Stepping outside, I enter into the familiar humid blanket of summer. There's a yellow sky, promising a storm. I breathe in stagnant air, but it's still refreshing.
Inside, I have left a house full of people. They are all people I love, but I feel crowded. I know that I will eventually go back in - and I will talk, and laugh, and commune. But I also know that I receive energy from being alone. I am an introvert, through and through.
I used to fight against my introverted nature - thinking that perhaps it made me "less" of a Christian. It made me less hospitable, less social, less everything. Now, I embrace it. And sometimes I remind myself to embrace it. And sometimes, I pray for the strength to embrace it. "Help me, help me, help me."
Today, as I removed myself from the crowd, I remembered Jesus...
"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."
Luke 5:16, NIV
I found so much comfort in remembering that Jesus needed to remove himself from the crowd as well. It didn't mean he didn't love the people in the crowd, but he needed space to withdraw. To pray. To breathe.
Withdrawing allows me to serve and love more fully, because I am more filled.
So when I withdraw, know that it enables me to love you better.