I’ve been an introvert all of my life. Although growing up, I never really knew there was an actual name for it. And the term, when used, always seemed to have a negative connotation. Fortunately things have changed dramatically. And being an introvert is acceptable and claimed by many.
When Coronavirus began to dictate social distancing and more importantly, staying at home, the latter didn’t seem like the worst thing to me. I came to learn though, that wanting to stay home and being made to stay home feel very different. My husband, although he loves this house, is an extrovert. He thrives on interacting with people. And as bomb as I am, sometimes I’m not enough. So the stay at home mandate is a lil more tortuous for him.
I’ve been trying to ween myself off of too much live TV (especially the dreaded press conferences), and even social media (where one day the first 5 posts were about people dying from COVID-19); dealing with the reality whenever I have to brave going outside (looking for non existent TP; which I need and am not trying to hoard); the empty freeways (which have wonderfully cut my commute from 5 hours to 2; which I love but also hate, because it signifies all of the people who not only can’t go to work but have been laid off)…. It’s just all a lot. A. LOT.
And then it hit me. I feel scared. When my son got a respiratory infection right at the beginning of this devastating virus setting in. When my husband goes to work in a hospital setting every day. When I go out in the public. When I forget to NOT touch my face, or allergies cause me to instinctively touch around my eyes. When my kids are miles upon miles away, and even though they are adults I just want them home! When members of my church, especially the seniors, share that they feel isolated because they can’t do the very things they look forward to weekly – bible study and church. When I’m afraid to visit my MIL because what if I’m carrying the virus?
And to make matters worse, I see many of my brothers and sisters in Christ braving this situation far better than I. I feel like my faith is failing because of all the things I said above. Because I’m having a hard time thinking and planning for the future because it seems so bleak right now. Because two weeks ago, while the president made it seem like this was just a horrible flu, today it is abundantly clear that this is more devastating. Life is just different right now. But I dare not express that lest I be met with responses like “God is in control”, whichI know… “Faith over Fear”. Various bible versus. Various put downs (at least that what it feels like). I didn’t realize how hard it was all weighing on me.
Then… My friend posted this on Facebook. And I found myself crying hysterically by the third line.
Me: Ok Lord, here’s the thing. I’m scared. I’m trying not to be, but I am.
God: I know. Want to talk about it?
Me: Do we need to? I mean, You already know.
God: Let’s talk about it anyway… We’ve done this before.
Me: I know, I just feel like I should be bigger or stronger or something by now.
God: *waiting patiently, unhurried, undistracted, never annoyed.
Me: Okay. So, I’m afraid I’ll do everything I can to protect my family and it won’t be enough. I’m afraid of someone I love dying. I’m afraid the world won’t go back to what it was before. I’m afraid my life is always going to feel a little bit unsettled.
God: Anything else?
Me: EVERYTHING ELSE.
God: Remember how your son woke up the other night and came running down the hall to your bedroom?
God: You were still awake, so when you heard him running, you started calling out to him before he even got to you… remember? Do you remember what you called out to him?
Me: I said, “You’re okay! You’re okay! You’re okay! I’m here.”
God: Why did you call to him? Why didn’t you just wait for him to get to your room?
Me: Because I wanted him to know that I was awake, and I heard him, and he didn’t have to be afraid until he reached the end of the dark hallway.
God: Exactly. I hear you, My child. I hear your thoughts racing like feet down the dark hallway. There’s another side to all of this. I’m there already. I’ve seen the end of it. And I want you to know right here as you walk through it all, you’re okay. I haven’t gone to sleep, and I won’t.
Me: *crying. Can we sit together awhile? Can we just sit here a minute before I go back to facing it all?
God: There’s nothing I’d love more.
(Copied and comforted)
I am reminded, that being a christian doesn’t make me perfect. I am human, and my fear is a human experience. And I’m done with letting people shame me for feeling the way I feel. That post made me cry. Hard. Ugly. Long overdue. But it also made me remember Who I serve. He knows I weak and He is still there for me.