So I am not exactly sure that I could live with zero contact from the outside world, but I am positive that I do require bits of time of that zero contact.  Yes ladies and gents, I think if you would google introvert you would find a picture of me (hopefully it is a good one!).  Couple that with coming from a long line of quite independent, strong minded women means that I consider myself not really needing anyone to help me with anything.  In fact, I become quite irritated with myself when I realize that I need someone.  For me needing someone means that they had come incredibly too close - a dangerous thought because they would inevitably fail, let me down.  And that would hurt.  Too much.

Until very recently, I was okay with keeping people at a distance and even prided myself on my independent nature.  Like I said, until recently that is.  It seems that with each new study and with each new introduction into the character of God, pieces of the facade and old nature are pinpointed so that they can be removed. The more I study and the more I learn, the more I see this independence to the point of isolation is actually quite a sinful attitude that I struggle with.  God created us for community - we are created to NEED people in our lives.  Punch.  In my stomach.  Okay... I am catching my breath.  Now I just love the way God works, and He obviously felt this was a lesson I had to hear as it has been a recurring theme in our series in church.  John, our "ninja pastor," even admitted to struggling with this at times.  It is quite ironic to me at this very moment that it helps to know I am not alone in this fight.

"Human beings are simply not designed to function in isolation" - from Multiply by Francis Chan and David Platt - a book we are reading through in our small groups at church.  The premise of the book is that if we call ourselves followers, believers, students of Christ, then we are to be "disciple makers."  You can't be a disciple maker if you are isolated as this process is something that happens through relationships with other believers.  Perhaps this hit me like a ton of bricks simply because I quite enjoy isolation at times or because I feel like God has called me to be a teacher, to share what He has taught me.  I think part of it is that I really want my life to mean something for Him - to be more than the sum of its parts, to be pleasing to Him.  

Now for the difficult part, which is not simply admitting it to a bunch of strangers or even friends.  The hard part is implementing changes demanded when I realize something separates me from God and makes it impossible to live a life pleasing to Him.  I am not completely sure what all this will entail, but I do know that it means opening my heart to the people around me, letting them in even if it does not end well.  That most certainly will be the hard part.

Are there others out there like me?  Do you struggle with letting people in?  I would love to hear from you!