On Friendship … When You’re an Introvert

“Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.” Rod McKuen Looking for a Friend

I try to cover it, but I’m an introvert. I have friends–really, I do–I promise, but I love days of solitude, writing in my cabin in the woods–so much thatΒ sometimes I overdo it.

A few weeks ago Robin called. We’ve been best friends for forty years.

Oddly, or maybe miraculously, we have the same autoimmune illnesses, Sjogren’s and Celiac disease.

“I’ve never met Heather,” Robin said, “but she reads my blog. She was diagnosed with Celiac a year ago and is inviting a few friends over for coffee. Everyone who’s coming has Celiac.”

Hmmm. “And you’ve never met her?”

“No, but she’s so sweet. You’ll love her. She wants us share our experiences.”

I felt the familiar tug to do what comes naturally, but for some reason, I didn’t.

I said yes.

Walking into Heather’s home, I never expected to feel so welcomed.

So instantly connected.

See what I mean?

A Celiac celebration.

Everything was gluten-free, and she had coffee and hot tea–lots of flavors.

Sometimes when you have Celiac (or anything about you that’s a little different) there’s that awkward moment when you have to explain.

But that didn’t happen at Heather’s. πŸ™‚

We laughed about it.

Because we all understood.

Heather on the left and Robin on the right …

Robin and me …

My new friends … and sorry, I didn’t take my good camera that day. πŸ™

Here’s the best part …

We bonded the way it happens in childhood.

And in novels.

We even prayed together.

See the Scripture on Heather’s chalkboard?

“God will meet all your needs…” Philippians 4:19.

Sometimes, God meets my needs when I’m in community —

When IΒ break out of my routine, let go, and trust Him.

Sounds like SURRENDER, doesn’t it?

Are you somewhat of an introvert too?

Have you everΒ been surprised byΒ unexpected friendships? Aren’t they just wonderful!

P.S. If you haven’t visited Robin’s blog at All Things Heart and Home, please do. You’ll love her too.

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Kim says:

    Oh Julie, I am smiling, just realizing what I had this morning. My first time doing it. I had an individual porch party – I went out early with a cup of coffee and sat listening to nature, talking to God, and absorbing the solitude. (I live for calm and quiet. I am very much an introvert!)

    I was also thinking about my conversation/sharing with a friend yesterday. She and I could not be more different in personality on the surface. We had been slowly getting to know one another over the past year or so. Sort of laying a solid foundation, developing trust. But our friendship has grown much more quickly and deeply the last several months. We have realized that we have more in common than what is obvious. I keep people at arms length by not engaging for self protection and she does it by pushing people away for the same protection goal. When people at church find out we are such good friends, there is always that look of surprise and a stammer of, “Really? I had no idea you were so close! Wow, interesting!” πŸ™‚

    But, I am where I am today on my path to sharing and opening myself up in part due to this relationship. She has often given a different perspective than my other closest friend who is more like my twin in thinking. I am very blessed.

    • Kim, we’re so much alike!!

      What a beautiful story of friendship, and trust, and of opening yourself up. Thank you so much for sharing it.

      And I love how you ended your comment…”I am very blessed.” So rich, my friend.

      Thank you for trusting my readers and me to share this piece of your heart!

  2. Good for you. Stand back and watch you go.

    • πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Thank you, Lynne, my extrovert friend–whom I greatly admire!! Can’t even imagine how you do what you do so easily. So naturally!

  3. marilyn says:

    You always give me hope. I am an introvert also and could easily be a hermit. I too have an auto. disease, mine is crohns and I have to be totally grain free as well as sugar and dairy free. So I know how you felt about not having to explain. Glad you found this group!

    • Wow, Marilyn. It means so much to discover this post meant something to you….and you have Crohns. I’m going to make a note in my prayer list to lift you up. Hope you are at a good place in this autoimmune journey.

