I’m a bit of an introvert. I may have mentioned that before.
While I love my friends and the ‘family’ God has placed in my life, I’m always craving some time to hole up in my house and lock out the rest of the world.
That would make writing the perfect ministry for me, wouldn’t you think? I can sit alone with my thoughts and prayers for hours, and still do God’s work!
Except that He never called any of us to walk this road of faith alone. We were created for community.
So, because of the way I am created, God has made certain that I have to do more than just write. He’s called me to do things that stretch me, and that interact with others. And it’s hard, and it’s a blessing, and that’s how it should be.
I have discovered a way to do life with others, and for it to be good. There is a Helper for my weakness. The more in tune I am with the Spirit, the better friend I am, and the better I connect with others.
It involves listening close enough so when He nudges me in the middle of my business, I know to set aside the schedule and spend time with a friend. When He asks our family to spend our weekend to serving others, and we end up being more than blessed ourselves. Because we’ve created new friendships, and bolstered old friendships by serving side by side together.
It involves allowing others to help me, instead of always trying to be the strong one. Admitting struggles and letting someone actually be strong for me. Accepting kindness, encouragement, a prayer, a hug, a hand.
It involves taking the ugly to the Helper, too. People aren’t perfect. Not a one of them. They are all guaranteed to fail us, to some degree. And some fail us in spectacular fashion. Sometimes, the ones who were supposed to love us the most end up hitting us the hardest. Sometimes that’s why we prefer to lock ourselves in our own castles.
But we can’t let these consequences of our broken, sinful world make us run and hide. Lay each relationship down at the feet of the one who can redeem it. He will if He is allowed. And if He is not, He can still comfort us as we grieve that relationship. And understand that everyone falls short. Even us, sometimes. And then pray; try your best not to fail those who love you, find grace for your offender, and rejoin the group.
Dealing with people has its ups and downs. Finding that balance of giving and receiving can make life with others brilliant.
I may occasionally need a bit of time to recharge in my own safe haven, but I can’t ever forget that I was created to do life with these people God has placed all around me. Because I also have this hope to live out the rest of eternity with as many of these people around me as possible.