This one’s for all my fellow introverts/ambiverts. I would tell you to wave at me, but—let’s face it—drawing that much attention to yourself is embarrassing; so feel free just to break eye contact and give a quiet nod to yourself. You know who you are.
My introversion as a child was extreme, and attributed to shyness. It carried into heartbreak as a teen when I would attend youth gatherings and no one would initiate conversation. Over time, circumstances (and my mother) began teaching me that hiding behind introversion can be a form of selfishness—I was consumed with fearing what others thought about me too much to share the love of Jesus in me with hurting people. I began forcing myself to make contact and learn the art of small talk (something I still hate and struggle to master here in my thirties—let’s not even mention the number of times I’ve recalled a conversation and thought, “Could you have been any more awkward?”).
Becoming a stay at home mother has developed a new layer in my tendencies toward introversion. I’m in a season where I don’t always get the tranquil hour to recharge after social contact. Instead, interruptions fill my days and incessant chatter punctuates every thought. I live in the tension between trying to show interest as my babies’ personalities develop, and feeling emotionally spent after a three minute monologue devoted to telling me that their older cousin is, in fact, older than they are.
I was feeling sorry for myself this morning, and ruminating on how much I wished my workday had set clock-in and clock-out hours, when the Scripture inside my breakfast teacup caught my eye:
He fills my life with good things. ~Ps. 103:5, NLT
Hello perspective, old friend.
Those interruptions? They’re a good thing. That fostered longing for quiet time away? Still a good thing. The boredom in listening to my children prattle about things I feel are unimportant? A good thing.
It goes beyond the simple expression of gratitude for a safe home and healthy, happy children—though a thankful heart for the little things is crucial. This morning, I sense Holy Spirit prompting me toward renewed perspective on my innate response as well. The Father who fashioned my personality knows it well. He is attuned to my longing for quiet places because He fostered it within me. A God who inspired David to pen, “He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:2b-3a,ESV) understands introverts.
So where is the good in the interruptions, the boredom, the inner turmoil, the angst, the desperate need for ten minutes of silence that never come?
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. ~Psalm 62:1, ESV
Quiet time and drawing away are vital and necessary. I’m fortunate to have a husband who champions my time with the Lord, and often sends me to our room to rest and pray when he arrives home at night. However, Psalm 62 struck me because of the distinction the psalmist made. He could have written, “For God alone I wait in silence,” but he chose the words my soul. I feel the distinction is significant because David must have found it difficult to draw away in his later years. He learned the value of quiet introspection as a youth in the fields, only to have God thrust him into court life, exile, and kingship—none of which offered him much privacy or uninterrupted quiet time. David learned to keep his soul quiet, even in the turmoil that surrounded him.
The chaos of life with small children will not always be my portion, but it is one of many good things given to me by the Lord. My children are my training ground to develop a quiet soul. I can embrace the season of learning to have open spiritual ears even while my physical ears ring with the exuberant playing, endless curiosity, and impassioned outbursts of my children.
You quiet my soul.
You satisfy my soul.
I am content.
He fills your life with good things. Ask Him today to show you how the little annoyances you face are His disguised blessings.