Stepping Out

IMG_5446Although many of my friends find it hard to believe, I’m an introvert by nature. I think most people don’t understand what constitutes introversion and extroversion. It’s not that an introvert sits huddled in a corner, unable to socialize and an extrovert is a party-hardy type. Rather, an introvert regains his/her energy by being alone while an extrovert is energized in the company of others.

So, the fact that I’ve spent the last seven years working from my home (in the midst of twenty—very quiet—acres) has been a blessing. It’s not only comfortable, but preferable. Aside from the characters in my book, there is little conflict or need to be diplomatic. Life is pretty much my way, which is only a short trip to Entitlement. If that isn’t scary enough, we all know it’s nearly impossible to grow in comfort. And although this career has not always been “comfortable” and I’ve learned much about the writing process and the precarious publishing world, it’s hasn’t stretched me much in other areas.

Lately, there’s been a sense of dissatisfaction for which I immediately feel guilty. How could I possibly be dissatisfied when God has blessed me so abundantly. How many people are able to quit their careers to follow their heart’s desire? How many people have a godly, supportive and encouraging spouse to champion them every day? So to be dissatisfied seems…ungrateful. And although I am grateful, that dissatisfaction has continued. What is it all about? That’s what I’ve been asking God.

I’ve discovered over and over again when things seem “off” it’s Him preparing my heart for something. My prayer over the last several weeks has been to know what that something is. I can’t imagine not writing, so I don’t believe He’s calling me away from that. But instead, He’s allowing me a season away for reasons that have not yet been revealed. Rather than being tucked away in my quiet office, I’m down at Chris’s office working with people for eight or more straight hours a day. And it’s been a blessing.

The compassionate heart I’ve prayed for is being fed. I see joy and pain and inspiration in the faces that come and go. It’s an opportunity to see my husband’s gift touch others and understand why, even at a stage in his life many others retire, he isn’t. It’s a chance for me to learn the business end of things so I’m able to step in and help where needed. And, it’s a chance to replenish my story ideas, because everyone who walks through that door has a story. Like the couple who’ve been married for over sixty years and are still so heart-meltingly in love. Or the old man who hobbles in with a grin and a wink, despite being riddled with pain. Tears of joy and tears of laughter—both touch my heart in a different way. And I can’t get that while squirreled away in my quiet, cozy office.

And although I come home at the end of the day with my energy depleted to face chores that still need to get done, there is a sense of satisfaction in a day well spent. Is it my calling? No. I still believe God calls me to write. But it’s a season—one I’m grateful for. Because when I’m back at my computer, my characters will be richer for the experience.

2 thoughts on “Stepping Out

  1. Thanks for sharing your insights. As you know, I’m an extrovert but when I’m tired it’s hard to ‘put out’ to others as well. I also find myself wondering what’s next for me, as you know. Being with others on a daily basis like the environment you are now in, forces one to engage with others which brings joy and fulllfillment. That’s why I miss my job at times but not the stress. You nailed it when you said, it’s a season. So true and in that season growth occurs if we’re willing to embrace it. Gratitude has helped change my focus from what I don’t have to what I do have. Still learning.

  2. I believe many writers are introverts, but some of us lean towards being an extrovert too. I love my alone time. I can sit by myself and my writing, or an audio recording, or a book all day given the opportunity. But in the end, I still value human interaction. And that interaction is better when the other person and you have something in common to share, to laugh about, or to reminisce about. Life is about relationships. I wish many of them were better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *