ASL Wisdom

Learning how to sign without interacting with Deaf people is like learning how to swim without water!

Be Bless, Be Safe & PlayWitIt!

My ASL Journey with Young Life!

Good Morning, Afternoon, Evening & Night depending when you are reading this.

I wanted to continue with some things from my last post. I touched on (YL) in my last post and told you that I would tell you more about that later. Well, here is later!

Young Life is a christian organization that works with Deaf, Hard of hearing youth here in Jacksonville. They work with young people locally and they also do a lot of work with the youth at the Florida School For The Deaf and Blind.

This group is about sharing the truth of God’s love.

Another one of these pressing religious groups!

I know what you are thinking..Truth be told my thought process about this group was like Lord…. I hope this is not on the same line as the Jehovah witnesses that comes to your door and you don’t want to answer ( and don’t) or you act a little crazy to get them away from the door like I have done many times! LOL! And now at this moment you maybe are thinking damn! I have been tricked! and I’m some sort of Holy Roller. No… They are not like that and neither I’m I. (More about me Later) What they do is have a great time playing games with the students! They have what is called contact work and all that is is going to football and basketball games or whatever activity the kids are involved in and just cheer them on and support them. A Lot of the students don’t have that kind of support from their families or simply another person outside their peers who understands. YL builds relationship relationships with the kids and then help them along the way with God’s word.

Now, when I started with them I came in towards the end of the school year. When my experience was over I was happy and excited about it and then I was not. I was not sure if I wanted to be apart of this group because I felt like I really didn’t have anything to offer with my little knowledge and understanding of ASL.

All summer off and on I had been wrestling with myself about what to do!

I’M trying to tell Ya! Me, Myself and I were going through it! I came up with all kind of excuses to not go back. let me list a few.

(1).You don’t know ASL well enough to communicate with students to even build a relationship with them. (2) You have to drive back and forth alone in the dark. (3) You really are not learning (4) I can’t make friends with the kids because I don’t even know what to say or understand what they will say back. (5) I don’t have good social skills (6) I’m not a social person and I need time to get to know people (7) I don’t like the fact that we pray before and after meetings LOL! (8) You don’t have the same passion as the other leaders (9) I don’t want to be called a leader (10) I feel awkward around people I don’t know. (11) I can’t be me!

I could go on and on with excuses. ( This post is already long enough) But the wisdom I gained from this is:

Fear,the devil,yourself whatever you want to call it keeps you away from stepping into your destiny! Then you find yourself like the Hebrews wandering in the wilderness for 40 years when you could have reached your destination long ago. Fear, believing the lies of the devil, and or your insecurities can stop you from even trying! You start Looking for a way out, something that would be easier less demanding. But that does not make you any happier. You still come back around to that thing that you keep running from.

So I have decided to continue on with YL regardless of how I feel because with anything the more you do it, the more you stay around it the more open you are to it the easier it will become. To Learn this Amazing language and culture you have to be involved and immersed it. This is a wonderful opportunity for me and at the same time it helps me to work on those things about myself I want to change or make better. When you step outside your comfort zone you really get to see God work in your life and see growth!

My train is leaving the station as I speak and I have my first meeting tomorrow with YL before club starts up again not to mention school starts for me on the 26th. Before you know it the train will be in full gear. Here I go! until next time Be Blessed! Be Safe! and Play Wit It!

My ASL Journey

Ninja and I at Jacksonville beach. I choose this image because my Journey with ASL seems as vast as the sea!

Here I go back to school again to continue my textbook education in the world of ASL! I am excited and nervous all at the same time. However, just like your teachers tell you, the only way for you to really understand and get this beautiful language is to get out and experience the culture!

I had the biggest anxiety about being out and meeting Deaf people. Truth be told, I still do. I don’t feel adequate in my signing or of my understanding. I also get nervous which I think raises my feeling of inadequateness.

However, as my Great-grandmother use to say God looks out for monkeys, babies and fools.(LOL I know Right!) God looked out for me and through a friend of mine I was introduced to an Amazing group of people that work with Deaf youth here in Jacksonville and St. Augustine (more about YL at another time).

Now, at first I really didn’t know what to expect and at the same time it was not what I expected. The short time I spent with and being a part of the group and playing games with the students of FSDB on Wednesday evenings was super fun!

After Club on the way back to the dorms with the girls!

It brought home even more so for me the fact that I still have much to learn not only about ASL but myself as well. All my feelings of being inadequate were still there during this time. The students nor the leaders made me feel bad about my lack of understanding and the kids were patient and understanding of me when I needed them to repeat things.

I put more pressure on myself than anyone there did and all the junk I was carrying made me say I don’t want to be a part of YL and that I am no help to this group if I can’t speak the language or understand it! I mean I came up with 10,001 reasons why I should not continue. My husband felt like I was afraid and running. When I thought about it maybe he was right.

In this moment in my life more than ever I am learning how to truly let go and let God! To really take into myself who God is in my life. He is my strength and said where I am weak He is strong and that with Him all things are possible! When I step outside my comfort zone I need to always remember He is there and everything will be alright! In my weakness He is strong!! and I am made whole!!

I am still scared as I take these steps towards my destiny but like the Amored Bear Urich in The Golden Compass says “that when he is afraid he will master his fear!”