And not like ‘hide and seek’. I’m not wanting to be sought.
I’m hiding with purpose and mission.
Do this math. I’m a mom of eight. I’m in ministry. I’m a speaker.
And I’m…wait for it…an introvert.
Now, very few people who know me believe that I’m an introvert. They think I’ve got introvert and extrovert confused. But I’m pretty clear about myself.
I’m an introvert masquerading as an extrovert.
Actually, there’s a new phrase out there: ambivert. It refers to those of us who traffic in both personality styles. We genuinely like being around people. And we get tired of it. We can be energized by a crowd. And then sapped by it.
So believe me or no. But I offer Exhibit A as evidence of my introvert ways.
I’ll come off a long stent of very public work life. I’ll wrap up a long speaking gig. Or I’ve been all up in my kids’ activities over the week, chatting it up with all the other parents, moved along by the crowd. Or we’ll have a really good run of a homeschool week, complete with field trips and parties and learning experiences.
And then it happens.
Where I’m pretty sure I don’t even like people anymore.
Even people I’m related to.
So I hide.
And my people who know me well let me.
I disappear into a book. Into a long, solitary writing session. Into a long run, headphones pumping music. Into myself. Into my faith. Into prayer.
And I take a good, long, refreshing drink of silence. Of quiet.
I hide there a while.
And come out again, ready to embrace the extrovert in me.
For a long time, I felt guilty for this need to hide for a while. Like, there was something more gracious and altruistic about being all extrovert all the time. But then I took a look at a guy I esteem and admire and love deeply. Jesus. And He seems to be an ambivert as well. He engages the crowd, does His public speaking, embraces and loves people. And then He hides.
In a garden. In the wilderness. In the bow of a boat.
He drinks in the refreshing waters of solitude.
And emerges again to minister afresh.
So I’m done with the guilt thing. I no longer hide with a sense of remorse but with a sense of rest.
I hide so I can find.
Find that love of people again. Find that energy to reconnect. Find that refreshing that comes in the quiet places for me.
And there I am found.