An Extrovert During Times of Isolation and Uncertainty
My son's first words in a recent telephone call were, "How's my extrovert Mom doing during this coronavirus quarantine?" He knows me well. He knows how I crave face-to-face conversations and connections with my friends. He should know. He inherited the trait directly from me.
My daughter Laura is a brilliant introvert. She thrives on time alone to think and process her many thoughts. Her husband and children have similar personalities. It's an amazingly quiet household. My daughter Julie enjoys her friends, but she relishes times when she can cocoon with her children on their farm and just "be." My Silver Fox is also an introvert who truly needs periods of quiet in his life. He's wonderful with his veterinary clients, but after days of work, he's very introspective and looks forward to hours for praying, planning and making careful decisions.
As for me, I am very thankful during these days (which are turning into weeks) for this blog, for Facebook, for Instagram, for texting, Facetime and Facebook messaging. And where has Zoom been before now? It's a great tool. I have thoughts, and I want to share them. I'm a planner, but right now every possible plan (except what to prepare for dinner) is on hold. I LOVE traveling, eating great food, discovering new places, meeting interesting people and then telling all of you about my findings. But at this moment, travel is prohibited, great food has to be prepared by me or acquired through a drive-thru window. All of the destinations I've been hoping to see are closed. The interesting people are inside their homes, just as I'm inside mine. To add to the angst, Steve and I are smack dab, age-wise, in the "most vulnerable" category for the virus, but thankfully, we don't have any "pre-existing conditions" to amplify our worries.
Add to the mix the fact that I'm a control freak to the nth degree. I don't even like cruise control on my car, because I hate giving anyone or anything else the ability to control what I do. It's pitiful. Steve has spent 49 years living with me. He deserves a giant trophy.
So, how IS this particular extrovert, sharer, planner, control freak doing right now? As I think about it, I'm actually surprised to be making it so well. Could it be that I, like my introverted loved ones, needed time to ponder and process thoughts, to find fresh truths in God's Word (maybe verses I've read before but are just now "seeing" and applying), time to just "be," to read, to pray longer and enjoy the quietness? Is it possible that the solitude, periods of isolation and uncertainty could give me MORE MEANINGFUL insights and words to share with my friends and readers? I believe all of the above benefits are true and many more will become clear when we have the perspective of hindsight.
I am blessed that Steve and I are able to shelter in place together. I have another human being who loves me who can weather this interruption alongside me. But even more, we BOTH have the assurance that God is with us. With have the guidance, the comfort, and the direction of the Holy Spirit during these days of uncertainty.
Here are some verses (New English Translation) that have particular meaning for me right now. Maybe they will speak to you, as well. When the words on the newscasts are troubling, when the stock market is sinking, when the walls are closing in, when the immediate future looks so strange, when the long-term prospects seem so uncertain, let's remember these precious promises from our Heavenly Father.
Isaiah 41:10 - "Don’t be afraid, for I am with you! Don’t be frightened, for I am your God!
I strengthen you—yes, I help you—yes, I uphold you with my victorious right hand!"
Deuteronomy 31:8 - "The Lord is indeed going before you—he will be with you; he will not fail you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged!”
Exodus 33:14 - "And the Lord said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Psalm 34:17-18 - "The godly cry out and the Lord hears; He saves them from all their troubles.
The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He delivers those who are discouraged."
John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage."
Philippians 4:7 - "And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."