Not As Sensitive As It Seems

Introvert. INFJ. HSP. All labels to define me, to give me guidance and understanding for myself and why I work the way I do. These terms have all been crucial for me to understand certain aspects of me, and have helped greatly in my ability to give grace to myself.

For as long as I can remember I’ve needed space to myself. When I was little I’d sit in my closet to read. Not because I needed to in order to escape the noise or a shared bedroom, but because it was yet another door between me and the outside world.

Sometimes I feel like I fail as an introvert because I want to spend time around people (quality people, mind you). Sometimes I feel disconnected and like I’m not sensitive enough because I have some drive to overcome. But these thoughts are still perpetuating those false assumptions people make.

I’m so self-critical. I don’t know if a single day goes by without extreme self-loathing for all the ways I fail to measure up. I’m afraid to be a mother because I know I could never measure up to my mom. She was amazing at so many things, and did so much. And I have no idea how I could possibly even come close.

We all have our own weaknesses and failings. That’s part of being human. But sometimes I don’t really like the human part of me. Sometimes I wish I could be something (or someone) different.

I’m starting to feel again. I’m starting to feel for others again. And I almost don’t know what to do with it. But I know that God is faithful, and He will bring me through this too. This is the opportunity to learn and grow.

I’m also realizing that I value maturity. Not in the sense of taking on responsibility, but in the sense of wisdom and understanding. There’s been a disconnect between me and my husband because we think of maturity differently.

Some things have impacted me far more than I would like, others, hardly seem to phase me at all. I hate this about myself. Because, I don’t feel the things I want to feel, but I do feel the things I don’t. Like Paul I suppose. That’s the nature of sin. It eats away at us, until we’re hollowed out and have nothing left to give.

So many fuller post ideas in this. I don’t have the time or energy to go through and write them now. I have two minutes before switching to my next task. Oh yeah, I hadn’t mentioned, I’m trying out a schedule now. It’s mostly helpful I think. But this also allows me the space to process and take purposeful time to write.

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Safe Place

“Hold it all together, everybody needs you strong…” I don’t know why it is, but I attract broken people like a moth to a flame. I think this is a common INFJ thing. (If you’re an INFJ, does this happen to you?)

I’ve had even total strangers confide in me about their struggles or look for advice. I don’t say this to gloat, I say this because it’s happened, and I’m not really sure why.

My husband tells me that one of the things he liked about me was that I was a safe person and am easy to talk to.

It seems that when crisis hits, people come to me to talk. I feel the pressure to save everyone, to be that rock, that solid anchor. But I can’t be. I want to be there for others so badly, but I can’t save them. I don’t have that power or control.

“Then life hits you out of nowhere and barely leaves you holding on…” I know what it’s like to fall apart and feel alone, and I don’t want anyone else to have to experience that. And it crushes me that I can’t just reach in and save them and take the pain away.

But God can.

Sometimes we need to step out of His way and allow Him to be the Savior, instead of playing God.

But God is our hiding place. He is our refuge from the storm. He is our safe place that we can run to, even in our weakest of moments. I’d like to think that I can show even a little glimmer of His love when people come to me for shelter. But my life is messy, and I feel like I fail at that more often than not.

I’m not strong enough to take on the world. And it’s such a relief to know that I’m not responsible to save everyone (very difficult to accept too!), and to know that all I need to do is share God’s love and the hope I have in Him.

I won’t pretend to have it all together, I don’t. But one thing I do know — God uses broken people.

Faithful Rain

It’s a beautiful rainy day today. Maybe one of the last of the year before winter takes over and snow begins to fall. It’s so peaceful, so cozy, and I’m thankful once again for God’s grace and goodness that He rains down on us.

I’m spending the day writing, maybe I’ll do some reading later on. Christmas movies play in the background, and a warm cup of tea steams beside me. I love days like these. They’re so restful and peaceful. And I’m so thankful for that peace.

