I sat down at this computer to write a post yesterday and...came up empty.
That's right, empty. I couldn't think of a single thing to write about. And trust me, that doesn't happen very often. As you well know, those of you who know me, and those of you who read this blog. I'm a little bit like Jerry Seinfeld--I can make a post out of nothing. Or so it seems at times. But now and then, I just sit here, hands on the keys, tap-tap-tapping gently, hoping and praying that some kind of inspiration will be found in my brain, like treasures in the cobwebs in an attic. Unfortunately, yesterday it became clear that the only thing up in that attic is blown-in insulation, keeping me warm, perhaps, but not a very good place for storing treasures.
The thing is, for most of my life, I've had a plethora of friends, which has meant a very active social life. Circle upon circle, really, from a variety of places. But these days, partly from my own doing, partly (largely?) because of my health, and partly due to circumstances beyond my control (the needs of my in-laws, for example), I am increasingly isolated. Strangely, unexpectedly so for having lived longer in this place than any other in our married life. I didn't expect this. I am a social person. Created for community. We all are. And this daily isolation is hard to live.
But also hard to break. Beve and I were talking about it the other day. He said, "Your shyness is a big factor." I love him for that statement. I love that he gets that, especially since I can well imagine the guffaws and outright sounds of disbelief from those in my family at the thought of ME being shy. They have never seen me anywhere close to shy. Of course. Because they've never seen me out of my comfort zone. And I'd rather speak in front of 1000 people from a pulpit than walk into a party of 50 people I do not know. And this is a strange thing. I have almost no stage fright, but a whole lot of party fright, because those small gatherings mean small talk and chatter, and having to walk up to people I don't know and pull something out of thin air to talk about...just writing about this gives me hives. Really. I mean, you know when you're standing in a group, holding a drink, saying something, then that person turns away while you're still talking, and you're left speaking to the air? This is what I envision EVERY group of strangers doing, because the art of chat is not in me. It just isn't. So I'll avoid them every time. Every single time.
And Beve knows this. Thankfully. And he doesn't push me to be what I'm not. When there's opportunity to have real conversations that go somewhere, that dive into something meaningful, I'm all in. Every time. Every single time. Which means, of course, that I push for that. I take charge of, and push, and come across as more outgoing and directive in groups than I might feel, because I want conversations--no matter where!!!--to mean something. To get to a place where more than just information has been shared, but hearts and souls as well. And those who participate in it grow and learn more about the other person and themselves. This always interests me. It interests God, after all, and what matters to Him MUST matter to me, right?
So how does this connect to being isolated in my life right now? Easily enough, of course. A few years ago, Beve and I made a change which resulted in many relationship changes. And we didn't instantly replace them. Not instantly nor easily. There was a season of grief, followed by a season of inertia, which has resulted in this season (for me) of isolation. And, though I've tried a few things to change that, I still sit here.
I'm not alone, I suppose. But today, I just thought I'd admit to my unfolded, flawed self. Admit to the struggle that I face. Admit that I need His push, and His help...and the will to do more than I can do on my own. And it's hard.
That's it. No great message. Just this.
But...and I almost never ask this for myself, I could also use prayer. Sometimes my own prayers aren't enough. You know?