Everyone knows I’m an introvert.
Well, almost everyone. I’ve had a few people say that they wouldn’t have pegged me as one because I’m funny, I like to go places and host parties.
All that is true, but if I don’t have downtime to recharge my batteries, I get into a bad place, emotionally and mentally. And let’s just say that I’m long overdue for some solitude.
When you’re an introvert at heart, you don’t really like being noticed. So you tend to suffer in silence because it’s hard to open up to others when the end result means bringing on more draining social interaction.
I don’t know about other Christian introverts, but I do that with God sometimes, too. Instead of taking my cares to Him, I just soldier on, shouldering burdens that grow heavier by the day, trudging along in that pattern I default to because it’s dark and shady and nobody is around.
Pardon the cliche, but it’s incredibly hard for me to “let go and let God”.
I struggle with letting people be there for me, too. The older I get, the harder I find it to trust others with the things that are truly dear to me. People have taught me that if I drop one of these burdens off on them, they’re likely to spread out the contents and gather everyone ’round for a laugh-fest before they make a bonfire out of my things. Inner circles nearly always contain a few Judases. Whether keeping things internal is an introverted trait, or a measure of wisdom, or something else entirely, I’m not sure. Some issues I’m dealing with now, I’ve only been able to share with my husband and maybe one carefully chosen friend.
Honestly? This particular time in my life feels like standing in front of the monkey cage at the zoo, being pelted with handfuls of steaming rejection, criticism, and negativity. It leaves me feeling like such a failure, that I stop wanting to seek God. Because in that brightest of all spotlights, I see even more clearly how little I measure up to what I ought to be.
Like Adam and Eve in the garden, or when you’re playing hide-and-seek with a toddler — it’s like I’m dumb enough to believe that if I can’t see Him, He can’t see me.
Craziness, I know.
This morning, I stopped trudging that solo path, because I just couldn’t anymore. Not today. I dropped all my crap on the ground and said, “Here, take it. I’m done.”
And I dusted off a devotional and read something that made me cry. Because through it, God let me know the one thing I didn’t know I needed to hear.
He sees me.
There’s a beautiful scene in The Joy Luck Club, outlined more fully here, where June (a character I truly relate to) apologizes to her mother, Suyuan, for always being a disappointment. But Suyuan, instead of agreeing with her daughter, reminds her of a time that she witnessed her compassion when June had no idea anyone noticed or cared. She declared that June had the “best quality heart” and as the two locked their eyes on one another, Suyuan speaks a blessing that June had never before understood: “I see you.”
To Suyuan, June wasn’t a hopeless failure. She didn’t see her shortcomings at all. She just loved her for who she was.
And that’s what God offered me today. I felt like June on the receiving end of her mother’s intense gaze. I felt seen. I felt understood.
I let myself receive the comfort of knowing that even if every other person in the world is against me, He sees my heart. He sees the good seeds He planted there.
And God loves what He made.
He offers that to you today, too. No matter how much the world hates you, no matter how deeply others betray you and use you, no matter how much your motives are questioned or your actions misunderstood–God himself made you and He cherishes what He made.
He sees you.
And that’s a very good thing indeed.