“O Lord, I want my life to speak on
When I am gone:
May something I have done my days outlive,
Some sacred act of faith its memory weave,
And unto men a lasting blessing give,
When life is done.
Oh, may some word I’ve said, some deed of love,
A comfort prove:
Let something stand a lasting monument –
Approved by God, a[n] holy complement,
That I upon His work was full intent,
Sent from above.”
– R.E. Neighbor
I am an introvert who is constantly pushed outside of her comfort zone.
My family is currently in the United States for a year of furlough before we return to West Africa to serve the Lord as missionaries to unreached and unengaged people groups. While here, we have been traveling every couple of weeks to update and inform our supporting churches.
And honestly? It’s exhausting.
There have been several moments in recent months where I have felt sincerely overwhelmed by the number of new faces to learn, new souls to meet, and new hearts to engage with.There is beauty in the uncomfortable and value in the process. Click To Tweet
But I am learning there is beauty in the “uncomfortable” and valuable lessons in the process. Because it is when we are outside of our comfort zones that we more clearly see who God created us to be, and what He wants us to do with that.
Embrace Who God Created You to Be
In talking with my mentor about this struggle she mentioned a perspective I’d not thought of before: “Rue,” she stated, “remember that this is part of who God created you to be. Your being an introvert is not a mistake. I know it is frustrating when you’re pushed out of your comfort zone like this…but isn’t that the whole point of stepping out of your comfort zone? That it’s not comfortable? You cannot let your personality control you, but don’t ignore the value of who God created you to be.”
I think God allows us to have certain limitations, so we depend on Him more deeply. But He also gives us various strengths depending on His purpose for our lives. There is genuine beauty in diversity. But we can only appreciate this beauty if everyone embraces who God created them to be.
“But as it is, God arranged the members in the body [of the church], each one of them, as He chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” – 1 Corinthians 12:18-20
A rose would do a terribly poor job of trying to be a sunflower. But when the rose grows into what God created it to be, it is beautiful. In much the same way, I would do an awful job trying to be you, and you aren’t able to be me. So, let’s stop trying. A garden is most delightful when an abundance of colors and creations paint the scene.
Just be who God created you to be. And be okay with knowing you won’t always fit in with, or relate to, everyone else…you weren’t supposed to. Just embrace the life God has called you to.
His creation is beautiful, and you are one of His masterpieces.
Know Your Limitations
Part of embracing who God created you to be is learning to rest in the way that most benefits you. Just like certain flowers need varying amounts of water and sunlight throughout the day, people have different needs based on personality, life situations, health conditions, etc. Rest is critical to honoring Jesus with our lives, thus it is extremely important that you understand the kind of rest that best assists your pursuit to glorify Him.
Your responsibility is not to be “superhuman,” completely capable of working through any pain or discomfort. Your responsibility is to respond wisely to your body and minds’ needs and to honor Christ with your response.
Don’t Become a Prisoner to Your Personality
“Moses said to the LORD, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ … And He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” – Exodus 33:12;14Your personality has beauty and depth and purpose…but it should never control you. Because, as valuable as your personality is, it is merely a piece of who you are. Your identity is found in Christ alone. Click To Tweet
Your personality has beauty and depth and purpose…but it should never control you. Because, as valuable as your personality is, it is merely a piece of who you are. Ultimately, your identity is found in Christ alone. Never let your limitations hold you in such fear that you put limitations on your perception of God.
Don’t forget about Moses, the shepherd and runaway with a stutter, who led a nation out of captivity.
Don’t forget about Jonah, the man whose heart was full of hate, who tried to hide from God. God saved an entire people through a man whose heart held only bitterness towards those same people.
God doesn’t need you to be strong.
He just needs you to trust Him.
To know your fears and to choose obedience to Him anyway. Because your limitations don’t limit Him. They provide opportunity for His power to be magnified through you.
Don’t become a prisoner to your personality.
“For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Peter 1:6-7
Don’t be Afraid to Bloom Brightly
Every flower blooms differently – in different seasons, different colors, different sizes – but each is uniquely breathtaking.
Dear introvert, I know you might feel overwhelmed or unseen or like your story is so much less exciting than your extroverted friends. But you’re beautiful. God made you the way you are for a reason. Embrace it.
Don’t be afraid to bloom brightly.