Quirks Can Show Your Purpose

Quirks Can Show Your Purpose

Original Publication Date
May 23, 2022
Jan 10, 2023 12:20 AM
For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

When I was a freshman in college, I relished in being able to have my tiny dorm room to myself. Any time my roommate was out, I made excuses to stay in. People would stop by to ask if I wanted to go the cafeteria, or the movies, or some cool event being hosted on campus, and I always had a reason not to go. I couldn't explain why I did this. I liked my friends and when I did hang out with them, I had a good time, so why was I so eager to not hang out with them? At the time, I didn't realize that I was an introvert.

This is a good time to explain what introversion actually is. A huge pet pet peeve of mine is that majority of people I meet think introvert = shy and extrovert = outgoing. What they associate with introversion is actually closer to social anxiety. Introversion and extroversion are not about how anxious you get around people, they're about what recharges or drains your energy. When an extrovert is feeling down, they might attend a concert or go out to eat with friends. An introvert, on the other hand, is more likely to stay in and play video games or read a book. Extroverts get energy from being around people (re: having external stimuli) while introverts get energy from time alone (re: having internal stimuli). You can be shy and an extrovert (I know a shy extrovert, actually) and you can be an outgoing introvert (if I'm in a room of people, I'm going to talk, but I'm going to have zero energy the next day).

Also a pet peeve of mine is the assertion that if you are not shy but an introvert then you are an “extroverted introvert”—this concept still stems from the conflation of social anxiety with introversion. There is no situation where I feel more energized after being in a crowd of people no matter how comfortable I am speaking to said people. Some people may be ambiverts—I am not.

So, over time, I realized that anytime I didn't get adequate time alone each day, or rather, the more time I spent in a crowd, the more exhausted I was the next day. In Sabbath school, my peers would often remark how humans were created for relationship and community, which made me wonder about my introversion. If God wanted me to enjoy being around people, why did I feel so drained after potlucks and game nights? Was something wrong with me? Introverts around the world are forced to take on extroverted traits to succeed in the world and often we are ostracized and misunderstood. It's very easy to slip into the feeling that introversion is something that needs to be "fixed." Even recently as I discussed the desire to make meaningful friendships in my new location, someone repeated it back to me as "hoping to be less introverted"—no, I don't want to hang out every week and have girl chat every night; I just want a few people that I'm willing to drain my battery for once a month or so... I don't want to get my energy from these people.

When COVID-19 forced us home from work, I realized that I was born for a time such as this. I witnessed people struggling with isolation, but after only a week, I couldn't fathom how I had been going in to the office and talking to people every day. I spent those first few weeks thinking about what life will be like during those finals moments described in Revelation. Most of the world will be corrupt and true believers will have to be comfortable holding their own. COVID-19's forced isolation showed me that I would not be bothered by such an existence. During that time I found reassurance that the Father did mean for some of us to be introverts and others to be extroverts. Both have purpose in our society and while introverts may feel drained in large crowds, we're really good at meaningful conversations in more intimate settings, which is also important in a community, and we are able to spend longer periods in insolation.

Jeremiah 29:11 says He knew us before we were created in the womb. He knows all that we will have to bear in life and all that He has for us to accomplish and thus He creates us to be successful in that purpose. Esther was placed in the position of queen to save her people, but it wasn't by chance. Everything from the way she looked to her personality was just so. That is why the king chose her over all the other women. She was created to fulfill that mission. I was created to be comfortable in solitude. You were created for such a time as this as well. Where-ever you are, whatever quirks you have, they have purpose and so do you!

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
PSALMS to God is a blog, podcast, and YouTube channel that discusses many topics and issues, always keeping YHWH as the anchor. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”—here, the aim is to always ask questions and study to find the answers. You can keep up with new content by signing up for the weekly newsletter.