If you’ve ever taken a Myers Briggs personality test, you know that one of the spectrums that you are rated on is I and E … Introvert and Extrovert. We often think of extroverts as loud and outgoing and introverts as more isolated. While that is part of it, this is also measuring how someone gets recharged. Do you prefer to be alone or have a few close friends? Or is heading out to a big party where you don’t really know anyone more thrilling to you? Do you get energy from being around people or does it drain you? Most of us need both but tend to lean one way or the other. Over the years I’ve taken this personality test 3-4 times and every time I end up EXACTLY in the middle of “I” and “E”. I see this as true in my everyday life too. I NEED both to be with other people as well as to be alone. Too much of one or the other can be draining to me.
All that to say, even the most introvert of us doesn’t want to be alone ALL the time. God created us to be in relationship with each other and when we don’t have enough of that (what ever “enough” is for each individual person), we crave it. I might even go so far to say that we perhaps fear that loneliness. We all love to be alone from time to time, but no one wants to feel lonely.
Just like the other fears I’ve mentioned so far this week, I see this fear creep into my life and lie to me, paralyzing me from things. When fear and loneliness get together, Satan has a heyday bringing a million “what ifs” to mind and when you’re alone, there’s no one to remind you how ridiculous some of them are? What if something bad happens to you and no one knows about it? What if some of the dreams you have for marriage and family never come to fruition? What if you make the wrong decision about this major purchase because you had to make it on your own? What if someone breaks into your house?
When I force myself to step back and think about all of these what if questions, I begin to see how unnecessary (and unhelpful) these fears are. If something bad happened to me, Kathy Figini would know within 5 minutes and have help on the way. I have friends and family around me to help me make decisions and if I still make a wrong one, they’ll be there to figure out the next steps. And no matter what any given day or the future in general holds, even if it ends up being bad, it’s not worth my times to live in fear.
No matter what, God’s promise over and over and over in Scripture that He is always with us and we are never alone. We have no reason to fear when God is on our side. So, in those moments where fear and loneliness meet, may we give up the fear and cling to these beautiful promises of God:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.(Isaiah 41:10)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”(Joshua 1:9)
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)