2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure [light of the Gospel]in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
I am an introvert. That doesn’t mean I don’t like talking or being around people. I love socializing, as long as my social battery is fully charged. Being introverted means I just need some serious recharge time to be able to live a consistent life of ministry without locking myself away for a few months here and there in my room.
As I get older, I’m finding it important to know and understand myself and know when I need time to recharge. My current problem is, what if the things that recharge you are unavailable? What then?
A few things that usually help me recharge/be able to continue through life healthily and socially are music, swimming (or anything with water), forests/nature, listening to audio Bible, being involved in church ministry, and my cat. The ULTIMATE recharge time for me is talking with my family. A few days spent away from the world and with my family will leave me recharged for a week or two.
Here in Chihuahua, I’m finding I get burnt out really quick, and staying charged and ready to socialize and minister is not always an option for me. The only things from the list I listed above that I have down here are music and audio Bible, but I’m starting to notice that listening to audio 24/7 (which currently is how I survive each day) is not recharging me fast enough or completely enough to be able to function on a level that would be most glorifying to God.
Pushing through doesn’t always work. The past few months, I’ve had the thought process of, “Oh well. There are no lakes or oceans here. There are no forests here. Your cat has forgotten you. Getting involved in a church is a non-option without fluent Spanish and a car. Your family is over 3,000 miles away. Get over it and push through.” Running on a low battery non-stop is starting to look a lot like consistently awkward conversations, running away from people that are extremely kind, rashes breaking out all over my body, requiring a ridiculous amount of sleep every day, disappearing in my room every weekend, annoying my students with music playing constantly throughout each day in class, and unable to carry a solid conversation with the Lord beyond just asking for help for everything and anything.
The Lord has definitely been helping me. Every day that I have a good conversation with someone outside my apartment or actually teach something somewhat valuable in my classroom, I know that is the Lord’s strength shining through my weakness, because my own strength is shot at the moment. I also have become so close with my roommate, and a huge part of my happiness here has been because she feels like family and talks and listens to me just like my family back home usually does. She is a gift from the Lord!
All that to say, the Lord called me here for a reason. This trip is one of my personal pinnacles of growth in my relationship with the Lord. It has required complete dependence on God’s grace, which I’m not even sure if I understood at all before this trip. It has pushed me into craving a better relationship with the Lord to just help me survive in an atmosphere so opposite to my comfort zone. As my time here is starting to wrap up, it is hard to see the reasons or even the complete impact that it has had on me, but the Lord is sustaining me! In the future, I may pray a little more fervently to be called somewhere where I can be more charged and comfortable in order to be able to put all my energy and ability into serving the Lord. I have loved being here, and I will cry like a little baby when I have to say goodbye to my roommate and my students. But even so, it is hard at times to see past my weaknesses as an overeducated, awkward introvert. Thankfully, God can use anyone!
2 Corinthians 4:15-18
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.