I started taking American Sign Language because it was required for the major I was hoping to get into. To be honest, I wasn't all that excited about it and was just taking it because I had to. I didn't realize it at the time, but I carried some of the stigmas I've now learned so much about. And I thought perhaps it would be “easy”.
Was I in for a rude awakening, huh? Everything I thought was grossly wrong, including that I thought I wouldn't like it. I loved it!! It was such a struggle starting out. But soon I became really passionate about the language, Deaf culture, and the oppression the Deaf face every day.
This semester, though, I started questioning my motivation. I had just been accepted into my major. I felt like I was getting into my “serious” classes. I loved signing, but I felt my drive for ASL dropping. Why was I taking it if it wasn't for my major? I could be using the time to study and spend those 4 credits elsewhere.
I eventually decided that I would continue with ASL. I wanted to learn it because it was a beautiful language that I love and I should take learning into my own hands. But even then, I was frustrated because I felt like I didn't know how to study.
These scriptures I read yesterday in 2 Corinthians 14 helped me. Paul is talking about seeking after spiritual gifts; especially the gift of tongues:
12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
I LOVE this! It taught me something really important that inspires me to keep working hard at ASL: I can seek the spiritual gift of tongues so that I can edify the church of God. Heavenly Father will be able to use my talents. and yours, too to build up His kingdom.
Secondly, it helped me know a good way to study: “pray that he may interpret”. My friend recently suggested to me that I pray in ASL. And guess what? It works. Because of the Spirit, while I’m praying I feel much more fluent and able to express myself. It motivates me to look up words I don’t know so I can pray well. Praying for His help encourages me to keep my motivation for learning rooted in Him.
God will help us in all of our quests for truth. If you ever feel discouraged, like I do, remember these scriptures. Heavenly Father needs the talents we can develop. He will help us learn if seek to use it to build His church.
-Submitted by Karen F.
-Submitted by Karen F.