by Becka Burke
May 2, 2018
I am a bona fide extrovert. I’ve taken every personality test in the book, and I am someone who gets energy from being with other people. I get along well with others. I am energized by conversations and humans with whom I connect. Now—don’t get me wrong—I love my alone time. I crave it, I need it. In fact I believe that having a healthy balance of time alone and with others is really important. I believe that my alone time renews me and strengthens me to be the best version of myself. It is during these times that I can sit with the Lord, listen to what He has to teach me and learn how I can be more like Him.
So here I am. I know this about myself, I know that I like being with other people and it’s good for my soul. But is this just any social interaction? Is this running into a mom from my son’s T-ball team at Target? Is this chatting with the drive-thru attendant at the Chick-fil-A window? Is this at school pick up talking with fellow parents of first graders about the next unit of study or what silly game is being played on the playground? Side note: if I hear another Hatchimal squeak or squawk I might pull my hair out.
The aforementioned scenarios are perfect pictures of my day. Those conversations and connections are good. These are the people I do life with, these are the people that my path crosses almost every day, these are the people I am seeing face to face regularly. Okay, maybe not the courteous Chick-fil-A employee, but you get what I mean. From where I sit, it could be SO easy to have all these intersections and meetings where my word count is being increased by the second, but, I ask, “are these authentic relationships?”
I’ll be honest, I love the people I do life with, I love my children’s school, I love our sports teams, I love the gym I work out at, I love our neighbors. I treasure these people and am in constant thankful posture before the Lord for bringing these beautiful lives into mine. They teach me so much, they challenge me and inspire me whether they realize it or not.
However. It. Is. Not. Enough. All of these lovely people and environments that I am in are positive, but they are not all that I need or was designed to need.
We have been expertly created for community. Our Heavenly Father made us to need one another as believers in Him. He knows that life is really difficult to navigate alone and we first and foremost need Him, but also His people. Yes, this type of community can be found in the places I listed above and if that is true for you, I am thrilled!
For me though, I have to seek mine out. I’m part of a group of girlfriends who have to work hard to get together once a month or so, to hash out life and share our hearts. These are the people who know me the best. These are the people who have my back during crises and trials. Because we share a knowledge and relationship with Jesus we have a bond deeper than a T-ball roster or gym membership. I am so thankful for these women in my life and do not take them for granted for a second.
Whether you are an extrovert or introvert we need each other. We cannot do this life alone. Text your best girls and tell them you’re thankful for them.
Becka Burke is a woman who is active in her school and city community. She has three young children and has been married to her husband Paul for 13 years. She loves good coffee and a good nap.