Hello, my name is Helen and
I am an introvert.
I doubt I would have been
classified as such while I was growing up.
I was a joiner, a cheerleader, president
I still am a leader.
I often am a cheerleader.
I test high on the introverted scale.
I don’t really need a test to point to this fact.
All I need to do is remind myself of my late 20’s and early 30’s
when I still tried to do it all.
I would look at my calendar and cringe.
I couldn’t wait for certain overflowing months to be over.
When it was “all over” I would crash and burn.
I was worn out from activity and social engagements.
Yet I was not antisocial.
Although many introverts are described this way.
I am quiet but not shy.
God has designed me to need down time to refuel.
I need quiet and solitude.
I need room to percolate.
It has taken me years to learn how to build space into my weeks.
It has taken me longer to learn that saying “no” is saying “yes” to me.
It’s not selfish, it is as vital as air to me.
I still struggle in this area.
Being an extrovert seems like much more fun.
A friend is coming into town this weekend with one of her friends,
there is the nagging voice that wishes that I was the life of the party and the
ever-present fear, I will disappoint by my calm demeanor.
God has made some introverted and others extroverted.
Each personality is valuable and needed.
Another area of challenge related to temperament has been
sharing the good news.
As I have been reading in this book, many who exhibit
the introverted personality feel like failures because their
reserved nature lacks boldness.
I have found myself standing in that line often.
However, last week God reminded me,
He simply uses His people.
I had a chance encounter with a woman who I have known casually for
years but see rarely.
There is no debating that she has had a difficult life.
As we talked, I inquired about an issue that she was dealing with the
last time we talked.
She gave me an update but then added another layer by telling me about
one of her children, enduring chemo.
I looked her straight in the eyes and listened.
I let her speak until she had no more words.
I could see the relief of unburdening herself from hidden thoughts
now given a voice of escape.
I told her how sorry I was for her pain.
I said I would pray.
She wondered why she had to go through so many difficult things.
I could give a cliché answer.
I could give a “be warm, well fed” answer then turn and walk away.
The reality is that I have no answer.
I don’t know.
That is what I told her.
It was enough.
I hugged her and
and we felt our hearts unite.
I read this passage the next day:
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Ephesians 5: 1-2 (The Message)
If I am to be an imitator of God, whatever my
personality, I am to simply love.
It is not my responsibility to know everything or
to solve life’s mysteries or most profound questions,
love is to be my pursuit, my aim, my purpose.
Oh how I want to stand still long enough to watch my God
and keep company with the King.
This way, when I am in the company of others,
I will know how to love extravagantly…
becoming the love of the party,
no matter my personal bent.
God is love.
Let us love freely.