Definitely an Introvert

February 23, 2007

Now, more than ever, I am recognizing my need to be alone… to have space. Time that involves no one but me and God. I am in desperate need for some time away from people… even the ones I most love and enjoy being around.

In times of loss like this, people flock to you. Like the odd habit of a ton of people gathering around the night that a loved one has died. What’s the deal with that? For an introvert, it’s a nightmare. The day that my mother passed away, we had one of those overwhelming people-fests. I was found hiding in the bathroom… and then spent most of the night off in a little side room.

I’ve been repeatedly frustrated with myself in the last week and a half… frustrated with my lack of patience. Especially for the first week. People kept coming by the house to comfort us or whatever… and, more than anything, they were mostly just draining what little energy I did have. Especially when I was frantically trying to run around and get things ready for the memorial service. (Which is not to say that I didn’t appreciate their visits. They were just very difficult for me.)

And, since Friday, I have had a lot of people who I really love around me. Like family, Lauren, Matthias, Sarah, Heather… but I have most enjoyed those rare moments of actually being alone. Like this morning. Sarah was still asleep and my dad was at work. I had two AMAZING hours completely to myself. Yeah, I cried a lot… but it was good… and the Lord was so near to me. I haven’t had much breathing room for times like that.

Anyway… I find myself getting excessively annoyed with ridiculous little things over and over and over again. And it’s getting old. I want to learn patience. I want to mature. I want to know how to love when I feel that I am stretched so thin. I want to figure out how to function when I can’t get the time alone that I think I need.

Right now, even writing complete sentences seems out of reach. I feel so overwhelmed (mostly by the lack of time to be by myself and REALLY dial down) that I can hardly sort out my own thoughts. And what’s funny is that today was a really great day.

Had I spent the last week and a half completely by myself, I’d probably be an even bigger mess right now. I just think I need a little bit of both.

(The fact that I’m not really sleeping probably doesn’t help, either.)

So… in conclusion:

Oh, how I long for solitude (and real rest).



  1. Hey friend-I understand all of this. People are so nice to have around yet they are so nice to not have around. Grace to you friend!

  2. may you find it, in the name of Jesus…

    blessings and peace, my friend.

    [i still miss your face.]

  3. ~And it’s getting old. I want to learn patience. I want to mature. I want to know how to love when I feel that I am stretched so thin. I want to figure out how to function when I can’t get the time alone that I think I need.~

    If only you knew the ways in which this was already happening in you…I see it clearly. Good job you. 😉

    I love you.

    I too miss your face.

  4. Realize what grace it is that you know how to be alone with the LORD . . . 🙂 Sadly, many do not.

    I’m very conflicted about this. I too am about ready for some alone time–and am definitely needing some more time alone with you (ha: I still get such a kick out of Frodo and Sam discussing Frodo’s going alone: “of course you are and I’m going with you”) before you go back to KC. But I have been so blessed by all of who have stood with us.

    Part of it is that there is never enough to fill this emptiness or assuage this grief. There is never consolation or meaning or comfort sufficient to make sense of death. There is only Jesus and the Father and the Comforter and, let’s face it, we don’t generally understand them, do we? Not really, I mean. But they do come to us, in our solitude, in our friends, in a million unspeakable and unknown ways they come and minister to us and bring significance and healing and love. Yet even that is never quite enough. We know that we will only be fully and truly comforted when we rest at last in His arms. Your mother is one step closer to that joy . . .

  5. Oh, another thing ;-), the thing is that we don’t find perfect peace by ourselves or with others, we find it in Jesus. That’s one point I meant to make. And sometimes we find Him one place or another, one circumstance or another. And when we don’t find Him where we are, we go looking. The thing is, God always shows up. It’s just like your mom was saying in one of the last things she ever wrote, isn’t it?

    Lauren is right. You are maturing into the image of the Perfect One. And I know it’s probably no consolation, but we all mostly suck at being with others . . . and at being alone and just being human, come to think of it. But you are on your way and He’s smiling on you. And so are we.

  6. Christine & Joel: I’m sorry for your loss, and glad that you are finding comfort as you mourn your mother’s and wife’s death. Praying for you.

    I completely understand this longing for solitude. I’m like that, too,–can stand people only so long before I find that I need to get away in order to return and be good company on another occasion. It’s not always possible to get away and I’m not always good company, but it’s a journey…and we do make progress along the way. So take heart!

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