It comes easier when we learn to notice the good. After two years of keeping a gratitude list I find myself recognizing the beautiful things around me more often. Inner calmness seems easier to come by, and I know this is the work of God. I’m so thankful for His faithfulness and peace. This contentment surpasses other types of generic happiness and fills me with gratitude for these quiet moments.

So today, as the rain pours down, I’m reminded once again of God’s grace and goodness. He nourishes us with exactly what we need. And He is always faithful, even when we’re not paying attention.

Advocate

Yesterday, I was thanked for being a little girl’s advocate. We were in children’s church, and she wanted a snack, but was afraid to ask the teacher. I wasn’t even fully there to help, I was supposed to be taking photos. The lead teacher thanked me for being the little girl’s advocate.

I held her hand as we stepped toward the teacher and the big box of goldfish. She clung to me, uncertain and unsure. When the little paper cup was filled with her snack, I thought about taking it for her, but I didn’t. I let her reach to grab it. And I was struck with how God does that with us.

He leads us, He speaks for us, He takes our hand and He guides us to where we’re supposed to be. And then, when the blessing comes, we have a choice. Do we wish to take it, or do we recoil in fear? God is standing beside us every step of the way, but He doesn’t coddle us. He gives us the choice. Do we really want what we’ve so desperately pleaded for? Or are we asking God just because it’s easy?

I’m thankful for a God who loves us. And I’m thankful that, even if I have to reach out my hand, we have a constant advocate in Christ.

Brokenness

Sometimes we’re all a little broken. We pick up the pieces because it’s what we have to do to move on, but not all of the pieces always come with us when we go. Little shards of us are left here and there. Sometimes changing others, sometimes changing ourselves. We keep moving and keep fighting, because it’s what we have to do.

We need to step back and remove the mask. We aren’t all perfect, in fact, none of us are. Being open about being broken is so challenging and so painful and scary at times, but it’s also a beautiful place where God allows us to grow. This is where true connections are formed and lifelong friendships are made.

We are forged through fire, refined through the flames. We’re made better, and healed, through being broken together. And God is the glue, the gold that binds our broken wounds, and makes us more beautiful than we could have been before.

Pursuit Of Perfection

Envy. Oh how I loathe that evil little sin. Out of the seven deadly sins, envy is the one I struggle with the most. It seems I’m never content with what I have when I see how much better things could have been. My mind is filled with could haves. And it steals the joy I have today, over something that I missed out on yesterday or tomorrow. Or who knows, maybe it’s over things I’ll someday have, just not yet, not right now.

Patience is hard too. It’s easier to just say, “Okay God, I’ll wait for your perfect timing,” than it is to actually follow through on it. All around me, people have things that I want, things that there’s really no reason I couldn’t someday have. But even that hinges on hope.

I’m too much of a perfectionist. I want that Instagram perfect life, and yet I also detest the lack of authenticity it brings with it. Not that everyone on Instagram is a fake, and I know there’s a time and place for a more curated identity. But those two values/desires conflict so heavily in me.

I want to have my life together, I want to know what the heck I’m doing, and, I want to be fully real and authentic doing it. Basically, I’m still chasing the idea of perfect. But perfect doesn’t exist. Life is messy. There’s heartache and pain, there’s a lot of beauty too, but sometimes we’re in the midst of a fire, or left standing in the ashes, waiting for that beauty to come. What then? What is truly more important to me?

At the end of the day, it isn’t about putting on a face, it’s about removing that gunk and all the pretty filth that makes us look different than who we are. I choose authenticity. I want to be real.

I don’t have everything in my life together. I don’t have that perfectly curated life. And that’s okay. I share from places of pain, places of brokenness, and places of trust and hope. It’s all real, it’s all there, and every little bit of it is just another piece of the puzzle that makes me me.

Do you struggle with perfectionism? What have you found helps you feel safe enough to take off the mask?

Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving once again. A time spent with loved ones, enjoying good food and reminiscing about all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for this year. Or perhaps it means a quiet day at home with peaceful solitude.

Wherever you find yourself, whether you’re alone or surrounded by many loved ones, may you have a truly blessed and happy Thanksgiving.