      And you get it about not having to explain! It was amazing! I’d never been to any kind of autoimmune support group–not that this was what my little group was, but it was so nice to LAUGH about things. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  4. marci says:

    Most of the time, your blog will come to my in box. So far it hasn’t, but usually I check in here later in the day.
    I can so relate to your writing today. I love to take time to just sit in my prayer space, reading and writing in my journal when all is quiet. Those times are such a treat. I also can relate to being surprised by a friendship. And by doing something outside of my comfort zone and actually having a good time. Since my daughter has so many allergies, including wheat, milk, eggs, along with some other things, I am more aware of the difficulty when someone has to be careful of what they eat. In today’s wold it does make for some challenges. I do like the verse Robin has on her blackboard. I think I needed that reminder while dealing with several things. And trust that God will meet all the needs I have. Thursday I had a fall, so that has made it difficult for me to get around. I am trusting God to help me do the things I need to, for the Lord to meet all of my needs, as I surrender all of this to Him. As I surrender this day to Him.

    • Marci, I’m the same way. I SO look forward to alone time and quietness. It refreshes me. I know friends who are extroverts and they get energy from being with people. πŸ™‚

      You’re right–eating, for some of us, can get so complicated!

      I’m so sorry about your fall. Praying for you right now–that He’ll hold you steady.

      So much love to you and yours today.

  5. Anna Haney says:

    I looked at the clock and realized I had not gotten your blog post yet. I have to admit, for a moment, I panicked. It’s Wednesday. Your blog is an essential part of my Wednesday.
    Anyway, after reading this, I realized that I have found myself in unusual friendships–ones that I normally would have not pursued on my own. Our lives were pushed together by work. And while we are very different, there are some commonalities that have brought us together. There have been times, especially here lately, where I have asked God why He placed these people in my life. How could I reach them, these people whose lifestyles are so very different than mine? He told me to TRUST Him. He would give me what I needed to be friends with them, to laugh with them, and to reach them.

    • Yeah, I’m not sure what happened with the delivery of my blog yesterday. Heard from another reader that it was late! I hate when that happens b/c I have, ha—no control over it. πŸ™‚

      So interesting about your friendships. I think we have seasons for friendships–when He brings people in our lives for a specific purpose and then the relationship may quiet down.

      I love how He brought your Trust word home again, even in these friendships you can’t quite figure out. πŸ™‚ I bet He understands it all perfectly.

      Thanks, Anna–and the weird thing was, I noticed you hadn’t quickly commented. So I’d decided, I guess this one didn’t touch Anna–maybe she’s so much of an extrovert that she can’t identify. πŸ™‚

  6. I love that you went, Julie. Sometimes, I think we need to push you more. πŸ˜‰ As an extrovert, I recharge when I’m with my writer friends. I NEED my time alone to write, but then I need recharging. If it weren’t for my Seedwriters and my ACFW North GA chapter, I’d be one dead battery. LOL

    • I know, Ane. I have dear friends who are extroverts like you. They tell me the same thing!

      God sure taught me a wonderful truth through these new friends. πŸ™‚

      Love you, my friend.

  7. Friendship. There are so many kinds: deep ones, surface ones, long-term ones, just-met ones. Every one of them special in their own way.

    I’ve learned not to put pressure on myself to make/have friends. I let them fall where they may, but also work on keeping my deep and long-term friendships healthy. Like with phone calls, or emails, or skype, or even (gosh…this is old fashioned) letters/notes in the U.S. Mail. There’s something really neat about talking to someone you have known forever, or who understands you in a special way (like your Celiac friends). Like not having to explain. And they know your history/back story. And what I like the most is when a friend doesn’t judge. I’m accepted. Foibles and follicles and all. ; o ) That’s the very best.

    LOVE YOU FRIEND!

    • Precious thoughts, B.J., as always.

      That’s what was so amazing–the not having to explain part. And we’d just met each other!

      Ohhh, and letters! Yes! I got a birthday card yesterday from a dear friend, and she’d included a note written on a lined paper–just filling me in on the latest. It was as if we were sitting in her kitchen chatting over coffee. She’s moved to another part of the state, but we’ll always be neighbors and friends in our hearts. I SO agree!!

      Such an important part of any good friendship–you nailed it. When a friend doesn’t judge–yes, she’ll tell you the truth when you ask her, but she doesn’t look down on you for your boo-boos.

      Love you too.

  8. Sue says:

    That is my middle name “introvert”, but you already knew that I am sure!
    What a fun and special group.
    Love to you,

    Sue

  9. I too am like you! So, I am glad you went and had a great time, Julie! xxoo

    • Hallelujah! I’m loving to find out so many people understand!!! And yet I’m also fascinated with my extroverted friends. Just blown away by them! In a good way.

