Like many other times before this one, today I sat in the library watching my two youngest play and chew on toys that have been chewed on by hundreds of kids before them. Only today I happened to overhear (and then actively listen in on, to be honest) a conversation between two other moms. They seemed to be old friends, catching up as their herd of children played in the same area. One mom had four young boys, the other had three girls and another baby girl still growing in her tummy. But then the mom of boys introduced her sister (who had her own tribe of boys) to the mom of girls, and in the course of the introduction I learned that these two moms had just met each other a few weeks before in that same library. They struck up an acquaintanceship based on the fact that they both have more than the average amount of children. They chatted about lots of things, including the very personal and controversial topics of home birth and homeschooling. And then the mom of girls asked the mom of boys for her phone number so they could get together sometime. I was watching (out of the corner of my eye so they couldn't really see that I was being rude and listening in) the sprouting of an actual friendship.
My first thought? Why can't I build friends like that? My second thought? I can't imagine ever starting a friendship that way! The fact is, I'm just not made that way. I don't feel the freedom to charge into someone's life to see if there is any chance of forging a friendship, even though they might not mind if I did. I'm not sure if I would mind if someone did it to me, although I know I don't send off "I'm friendly! Get to know me!" signals.
Do extroverts obsess over their extrovertedness as much as introverts obsess over their introvertedness? I don't know, but I do know that I constantly think about how much of an introvert I am and wonder why God made me this way. Why would He make introverts? How can I be effective for His Kingdom when I have such a hard time relating to other people? Surely He must have a reason and we must fit into his plan somehow.
Lately I've been coaching myself on not measuring myself by the world's standards of success, but on God's standards. It's still not that easy. Even Christian sites and gurus seems to measure effectiveness by how many people you can touch, like all you need is a big tally count going.
My point is, God gave me this personality. And while I know I need to stretch my comfort zone, I do not believe that I need to completely change my personality to be effective for Him. I just still don't know what it's supposed to look like.