Introverted Soul

by Mary Beth on May 4, 2015

“The souls that would really be richer in duty in some new position,
are precisely those who borrow no excuses from the old one;
who even esteem it full of privileges, plenteous in occasions of good,
frequent in divine appeals, which they chide their graceless and unloving temper for not heeding more.
IMG_1418Wretched and barren is the discontent that quarrels with its tools instead of with its skill; and, by criticizing Providence, manages to keep up complacency with self.
How gentle should we be, if we were not provoked;
how pious, if we were not busy;
the sick would be patient, only he is not in health;
the obscure would do great things, only he is not conspicuous!”
~J.  Martineau

 I’m an introvert. INFJ.

Truly, it’s a welcome and mercy to enjoy life

with family and friends.

However,

to be a healthy and honest soul,

I equally accept the fact quality time

is often needed for a healthier self.

In hours of quiet reflection and meditation,

introverts tend to wrestle and 

challenge our analytical thoughts,

 complexities and judgements in life.  

In living life with my dear family, or within the body of Christ,

with neighbors or acquaintances,

especially within the different roles I’m blessed to live,

resides an ongoing value for me to balance and navigate

my introverted self.

To consistently exist responsively instead of intentionally,

would not be wise to attain the quality of living desired for my soul.

 Most likely if this value is left unattended,

what suffers is healthy communication in a noisy world.

“We see ourselves as a nation of extroverts-
which means that we’ve lost sight of who we really are.  
Depending on which study you consult,
one third to one half of Americans are introverts-
in other words,
one out of every two or three people you know.”  Susan Cain
 
*

As an introverted believer.

By the grace of God,

we have the opportunity to learn,

embrace and rest,

in His providential design and purposes for each of us.

Introverted souls easily tires when quality time

towards contemplation and its rewards,

are lacking in any given day.

Whether we’re introverted or not, as believer’s

we need to learn and to embrace the quiet inner life.

To value given instruction and wisdom from solitude,

silence, and simplicity.

Equally,

we would be amiss to think,

to quickly claim a license towards isolation.

For Christ’s redemption on the cross, calls us to His redemptive purposes and living.

“The ideal human existence is not eternal leisure or endless vacation––
or even a monastic retreat into prayer and mediation––
but creative effort expended for the glory of God
and the benefit of others.”  
 
~Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth.
*

I’m thankful for the freedom and value gained,

towards understanding

how to live in compassionate community with one another.

We are living in concerning times.

Many voices today are filled with culture rage and entitlement. As we persevere in biblical wisdom and conviction, it will require both our solitude and biblical community

in Scripture, praise, and prayer.

We need to affirm, value, and encourage the quieter souls among us!

In group settings,

learn to adjust your schedule and possibly presumptions

to engage with others.

Anticipate when best to leave.

Jesus often engaged His time and effort in reflection and prayer,

and withdrew into the wilderness.

 Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks were introverts.

C. S. Lewis took long walks.

Their influence, example, and courage

speaks encouragement and inspiration.

We also learn that solitude is crucial for creativity and productivity.

Yet it will require,

Effort.  Prayer.  Conviction.

*

As an introverted wife.

Earlier in our marriage,

it was my aim to live in step with my husband’s example

of genuine kindness in community.

Unlike myself he is a gifted extrovert, who easily moves within cultural expectations through his skills of

leadership, shepherding, and discernment.

As I gave myself the liberty to accept how God wired me,

 the value of being a quieter soul that yearns

for space in depth and beauty,

created a welcomed responsibility.

*

As an introverted mom.

With life joys, challenges, struggles, celebrations, cares, and responsibilities,

parenting is demanding on any soul.

It’s a call to discipleship.  And that calling is to die to self.

We quickly learn this calling to die in community, marriage,

especially in the precious responsibility and care of a new born.

It’s a call to learn and manage values, priorities, and strategies within family life.

God in His wisdom, kindness, and providential will,

creates families with a mix of temperments and personalities.

Understand and appreciate the need for space,

for every soul to enjoy solitude and contemplation.

Our family called quiet or down time, “Turtle Time.”

For even the turtle needs to withdraw in his shell for a time!

*

As an introverted leader.

 In leadership, friendship or casual acquaintances,

women will quietly admit their introverted tendencies,

and question if they should lead others.

Absolutely!

Again, as a culture we value and need introverted leaders.

 It’s essential to call them out of the wilderness to offer their voice.

I’m constantly challenged to fight against fear

of social judgements, misunderstandings.  Expectations.

Nonetheless, we need to step out and offer the eyes of an introvert.

Especially in a noisy world!

I have faced this fact, specifically in my blog mightyrighthand.com!

To offer novice writings for all to see;

some of my deepest pondering, convictions, and thoughts of contemplation?

A huge step!

Our society loves group work.  There’s a place for it.

And yet, there’s a growing awareness and value to avoid it for the purpose of creativity, and productivity.

I’m thankful for God’s creative hand in our varied personalities, and temperaments.

For we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

It’s okay.  Affirm the process of a healthy, introverted soul.

*

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself,

than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”  ~Henry David Thoreau

*

Additional Resources:

Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristy May 5, 2015 at 8:51 AM

So good! Much needed encouragement for this introverted soul in a busy season. Love you, Mary!

Reply

Mary May 5, 2015 at 5:16 PM

Good to hear it, my kindred-spirited friend! Love and miss you! Anne is calling….

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Introverted Soul