I am an introvert. That can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. On the downside, I can be mistaken for being aloof, mad, or standoffish. Participating in small groups and group activities can be a somewhat taxing, and having to speak aloud in front of others can be downright nerve-racking. The positive side, however, is that I am a deep thinker, with thoughts running through my mind a mile minute; I have a calming, quiet spirit (so I’ve been told), and I am a good listener, filing away even the most minor details to be recalled much later down the road.
Because of my introverted personality, I have spent most of my life feeling misunderstood, and as a result, always felt like I never belonged anywhere. I felt odd, out of place, and socially awkward. It wasn’t until I was in my final year of graduate school, when a professor told me that I was an introvert, and that it was a gift, that I finally understood. A light bulb went off in my head and I said “that’s what’s wrong with me!” I began reading anything I could to understand myself better, and with time, and God’s help, I began to accept myself, and become comfortable with who I truly am. It is still a struggle, but the Lord is helping me grow and overcome the hurdles. He has put people in my life that have given me encouragement to step outside of my comfort zone.
Last year, I started attending a women’s bible study group. When I first came to know the Lord, I bounced from church to church, never quite feeling like I fit in. Then, when I found the church I now attend, I instantly felt at home. But it wasn’t until about 3 years later that I found the courage to attend a women’s study, a study that would break out into small groups (yikes!). And what a blessing it has been. At first, I would do my usual “quiet observer” routine, but then, as I felt the safety and love from the women in the group, I began to share. Trust me, it was very scary at first. I have fears due to past betrayal and hurt, so sharing openly and letting anyone in was truly a very intimidating and frightening thing for me. But because of the love of Jesus that these women showed, I felt welcomed and comforted.
In my walk with the Lord, I have learned that he loves and uses all personality types. Each of us has our own unique gifts that God gave to us, and we shouldn’t feel bad because someone has the gift to speak, and we don’t, or because someone has the gift of helps, and we can’t. We should seek the Lord and ask Him to reveal to us what our gifts are, and embrace them, and be ready to step out in faith and use them (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). I am always encouraged by examples in the bible of people whom God used who are just like you and me. I take comfort in the example of Moses, because I believe he was also an introvert, and he had the fear of speaking and felt very inadequate, much like me. (Exodus 4:10). Yet, with his feeling of inadequacy and limitations, God used him mightily. He led the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 14), he was a witness to some of the greatest miracles, the 10 plagues (Exodus 8-12) and the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus: 14:21-22), to name a few, and God gave him the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20).
Because of my introversion, I am a better writer than an orator. In my first English class in college some 13 years ago, my teacher told me I should think about becoming a writer, a thought that has been in the back of my mind ever since. Lately, I have felt a tug from the Lord to share what I have learned and experienced in my walk with Him, in order to bless and encourage others, like others have done for me. It is my hope that I can learn and grow in my walk with the Lord, along with you, being transparent as I share my journey, experiences, and pearls and nuggets of wisdom that I have learned from the wisest of all, Jesus, from His priceless, Holy Word, the bible.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each another up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11