Monday, February 17, 2014

Introverted Perspective

Hi, My name is Tonya and I am an introvert. I never really questioned why I am what I am. I suppose I always thought that was how God made me. That would be my response if someone teased me about it. But now I am wondering, did God make me an introvert? Or did the circumstances and trials of life turn me into one?  I never questioned this before, as I was quite content with my rainbow & butterfly existence. (In the states), I would go to work, do my job to the best of my ability, talk with coworkers, students and parents. Then I would drive to my safe-haven: my home. Once home, I could shrug off the cares of the day, relax and be myself. I didn't have to worry about my facial expressions, whether or not I said the right thing, or mull over what someone else said and wonder "what exactly they meant". At home I could be quiet. At home, I didn't have to paste a smile on. At home, I didn't have to talk to anyone. I could just sit in my recliner and be me.

Growing up, I was always the quiet, shy child. I never was one for conversation. I was content to sit in the corner and listen to everyone and watch what was going on around me. I was a deep thinker. Even at the age of 6, I can remember being in deep thought about heaven, the after life, and God.  We moved around a lot. I was in at least (that I can remember) 12 different elementary schools from grades Kinder to 6. Two different middle schools and 2 different high schools.  I often heard comments that were negative and not at all encouraging.  I had some horrible relationships that just were not healthy. By the time I was 17, I tried several times to end my life.  Thanks to Jesus, things leveled out some during college. I still struggled with social situations. Found the whole college roommate thing quite difficult. In the end, I was able to room alone the last 2 1/2 years. During college, ended up in another bad relationship.  It caused me to further draw in to myself and away from others.

I say all of this NOT for any pity, but to just to bring up the question, why am I an introvert? Did God make me that way? Or did some of my life experiences make me that way? Perhaps God did have a hand in my personality, but life experiences distorted it and made it into something it was never suppose to be: a safety net.   Drawing into myself and away from others was self protection. "You won't hurt me because I am not giving you a chance."  I have spent the last 7 years fighting this. I was told on several occasions that I built up walls. And, they were right.  So, I have really worked on my social skills. I try to smile, engage in small talk and take an interest in others.

The last 2 years, my heart cry has been that others see the Love of Christ in me. I did not want my introvertness to get in the way of my Christian witness. So, there is the rub! At what point is it "my God-given personality" and not a selfish gesture meant to keep people at arms length?
I find myself in a position where I once again have roommates. I dearly love all of them. But I admit to spending a bit too much time in my room. Once I am home, my first inclination is to go to my room and decompress. The problem is, I tend to stay there. Yes, I do socialize when asked, 80% of the time. Ok, maybe 70%. ;)  I struggle to find that balance. I am just one of those people who needs a bit of alone time.  That is how I energize myself after a long, hard day of herding cats, I mean, first graders.  :-)  But at the same time, I worry that I am not loving enough or trying hard enough.  **sigh** It is a catch 22 for me.
It is a source of constant prayer for me. "Lord, help me to love others as you love me. Help me to reach out even when I'd rather stay in a book. Forgive me if I've caused anyone to stumble or feel unloved. "

This wasn't my typical blog post. Just thought I'd give you a glimpse into what goes on in my introverted head. Hahahaha. :-)  Prayers are always appreciated.  Things here are going well. Still loving my students and being here. I know this is where God wants me for this season of my life. He has been showing me so many things.  I guess that is why the introvert issue has been so heavy on my heart. I am suppose to be here to minister and to serve.  I just need to find the balance of serving, and refueling.

1 comment:

  1. Good morning, how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because through them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this, I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Suriname? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Suriname in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez