Communication | My Story

What is the single biggest factor in the failure or success of relationships? Communication! This is my story……..

I guess I'd like to start by saying that I have always struggled with communicating with other people. It's been something that I have had to work on over and over throughout my life. 

When I was about 10 and up until about 17 I was very shy. I wouldn't answer the door, answer the phone, or even talk to people unless they talked to me; and even then it was just in order to answer the question very quickly. To make a very long story short, I was shy because I was not saved, and I knew I was not saved. I was scared that people would see through me and see my sin. And so to compensate for this, I decided to not talk to people unless I absolutely had to. 

It wasn't until 2010 when I did the National Bible Bee and learned through my study of Colossians that God is faithful to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think. That he is perfect and no matter what I do, I will never meet His standard of excellence. I saw my sin in light of His grace and realized how much He had done for me. And after this, when I realized what it means to me to have a relationship with Christ, I felt a freedom I've ever experienced before. 

As a result of the Bible Bee, I had many opportunities to share the Word with people around me. I gained a new confidence by communicating with people through scripture, and it was a blessing to be able to share what I had memorized with others. 

As a result of this, my confidence in speaking to other people was greatly improved. I still struggle at times with being nervous or shy when in the mix of people that I don't know, but the confidence that I have in Christ has definitely been an excellent foundation for being able to communicate with others. But because it has been such a struggle for me in the past, it is something I have to put a lot of effort into developing. And there is always more to learn about communication. 

Anyhow, now that I've shared a bit of my struggles with communication, here's a few resources that have given me inspiration and encouragement over the years. (The Bible has certainly been the basis and foundation of all of my inspiration and encouragement, and I never seem to know enough about it:) 

Here's a list of books that I have read and in some cases reread over the years and have been blessed and encouraged by.

Alone Yet Not Alone- by Tracey Lieninger- This book helps me to see the need to abide in Christ without dependence upon other people. 

Gifted Hands- by Dr. Ben Carson- Dr. Carson's story has been very encouraging and inspiring to me over the years, and I have learned a lot from his strength of character and determination to not be overcome by evil. (The Gifted Hands movie is also very good if you haven't seen it already) 

It’s not that complicated – by the Botkin sisters – this book has probably been the most encouraging to me in the area of  communication, especially with people of the opposite gender. It helped me to see that we are all siblings in the body of Christ, and that it is important to treat each other like we would want to be treated and not with judgment or selfishness. 

Growing Up Duggar – by the Duggar sisters – this book has been really encouraging to me recently, and has help me to see the in-depth workings of communication from a large family's perspective. ( Stay tuned for a complete review and giveaway of this book next week) 

Start Here – by Alex and Brett Harris – this book has been really encouraging me to look for needs around me and to see that where I am is where God wants me to be for a purpose. There's so much to learn from meeting other people's needs.

And lastly:)
The Disciplined Life – by Richard Shelley Taylor – this book has been really inspirational to me, and has help me to see areas in my life that I need to submit to Christ more. It has a lot of practical help, and encouraging stories that help to bring home the message of each chapter.

Other than books, I've received a lot of inspiration in the area of communication from listening to podcasts and sermons. Some of my favorites are.....

Michael Hyatt's conversation questions podcast. All of his podcasts are good, but this one is particularly geared towards communication. 

Botkin sisters - this is a link to their website where they post encouraging articles for young ladies. Their Reclaiming Beauty Webinar was very helpful as well. 

I think this is most of the resources that have helped me over the years, and if I think of any others I’ll be sure to pass them on to you as well. I hope this is helpful for you, and that you may be encouraged in your quest for greater communication skills.

Join the discussion- What's one thing that has helped you with communication?

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
Ephesians 4: 29

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  1. Hey Elanee, thanks for sharing, and that's a great list of books! :)

    1. You're welcome Eden:) Thanks for commenting:) What's your favorite book you've read recently?

  2. Good to hear your testimony, Elanee. Getting saved was a great help for me as well. When I was 10-11 or so my mom had to command me to smile around people! I got saved when I was 11. Jesus changed my heart, and I not only wanted to smile but to make other people smile too. And then I realized that in social situations most people probably felt as uncomfortable as I did, so I should be the one trying to make everyone feel comfortable and at home by talking with them. Of course it backfires at times when I stick my foot in my mouth...but it still is a lot funner than the alternative!

    1. You're welcome Bethany! Thank you for sharing your story as well! I love how you've found joy in Christ! That's a big blessing! I think we all have our communication mistakes:) but just the fact that we're aware of that, is a big step in improving our skills:) And your blog is a great encouragement to me:)

  3. I guess I started by trying to share one thing about what was going on in my life to my parents about every week. Now I love talking with them and sharing thoughts and struggles.
    I also have grown in being more honest and open with my friends, too. Mostly through talking to you! :)
    When I am shy and don't want to talk to people I try to change the focus from my shyness to their needs and that really helps me. I was definitely out of my comfort zone when I was on our trip because we were constantly meeting new people. But it was really good for me!

    1. That's great that you've been able to share with your parents more Hannah! That is a big blessing, and one of the most important ways we can guard our hearts by being open with authority! I've SO appreciated your encouragement and friendship over the years! It's been wonderful to learn and grow together, and pray for one another! May God continue to strengthen you, and help you to stand strong in Him!

  4. Thanks so much for this, Elanee! I've always struggled with being shy, but God and I have been working on that together. : )

    I agree--the Botkins have amazing and helpful things to say! (Our church is talking about inviting them to speak for the Southwest Family Vision Conference next year!) : )

    1. You're welome Kate! I'm SO glad that God has been giving you strength to overcome shyness! I've noticed how much you've been encouraging your siblings recently, and I've been SO blessed by your blog! It's great to be able to communicate without fear of man! That is a BIG blessing, and I know how it feels to struggle with shyness:) May God continue to give you strength to overcome it through His power alone!

      If you get the Botkins to come- Please let us know, as we would love to come hear them:)Have you read their book It's Not that Complicated?