Oh, my soul…

Oh, my soul,
You are not alone.
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know.
One more day, He will make a way.
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down.
‘Cause you’re not alone.
-Casting Crowns, “Oh, My Soul”

If I were being honest, and I think it’s necessary that I be honest here, I would say the above affirmation, the declaration to my soul that I am not alone, touches a spot so deeply in my soul, it almost feels raw and exposed, like a festering wound. The part of me that yearns to have it all under control feels somehow failed to admit that feeling alone feels incredible heavy and well… lonely.  It’s so cliche, but there are honestly times when I can be in a room full of people and feel somehow invisible and isolated. I’m not being a victim, just being real.  I realize I am probably surprising some people because they see me in a different light from that.  I am, after all, the social one, aren’t I? When I push through the inner turmoil, the apprehension, the discomfort, to be part of whatever it is I am involved with, I appear to be somewhat of a social butterfly {be cautious when believing things are as they appear}, but I would be so much more comfortable crawling under a table and hiding, from everything and every one. Interesting how you can see things a certain way, and it be such a far cry from reality?

But my soul.

The cry of my soul is for someone to see past that, reach into my invisibility cloak and offer me a deep sense of belonging.

I know.  It’s a paradox.  I can’t have it both ways.

Introversion is a comfortable place for me. It’s a safe place.  I get things done in my quiet solitude.  I like to get things done.  It gives me great joy to mark things off of my to-do list.  It satisfies that goal-orientedness gene in me. However, what I’ve been learning lately {in every direction I turn} is that introversion is actually my hiding place.  I don’t have to be vulnerable when I am alone.  I don’t have to put myself out there.  I don’t have to worry about looking or sounding foolish or feeling awkward.  Introversion gives me respite from potential hurt.  I’ve learned at the same time, we were never intended to go it alone.  We are made to be relational, to belong to something, someone.

In Genesis 2:18, we read the Lord God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” {Relationship}
But, it’s also true, Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed {Luke 5:16}, to have alone time with the Father, but He still had His core group, the 12, the 3 for very special moments. Even in that solitude He sought, though, He had intimate connection with the Father. He was not alone.

One Sunday morning, while speaking to a man at our church service, I asked him (again, forcing myself out from under the table), “How long have you been coming here?” He told me he’d been coming for a few months, but then he elaborated, “I really enjoy it here.  I feel like I am part of something bigger than myself. I’ve never felt like I’ve belonged before, but here, I feel like I do belong.”

“I feel like I do BELONG.”

oh my soul 051617
Sure, introversion is a comfy spot for me, but truth be told, I long for belonging.  And to add more truth to the matter, the comfort of isolation is instigated by a fear of not belonging or not being accepted because my deepest desire is truly to belong. Introversion feels comfy, but it can be so lonesome. I know in my knower that I don’t belong in isolation. In the depths of my soul, I yearn to feel not alone. As much as I may try or just think I want to hide, my soul wants connection.  My soul craves belonging.

There’s just this matter of protection. The isolation born in the fear of not belonging, not being accepted… being possibly rejected, since I have been in the past.  That was real, and it hurt. Bad. Stepping out of isolation becomes a matter of trusting God with the outcomes, trusting Him with my heart, being assured of His sovereignty and trusting His good for me, being secure with the even if, as I wrote about in my previous blog.

What I have discovered though, is at the perfect moments, in the perfect ways, He provides people, my people.  Old friends and newly discovered ones, placed in my path at the perfect moment, for them, for me, a wonderfully orchestrated masterpiece, put together piece by piece. Will I be hurt along the way, stepping out of isolation? Probably.  People are just trying to figure things out, and in the same ways I mess up, so do they. Will some friendships not work out? Possibly.  He has a beautiful way of filling those gaps and holes and broken places.

But trusting Him.
Trusting Him to provide what I need when I need it.
Trusting my heart to God enough to give Him the chance to heal the broken spots.
Even if that means making myself vulnerable to the hurt people bring to the table…

That feels right.  It feels like the community God has designed for us. It’s one of the  ways our loving Father binds up our broken hearts and heals our wounds. He gives us people, families, friends. It is not good for man to be alone.

And I can declare, Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. {Psalm 62:5}
And my soul finds rest in belonging.
In not being alone.
And I am OK with that.
Jenn

In case you are interested in hearing my inspiration: http://vevo.ly/9G1RP3

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2 thoughts on “Oh, my soul…

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