this is who I am…

When I applied to be a missionary with PIONEERS almost 2 years ago, I had to fill out 3 psychological profile questionnaires. I’m not kidding when I tell you there were a total of more than 1000 questions between the 3 of them! By the time I was finished filling them out, I was really thinking I am a nut job. I found it a little excruciating too that I had to wait for a few months to get the results of those tests. The biggest thing I learned about my personality is I am an introvert.

in·tro·vert

[n., adj. in-truh-vurt; v. in-truh-vurt]

–noun

1.

a shy person.
2.

Psychology . a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings ( opposed to extrovert).
I don’t consider myself to be shy. But I am definitely concerned with my own thoughts and feelings.
–verb (used with object)

5.

to turn inward: to introvert one’s anger.
6.

Psychology . to direct (the mind, one’s interest, etc.) partly to things within the self.
I also definitely turn my feelings inward, like anger. I’m just in my head a lot. I am a misunderstood person. I am a contradiction. I think people have a hard time trying to figure me out. On the one hand, I can be very friendly and outgoing. But those occasions are usually limited to 2 out of 10 times. The rest of the time I am quiet, reserved, observant, and thoughtful.

Introversion
Loners

If a crowded cocktail party feels like a holding cell to you, even as you gamely keep up your end of the chatter, chances are you’re an introvert. Introverts are drained by social encounters and energized by solitary, often creative pursuits. Their disposition is frequently misconstrued as shyness, social phobia or even avoidant personality disorder, but many introverts socialize easily; they just strongly prefer not to. In fact, the self-styled introvert can be more empathic and interpersonally connected than his or her outgoing counterparts. The line between introversion and lonely loners gets blurry, however, as some introverts do wish they could break out of their shell.

The other day, I was wondering when I became an introvert? Was I born this way? Am I a product of my environment? All I know is I have been this way for as long as I can remember. And I can remember things back to the age of 2. But I can also remember cognitively as far back as the age of 5. I have always been this way.

I just wish I had always known this information. I think life would have been slightly less painful.

I think God has an amazing sense of humor that He’s called me to be a missionary when I can only stand to be around people for so many hours a day. He’s pushing me beyond my boundaries to be sure. All the things extroverts find so easy, being friendly, smiling all the time, being social, are a struggle for me. I find it all very draining. Life tends to suck the life out of me.

I find it so ironic that God has chosen me. I am a foolish thing of the world to be sure.

His… Michelle

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13 thoughts on “this is who I am…

  1. Yes, God does have a sense of humor, and he does push us past our boundaries 🙂 Thank goodness we get our strength through him!

  2. Hi Michelle,

    I’m learning that part of the cycle of spiritual growth is change. I’m changing from the man I was into the man God shapes me to be. Although I say, “this is my desire Lord“, I do find instances when I’m resistant.

    God takes us from our comfort zone to the place of faith, hope, and trust in Him. Jesus describes our relationship with the Father through the Gardener and the vine, who prunes away the dead branches. I have viewed this as a painful process when in fact there is no sensation in a lifeless limb. The pain we experience are thoughts which in time heal and strengthen our resolve to trust Him even more.

    Blessings and peace.

    MTJ

  3. you said you wished you’d known some of this sort of thing before, in that it would have made things slightly less painful…how so? what would have you done differently?

    • I think maybe my feelings wouldn’t have been hurt so much if I had realized I didn’t have to explain the look on my face to everybody? And maybe I wouldn’t have tried so hard to be somebody I wasn’t, trying to get people to like me? But who knows?

  4. I know just how you feel, micey. I am an introvert too. I recently read a book that helped me understand myself better. The author indicated that the brains of introverts and extroverts are actually different. I know I’ve always been an introvert and I never liked that fact. I think life is much easier for extroverts. A thought just occurred to me. I wonder if we will be introverted or extroverted in heaven. I guess it won’t matter at all, but I like to think maybe we will all be extroverted. I think I would like that.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

  5. I am also an introvert. Sometimes I break out and do things uncharacteristic of an introvert, but I am usually pushing myself past my comfort zone. I heard someone say recently that the comfort zone becomes the danger zone, if we choose to never venture out of it. God is in the business of pushing us past ourselves, to show what He can do through us.

    I can do “all” things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13

    But it is often uncomfortable:)

    You will make a wonderful missionary because you will rely on Him to give you strength, and it will be for His glory and honor.

  6. Micey,

    Years ago I started learning and understanding our different personalities. One of the most interesting things I learned was this:
    “If an extrovert was sick and let’s say in a wheelchair, you could take this person to a “Mall” and just sit and be around people and this would physically and emotionally help them to feel better. HOWEVER, if you did this very same thing to a introvert it would actually cause them to get worse.

    You are right on when you say that being around people all the time drains you. It absolutely does. But when you recognizing this, it is at that moment when you feel you are at the end of your limit I would encourage you as soon as you can to withdraw and shut yourself in with the Lord or with HIS Word and just even to be still. Giving yourself that permission is going to make you better and more effective for HIM and those around you when you are not drained or weary!

    Remember Jesus even went away from the people …. to rest. to pray. He knew HIS limits and the only way HE could do what HE was called to do was to pull back when necessary!!

    Blessings to you

  7. I am an introvert also, although my husband doesn’t always think so. But I definitely need time to myself and away from people. I praise God for using you to be a missionary. It takes all types to reach all types!

  8. I was an extravert my whole life until illness made that near impossible as social encounters are so physically draining. So now I am more of an introvert I guess. Either way I am sure God takes us outside of ourselves so we can serve Him and give Him the glory….Interesting and thought provoking post, Micey!

  9. I’m an introvert who works really hard on being more extroverted. In God’s plan He puts me with a lot of people. I find even though it is sometimes difficult, God gives joy with His plan. Can’t beat that!

  10. I enjoyed this post.. I too am an introvert and God keeps moving me into situations that force me to step outside of my box, it seems as though He takes our weakness and molds it into our strength.

    Blessings to you!
    Misty

  11. You are not an introvert because of circumstances. God created you that way. While it’s true that circumstances can contribute to how we perceive or deal with situations it doesn’t change who we were created to be. Imagine a world filled only with extraverts… Introspection is a beautiful gift of the Father, just as useful to him as the gift of gab!

    How marvelous that you recognize the humor in choosing you to be a missionary. I’d much rather trust the missionary who sees herself as inadequate (wholly trusting in God) than the one who feels capable!

    God bless you and use you mightily Michelle!

    Debbie

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