Those who have known me for awhile (or maybe even a few who have just read my blog posts) would be able to tell you that I have the incredible capacity to learn something from any situation. I’m only just realizing this is a gift, whereas I thought it was just something everyone does. As with most of us. Your talents are shrouded by a general ignorance until someone else points it out that you are unique. And then it’s like one of those “woah” moments and you don’t know what to say and whether to be embarrassed or proud or scared or just smile awkwardly. The smiling awkwardly usually is what can happen to me though I’ve learned (hah) to say thank you.
With talents comes the need to handle them. Because, when I walk into a room, I am like a sponge. Instantly sucking in everything around me… people’s emotions (I’m often high on empathy), the art on the walls, my own reaction to being in that place, looking to see if anything needs to be done, and (in a good state) praying and asking the Holy Spirit what’s up. Then I need to process, alone. For me, introversion is not a dislike of the people around me. It’s survival, so I can be an extrovert when I’m with people. So I continue to receive everything around me, process it, and learn something from the whole situation. However, I often get distracted by it all and won’t take that time. When I don’t just stop and think and process? It results in self-combustion. Imagine the flashing “low-battery” sign which so often burdens every one of us in this technology-riddled world. Which isn’t a bad thing. (So often we think it is). It just means we have to get our chargers.
Of course, when I realized I accidentally left my computer charger at home before holidays, I wanted to learn something from it. A week and a half without my laptop? It was a slap-in-the-face reminder that Kayla, you need to stop and recharge and listen to God not go-go-go all the time. But since I was going going going it took my auntie to lovingly remind me of how God can teach us things through our mistakes. And sometimes in life I’m so focused on loving others around me rightly… that I forget that sometimes, one of the most loving things I can do for them is
and shut the door of my room
And listen to music (as I am now) or write and write and write (which you can probably tell I am doing). I can’t write blog posts around other people. That doesn’t mean I become a hermit. Even though a cottage in a forest sounds lovely. I have to live life, with my God, and then stop and let Him recharge me. I was not made to be an Energizer bunny. I have a mission to love others, yes, but I also have a Father who loves me and just wants to be with me. Just you-and-me type be with me. Because it’s in those moments of being alone with God that we realize what really matters… and that’s relationship.
How are you to stop when everything else is screaming at you that you are only productive when you are going? I’m wrestling with this. Because writing is just so still. Well, I look at my fingers and they are working at a genuinely rapid pace. But that’s not the point. I’m here, alone. No one sees me but God. But as Sören Kierkegaard said, “What faith it takes to believe that one’s life is noticed by God and that is enough!” (Provocations, p.21). And that’s how we are with our talents and strengths sometimes. Scared that no one will notice. Yet there’s someone here for me, now. Cheering me on. Smiling. Can you believe that, too? For you? Oh, to recharge and realize that fact! That you are loved by God. And He is enough. You don’t have to clean yourself up first. Go to Him, with all your mess clinging to you. Why? Because He doesn’t care about that. He cares about your inner heart. He cares that you actually just want to be with Him, in His presence. Why run? I’ve done it plenty of times. It’s not worth it. It takes effort to go get your charger, yes, and it takes patience to wait and be filled up.
But you know what I’ve found? Oh, how He is totally worth it.
And that’s where I want to be.
[photo credit: Jordan Norris]