I read a wonderful post in my email today from Ann Voskamp on her A Holy Experience website. It had to do with introverts. I followed a link and discovered another blog site called The Introverted Church: (http://www.introvertedchurch.com/). There was also a great video on the same site by another author, Susan Cain, on the power of introverts. I am an introvert. Extroverts often don’t understand us and try to change us into something we are not, instead of embracing our uniqueness. For all those extroverts out there….1/3 to1/2 of the people in the United States are introverts. That’s about 1 in 3 or 1 in 2.
Famous people like Martin Luther King and Gandhi were introverts and there is NOTHING wrong with us. Introverts tend to have better grades in school. More focused. But we also tend to be invisible, like the shadow moving quietly around.
It was a great revelation to me to read the material on the Introverted Church site and liberating to listen to Susan Cain. It was like really discovering who I was for the first time.
I’m not a joiner. I don’t do well in large groups and would rather be off by myself. I am the kind that does really well working on a project by myself. Introverts are very thoughtful and often very creative people. We may not appear to be “Christian enough” for some and that is a very poor judgement. Quite the contrary, because running frantically around, multitasking 50 things, does not make one a better Christian.
Does God use introverts? If you have to think about that question, then you better dust off your Bible and get re-acquainted with it. Because God is the God of introverts, as well as extroverts, and He works with them one person at a time. Moses. Moses started off his life alone. Moses was alone in a crowd of Egyptians because he knew he was different from them even while he was growing up in Pharaoh’s court. He was a shepherd in the desert for 40 years. Clearly a job for one used to being alone. There was plenty of introspective time for Moses while he herded sheep and goats. God called him while he was out in the desert. Moses didn’t want the job of dealing with Pharaoh and all the Israelites. He argued with God that he didn’t speak well. God called him alone up to the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights. God didn’t call for a cast of 5,000. Just Moses. Just Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, John the Baptist and every other prophet.
God uses extroverts in a dynamic way, too. They are trail blazers in their own fashion and work very well in group settings. Introverts can work with others but in their own way. Sometimes that involves being behind-the-scenes and not front-and-center. Like someone who is not out on stage but is more comfortable setting up the props or working back stage.
God called us for a reason and He will use our gifts in His own way, not in the way that extroverts think they should be used. We can change the world one person at a time. Or…God can send us out like the prophets but we will still be introverts, coveting our alone time with Him as the Pearl of Great Price.
I know it sounds like I am coming on a bit strong but the reader does not know how many times people have tried to change me into something they think I should be, instead of getting to really know who I am to begin with. It’s very frustrating and a trial for one who wants to be Christ-like in attitude. (Though sometimes I am not too successful at that!)
I have faith that God is leading me somewhere and the things I come across are for a reason that will be clearer at a later date. He knows what He is doing. You have no idea how thankful I am that He is Who He is. He is a great comfort.
So, anyway, the reason for this post might be to help other introverts out there that feel misplaced and don’t know where they belong. Probably why I have not yet found a church I am totally comfortable in or that is really welcoming.