Hello. My name is Emily. I am what one would call an outgoing introvert. I am outgoing around those I trust, places I am comfortable in. I can be silly and fun, maybe even bust a few dance moves, or belt a few opera notes, but my heart needs quiet and alone time. At my core I am still an introvert. When I get nervous around people, feel out of place, or like I don’t truly fit in, I tend to act like a crazy person who snorted one too many pixie sticks.
It’s true. I get babbly, rambly, and overly chattery. I am sure I have
annoyed embarrassed my poor husband a few times. We are complete opposites. He is full of confidence. He knows where his value comes from and doesn’t struggle with people pleasing. I, on the other hand, do. I tend to over-think, over-worry, and over-analyze things to a fault.
I have this vision in my head of what I should be like at whatever event, gathering, or party I am at, and then get way too nervous, therefore trying way too hard to be that person I think I should be. If I am at a party, I should be super smiley and full of fun (even if inside I am peopled out, talked out, and just want to be home in my PJ’s watching Beat Bobby Flay or Doctor Who, it’s a toss up). If I am at a church small group, I should give input and answers to ALL the questions (even if I don’t really feel like answering them, and to be honest, sometimes I don’t even feel like being there). If I am at one of my husbands work or community events, I should act proper, put together, have on makeup and a dress, and wave like a queen (ok, so maybe not that last one, but this mama is the FARTHEST thing from put together, and I don’t really like getting that fancy or wearing makeup).
It. Is. Exhausting.
This is what leads people to be confused by my personality, which really, I don’t blame them. I confuse myself much of the time (that could be a WHOLE other blog post). This also leads to burnout from not being myself. This leads to
possibly making a fool of myself, talking too much or out of place, or trying so hard to say it “the right way” when I do want to answer something, my words get all jumbled.
That is no way to live. It definitely isn’t being authentic. It isn’t being the person God created me to be, and it definitely isn’t helping anyone. It is mostly hurting myself.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
The above was the verse of the day on my phone Bible app. It really hit me. As much as I want to say I do this verse well, that what I do, and why I do it, is to help others and share the love and light of Jesus…
It just isn’t true a lot of the time.
If it were, I wouldn’t be trying to be someone I am not. I would be the same Emily regardless of where I went or who I was with. I would be confident in being quiet if I didn’t feel like talking. I wouldn’t feel pressure to answer all the things or participate in all the activities if I just wanted to watch. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT saying to be rude, or have the resting you know what face look, I only mean I should strive to be REAL. AUTHENTIC. and the Emily God created me to be. Despite my circumstances or circle.
We can act appropriately for WHERE we are, while still being WHO we are. We can be understanding and still be authentic. (I think that is more what Paul was referring to when he was talking about being all things to all people: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
How often do we, especially as women, try and be something we aren’t? Do too much? Get involved in too much? Be everything to everyone, all the time, because we THINK we should?
This culture praises extroverts more than introverts, and that is a problem that needs to change, because I think it plays a big part in the issue I, and other introverts, struggle with. Jesus needs introverts too. We cannot all be in the forefront, or there would be no one to do the background, but important, work. We cannot have all pastors and no flock. We cannot have all party planners, or there would be no one to plan for. This world needs both. God needs both.
And He needs you and me, regardless of personality, to be ourselves; because being ourselves is the best way to make a difference for the kingdom.