      Eileen, your posts are so tender and so straight from your heart. I can tell, you have a heart of gold. Wish I could meet you!

  10. Julie Gilleand says:

    I totally relate, Leaf Sister. I’ve always been an introvert — raised by two parents, both of whom were introverts also. I tend to want to shy away from invitations, afraid of the awkwardness I might feel and preferring to either be alone or to just have one-on-one fellowship with a friend. But there are a few times when I’ve said yes and cringed to do so, but then found I was glad I did. Not always, mind you, but probably more often than not. Even that day in church long ago when an invitation was given to come down to the altar and give my life to Jesus — I really wanted to, but was far to shy to step out in the aisle. If not for my brother giving me a nudge and saying, “Let’s go”, I probably wouldn’t have — and boy am I glad I did! Sometimes all a person needs is a nudge! Thanks for sharing, from one introvert to another πŸ™‚

    • Ohhhhhhhh, Leaf Sister.

      I can just see you (and myself b/c I did the same thing) with the invitation to walk the aisle. Wow!! How beautiful that you’d think of that with this post. So perfect! Wish I’d thought of it. Yes, yes, yes, I was an introvert even as a child…had never put it together until just now.

      It’s hard to explain how we feel (except to another introvert)!

      So much love today. I’m praying for you…xoxoxo

  11. Patricia Martin says:

    What a lovely celebration of friends and sisters in Christ, Julie! Solitude is essential sometimes for prayer life, but we can’t have a party without friends! (((((; I like your pretty top Julie—everything looks so tasty I could lick my screen. (-: Happy Father’s Day to Rick (hard to believe it’s this Sunday)! Wow.
    Love,
    Patricia

    • Yes, Patricia! Yes, yes, yes! We can have a party without friends. What a brilliant statement!!!

      I’ll tell Rick you said Happy Father’s Day. How sweet!

      I’m praying for your Sociology class.

      Oh, yes the food was delish–and even better b/c we didn’t have to worry about getting sick!

      Great big hug from me this morning!

      • Patricia Martin says:

        Thank you, Julie, for your prayers–they are working miracles!! ((((:
        love,
        Patricia

  12. I am smiling because I am an introvert, I can relate to the food issues, and this is such a lovely post, Julie! Thank you so much for sharing this sweet fellowship of friends.

    Love the verse. God is so good all the time, isn’t He? ~Joyce

    • I just keep whispering, “Hallelujah” at my reader friends who understand, Joyce. It’s just how we’re made, isn’t it?!

      Yes, and when I saw that verse, I just knew I had to write about it.

      Thank you so much for letting me know–you understand.

  13. Oh, how this struck a chord Julie! Having been a pastor’s wife for over 30 years, I’ve grown from forcing myself to be outgoing until this present time- I still have to mentally and spiritually prepare to not think about me and see it as an opportunity to intentionally reach out and share God’s love with others. I still sometimes drag my spiritual feet to go to crowded “events” but I love encouraging others and the fellowship that only God can bring! But after a time with many, I retreat back to my calm and solitude πŸ™‚ My natural tendency is to read or write, or spend time with “just my little (LOL) family- but even that is changing- Our family of 8 never seemed large, but as we’ve added children by marriage and 9 grandchildren and counting- wow! Quiet? Solitude? – nope but I enjoy the loving chaos while they’re all here. Then I pick up my book or blog when they leave πŸ™‚

    • Cindy, I can hardly believe this about you! Reading this made my day!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      I also love encouraging others (maybe it’s one of my gifts–I sure hope so). And I’m always so glad when I “blend.”

      Blessings to you and yours.

  14. Hi Julie,
    I just wrote today about adjusting to a gluten free life (my daughter has celiac), and Elizabeth Stewart suggested I visit you here. It’s nice to “meet” you πŸ™‚

    God bless,
    Laura

    • Hey, Laura! And so nice to meet you. I’ll go say hi on your blog. πŸ™‚

      I was diagnosed 7 years ago and I’m still learning. Whew! Hope your daughter’s doing well.

      Love,
      Julie

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