DISTANT BUT SOCIAL

A few weeks ago, I socialized.
 
Distantly.
It was much needed. A few friends (under 10) and I got together a healthy six feet apart in our church parking lot and talked.
T-A-L-K-E-D.
This post is about how I’m horrible at talking in groups.
Like, HORRIBLE. It’s a tennis match for me, and I feel like I’m constantly dodging tennis balls, trying to find the right moment to speak up.
Because here’s the thing: I don’t even want to say anything. I like listening to my friends. I like making mental checklists of what everyone’s going through so I can pray about everything later.
But it would be really weird if I just showed up, smiled and kept nodding at everyone.
Or maybe not. Can I do that?
No.
Okay, fine.
But the REAL point of this post isn’t about how horrible I am at talking.
The REAL point, no scratch that, POINTS, are these:
1. My friends are some of the most grace-filled people I’ve ever met. And that’s pretty evident considering they keep inviting me to things even though I probably wear a pained a expression most of the time, concentrating on when to say anything halfway coherent.
2. The Holy Spirit is real. God is real. Which is evident by the hope I have in my heart driving me to be social (distantly, in this case) when I’m a natural introvert who loathes the concept of other people. You should have met me when I was an atheist. I was a real charmer.
3. I won’t give up. This a different side of myself from the person I used to be. The old me would have just said “Never mind!” and driven back home before I even got to the parking lot. But I’ve been determined to grow and challenge myself because God doesn’t want me to be stagnant.
I’ll still learning. I’m still putting my foot in my mouth and starting sentences I never finish because I’m not great at using my “outside voice” (the concept of which makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit). But I’m not going to let Satan tell me I’m not good enough to have friends. To be loved. To give and receive mutual respect.
I need to be there for them. And I need them to be there for me.