Fading and Flourishing

Some friends and I were chatting the other evening, and one of them pointed out that coronavirus lockdown might feel very different depending on whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert.

For those introverts who crave alone time and being excused from crowded social gatherings, energy levels may be high. My friend, an introvert, even said she felt the burden to step up in serving as extroverts may be struggling to deal with the current context.

As the days and weeks of these restricted times have gone on, I’ve realised more and more that I’m that needy extrovert she may have been thinking about. I’m energised from engaging with people, and while I’m so thankful for FaceTime, Zoom and all the rest, I sometimes feel like I’m fading through the lack of sitting in the same room as other people; through not being able to respond to body language as well as the spoken word; through sparking off a friend while we watch our children cause chaos together.

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But I’m very aware that lockdown for many in the world would be a privilege – it means we have a home. It means we have provision to be able to stock our cupboards for a week or two. It means we can work from home rather than needing to be out in order to earn that day’s wage. It means we aren’t scared to be in this domestic space.

And it means we can be protected, and are able to protect others through keeping our distance.

Distancing has in some ways made me feel emotionally untethered. I drift into tears more unpredictably, and feel less able to steady myself without the externals of people and places and freedoms. Wobbles through distance but also stress, I’m sure, as we battle on for 10ofThose survival.

While I’m tempted to think that sure ground will only be found after all of this is over, and our lives are peopled again, I know my sure footing, and so my flourishing, is found on the Rock of Ages – the Lord Jesus – and His word rather than in extrovert desires being fulfilled. I’m praying that I’d look to Him in every distanced dip, and trust Him with all that I feel and see before me.

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