills, there are still things you can do to make yourself more comfortable with talking and to be less awkward.
but i think one thing that will help you is to really learn to know yourself, and for that i'd recommend reading about the 4 temperaments, but more specifically the phlegmatic and melancholic temperaments in these articles here - fav.me/d4kdxel
so, i would just recommend reading those two things(the book and the articles) reading about Saint Therese's "little way" will answer your questions about how to serve God...and we are all called to serve Him differently, God gives us gifts and graces often according to how we are to serve Him in this life.
and just pray on it, if you sincerely wish to serve God, then He will show you how.