During May and June (as I have many, many times before) I crawled into myself and stayed there. I was a functioning introvert. I still went to work and small group and church and a few social things. I still taught a class on Galatians, lead a book club discussion, lead a 9-week study in my small group, counseled several hurting people and even did a few social things here and there. I was upright and talking (maybe with my eyes glazed over a bit) with a coffee cup in my hand and an ache in my heart. But – I remained inside of myself.
I closed off that ache to the rest of the world. I remained a servant letting no one serve me. I didn’t tell anyone what I was going through, partially because I didn’t fully understand it myself. See, us introverts have to process it all inside our brains and our hearts first before we can even begin to think about sharing it with someone. Then comes the arduous process of figuring out who to share it. Will it be the best friend? The pastor? The mentor? The counselor friend? The mom? “Who will it bother the least?”, are the questions typically asked. “Who will judge me the least?” “Who won’t repeat to anyone?” The introverts always asks “Who can I trust with my heart?”
The introvert usually has the solution worked out in their head already, whereas the extrovert talks to get to the solution. So the introvert (me) doesn’t always even share the issue with anyone… why bother, since the solution is already figured out? All it will do is take up someone else’s time for no reason… because for the introvert (me again) the reason must have a tangible end goal. Never mind that sharing may help create community with you (ahem, me) and someone very special.
This is what happened to me last week, over peach tea and a pita pocket, after a shopping trip to Trader Joe’s and Hobby Lobby. An extrovert pointed out to this introvert that she felt left out. And in doing so, reminded me that I needed to ask her for help. This made her feel like I was truly her friend, like I was needing her and in relationship with her. In doing so, this also helped me ease the burden I’d largely created myself – unnecessarily.
Friends who push me to be better (and less introverted) are how God caused waters to flow.
this post is part of the he caused waters to flow project.