Where are all of my introvert readers at? Yeah, hey! I can definitely relate to you. After being in large social gatherings for a while I become super exhausted and need alone time. I need a few deep friendships instead of loads of friends. I think answers through very carefully before raising my hand in class or sharing with a group in other formal situations. Sometimes I feel like the only introvert at my college (but let’s be honest, most of them are probably just hiding in quiet places.)
Alone time is great and very necessary to have with the Lord in the midst of the chaos of college. But if I’m honest, sometimes I find myself alone too much and while it’s great if I really need to study, I think it’s important between introverts to understand that we need community too. Especially as Christians, we were not made to be alone all of the time. Sometimes I can find myself caught up in my alone time and nagging anxious thoughts, beginning to wallow over self-pity about who knows what. When I start feeling in a funk or out of place and not having the greatest day, I’ve learned that even if it’s the last thing you want to do; flocking to other people is the only way to go.
We are a self-centered culture driven by our own motivations and when you need to recharge and be alone frequently as an introvert, the urge to value your own life over everything else going on is too easy. Just like anything in the world, being an introvert has its pitfalls and can lead to sin if not watched carefully. A day spent cramming for a test could mean struggling friends who may need you are left struggling, because hanging out with them is not convenient for your schedule. Maybe you could have gone out of your way to call or pray for a family member, but you were exhausted and decided to take a nap instead.
This is not me stating introverts are terrible sinners, I’m sure extroverts have their own problems we cannot relate to, but introverts can easily turn their way of living into self-centeredness and lack of awareness towards others. Anything that doesn’t fit our personal schedule can easily be placed on the back-burner, because convenience is bliss, right?
If you’re anything like me, you start thinking about this and realize oh crap, there’s contrition… I haven’t been putting anyone else first in a while. First of all, talk to God about it. He loves when you open your heart and say here’s the gunk… take it and transform it. Don’t wait until after you’ve beat yourself up about it—run to him right now. While you may have heard these verses a million times before, hear them with fresh ears now:
“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” ~Matthew 6:30
You know that test you feel like you’re going to fail? You know how you feel like you can’t do anything until that homework assignment is done? It’s going to be okay. The world will not go up in flames if you don’t get the grade you wanted. The other day I was preparing for a speech and as an introvert I absolutely hate speeches. Every time I get a new assignment for the class, my blood pressure goes up a little bit. But I started thinking about it in a new way as I rehearsed the other night. Yes, it seems daunting now, but an hour afterwards it will be so far from my mind and I will not care anymore. So why give it the time of day? Why worry about something that has no significance on the eternal spectrum? Yes, that doesn’t mean my fears immediately dissipated and everything was roses after that, but giving all of the things you’re worrying about to God and realizing their ultimate significance can help you slow down and enjoy life a little more. He is taking care of you, even if life doesn’t go according to plan. Trust fall into his arms and maybe spend time in the presence of community for a little while.
“…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” ~Philippians 4:6
Ah, the classic do not be anxious about anything verse. But we really need to hear that constantly! Do you let that really sink in, because often times I don’t! Do not be anxious about anything. That doesn’t mean except that speech or that placement test or that job interview or even sin (which I’ve done before). It means don’t be anxious about anything!
Usually, at least in my case, if I’m not in isolation because I’m recharging from a crowded event, it’s because I’m anxious about something. But that’s all the more reason to run towards God and his people! Maybe he even wants to talk to you through some of his people. Allow yourself to recharge on Netflix now and again, and maybe spend a day bearing down on homework, but also provide slots of time for community and the other people God has breathed life into and wants you to experience.