Away. Private. Quiet time. Read. Study. Think. Beauty of words. Heartfelt meaning….These are confessions of love of a closet introvert and I guess I’m “coming out.”
Extrovert, talker, loud, laugher, speaker, hugger, encourager, obnoxious, spontaneous, administratively challenged, and unpredictable…might be how most would describe me. And they would be right. But I’m Jeckle and Hyde, Jill AND Jack, loner and life of the party.
Concession stand girl, Eckerd’s check out queen, Resident Hall supervisor, chocolate candy maker, computer researcher, head-hunter, seamstress, computer focus author, photographer, dark room specialist, painter, decorator, women’s director, hostess, camp counselor, ice-cream scooper, babysitter, speaker, writer…all diverse money-make endeavors which have helped us along through the years.
Yep, I make myself crazy. 1/2 introvert, 1/2 extrovert, jack of all trades and master of none. sheesh!!
In the wild ride that is my life (and probably yours too), there have been a few things–very few–which have stayed consistent: the joy and love of amazing–really amazing–parents, the love and commitment of a husband I’m afraid I will sickeningly brag on if I start, the joy, fun, and struggle of 6 sons. These 3 are passions I have been born into or been committed to for life.
There’s one facet of this roller coaster ride of destiny that I have actually had to choose over and over to dedicate my life to and it was in the slow descent of the absence of that dedication that I learned the value of it. For the better part of my life…since age 18, I have had women in my life who poured truth into me and those who allowed me the privilege of pouring into them. All of us longing to know and love Jesus more and have lives which demonstrated that to the world. It’s never been a facet of my life to which I gave much thought…even before campus ministry and church staff, it just made sense.
After 6 children, cancer, a tough church situation, the death of my father, the transition to yet another city, my introvert won out. I was tired, peopled-out (heck, the 6 boys were enough noise for me!), and as a pastor’s wife I longed for some privacy. So, when we moved I focused on all my men at home….for some years. Even with a job directing a women’s ministry in a church, I did not find the Power or Presence that have now been restored to me.
Why? Because I was not intimately involved in a hungry, word-seeking, surrendered group of women. But now….well, now, to bring an old song back, “the girls are back in town.” These girls…oh, bless God, these girls….well, truth be known, there are thousands of them in every town, every phase of life, all levels of commitment to Christ…they are all…well, amazing.
They’ve been absent in my life. Because of me. And it has been a slow descent into selfishness, quietness succombing to aloneness, thriving to wilting, challenged to “whatever”…..And I would have never admitted it. But, when I lost the gift of discipleship, I lost a part of life and began the slow descent into absence. Absence of…perspective, hope, love, encouragement, challenge, determination, faith, obedience, the best…
Why do I write so long on this? Because, no matter who you are, what personality you have (and mine is pretty challenging, so you are probably on the up-side of that struggle!!), choices you’ve made, mistakes, triumphs, joys, and sorrows you have, discipleship is the path Jesus used. It is the path for you and me to find the immediate and constant true life that His presence brings. I bet there is someone just waiting to be asked…”Will you lead me?, or to ask, “May I lead you?” Ask someone now and start your group in January…what a great way to start the new year….
PS Wed. morning….I really, really love you, sweet 6 girls. Thank you.