“I need to get out of here. If one more person talks to me I’m going to scream!” I rally with a plastered smile on my face. “It’s okay,” I tell myself, “only a half hour more and I can go numb out on NetFlix for two days.” This was a common occurrence for me. Social activities and ministry was planned around available space in my schedule. For every activity with people I would need two to three days alone to recover.
I walked into rooms like a shy child and hid in the back feeling completely out of place, regardless of how many people I knew or what position I held (even when I was a leader/host of the meeting/get-together). Up to this post I have always blamed my behavior on being an introvert. It’s been a great excuse. I get my energy from being alone (I told myself) not from being around people.
But something changed about a year ago. The time spent alone in between people started to shorten. Partly due to more commitments and partly to do with God asking me to come out of my comfort zone. And guess what? I was okay. Now that leads me to ask, “Am I really am introvert?”
I’m not going to say that I don’t need margin or rest in my schedule, that is just foolish. But, now I realize I used being introverted as an excuse and the truth is, I am just insecure. I really do enjoy being around people but the moment this changes, is when I start to get in my head. I start entertaining lies and thoughts until I spin out of a place of security into insecurity.
“What are YOU doing here?
No one likes you.
They are going to find out you don’t know what you are talking about.
You are ugly. You are fat, they are looking at your rolls.
You have a stutter when you speak.
You are a failure, you haven’t even finished school. There are so many people more qualified than you.
They aren’t really your friends, they don’t really like you, they tolerate you! They don’t really even know you.”
Then, the worst part is when I start listening to those thoughts. I partner with wrong-thinking and lies and own it. I believe those thoughts are true. Which leads back to me just wanting to run home and numb out in a fantasy world of NetFlix or a book.
So here is the truth: I still have a journey to become extroverted and I don’t really know scientifically if you can switch sides. All I know is I want to grow and change. I want to thrive in my gifting, I want to see my big dreams happen and I want to have deep, meaningful relationships. I have a journey ahead of me until I can feel secure in the way God created me. But I’m changing and submitting my insecurities to Jesus so I can be all that He made me to be!
Will you ask yourself, “What labels or norms of society have I agreed with. Are they holding me back from the full life or the fullness in relationships that God has for me?” Maybe we can go on this journey together.