I found the following on my computer, buried among several other Word docs and random writing prompts. I’m not sure what prompted me to write it, or when I wrote it, but it still applies.
Years ago, I took an online spiritual gifts test. One of my highest scoring gifts was mercy or compassion. I wasn’t too surprised. I “feel” for people and long to help the less fortunate, the discouraged, and the destitute. I spent three years of my life mothering and teaching African children and was fired up about the idea that I was empowering and enriching their lives.
For years, I worked in a retirement and assisted living facility. Part of my job was encouraging and loving on the widowed and the lonely. When I first started, I loved it. Years later, I felt absolutely drained from it.
As much as I long to help people, I also long to just be alone. Such is the problem for a mercy-gifted introvert. I want to help people, and yet being around them drains me. And I’m unsure of how to handle this dichotomy.
Lately, I feel more and more exhausted from more and more interactions with people. How do you reconcile what seems to be an extroverted spiritual gift with an introverted nature?
First, I need to simply realize that there is nothing wrong with me. I need time alone to recharge. I cannot fully serve others when I myself am feeling drained. Taking time to myself in the morning to prepare for my day helps. And, taking alone time at the end of a draining day is my reward.
Second, I’m finding ways that I can still serve others while being safely nestled amongst my introverted ways. Through writing, I’ve found that I can connect with and encourage people. And I can do it all from the comfort of my couch, snuggled under a blanket and without draining interaction amongst others.
Third, I need to rely on God. He has made me the way I am, and He didn’t make a mistake. He will provide the help along the way that I so desperately need. I too often forget how much prayer will help strengthen me. This little introvert has been spurred on by some incredibly extroverted moments, which I can only see being brought on by God.
I pray that I will continue to serve in ways that will encourage others as well as myself. I need to be true to who I am, the core of my being, all without draining the other core of who I am.