Trying to Discover God’s Path in My Life

I’m not a people person.  I’m just not.

I don’t like idle chit-chat.  I don’t like talking about things that don’t concern me (weather in NY, celebrities, hair trends, etc).  I have no patience.  Wasting time is one of my biggest pet peeves. Self-control is my hardest fruit of the spirit.

But, I feel prompted by God to start something–something that involves people–but I don’t know what.  I’m thinking a homeschool group when/if we move or a Bunko group or BSF or something.

Some days I’m gung-ho on this.  It’s all I think about (besides finishing my novel, kids, life, etc) and run through the numerous benefits and psyche myself up for it.  Other days, I have a melt-down or do something stupid and think, “What am I thinking?  I can’t work with other people!  I don’t even like these other people!”

So, I don’t know if God wants to stretch my comfort zone and make me more of a people person or if He’s trying to say, “Stop! Go back to book writing and leave the world of people to someone else!”

Any advice out there on interpreting God’s messengers?  Or maybe from someone like me:  a non-people person who thinks they might want to become one?

10 thoughts on “Trying to Discover God’s Path in My Life

  1. Sometimes I think I am the only one in the universe with the same struggle…..I am not a people person either, and I am not one for idle conversation. I like to get to the point and go on. I, too, think I would like to be more of a socializer….but I just don’t feel comfortable trying to force it. I would like God to show me the way (if that’s what He wants me to do) or take away my guilt-feelings. I am a behind-the scenes person; I contribute to worthy causes but I am not the “out-front, rallying contributor”. I pray God will help me with this and guide me in the direction that is best for me.

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  2. I like you am not a “people” person. I’ve tried in the past and maybe it’s because I really don’t know how to be the other half of a friendship, I failed at it. However I’m here to tell you to try much harder. Once your children are out of the nest, it becomes a very quiet and lonely place. My husband and I moved very often, about every 3 years for his job. My lack of not being a “people” person is the hardest part of each move. I know I’ll be living in a new area, not knowing a soul and be so alone. This is one of the reasons I joined BSF this year. But alas, it is a very cold group of women, who barely utter a hello to you in class. (this could be another discussion some day) I joined jazzercise and have met a few women who say, “so you want to go out for coffee some time?” and yet the time is never right for any of them. So please listen to me and try hard to be more of a people person, some day you will be glad you did.

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  3. I have been reading all of your wonderful posts. God really shines through in you in your loving words. I thank you for them, as I too, am not a “people person”
    Don’t get me wrong, I love people when I am in their presence, but I don’t go out of my way to further a continued relationship with them. I really like being by myself and tending to my own business. However, I do love my immediate family to be around me from time to time. My husband and I are enjoying our peaceful retirement and that suits me just fine.

    Stay just the way you are……God loves you and He knows your heart and has put you right where you are right now. I love reading your posts and look forward to them. May God bless you and yours.

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  4. waiting for the future is very important. This is how we are shaped my God, THROUGH the WAITING…He gives us strength through the waiting….Our BSF teacher gave me this last week, I heard it so clearly for my life when I was trying to “figure out” God’s plan for my life. Hope this helps at all.

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    1. Thank you all for your words of advice. As women, I feel we’re supposed to be the socializers (at least that’s what society leads us to believe) and for my kids’ sake I would like to be more involved with others. I know we’re called to live in community with others by God but I’m not very good at it. This is my husband’s greatest worry about homeschooling–that because I’m so closed to others our kids will learn that. So, I’ll keep praying (for me and for you all who always light up my world by looking at it differently (and not so different sometimes!)) and wait on Him.

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  5. I have the opposite problem. I love people and love being with them. My problem is that for many years I thought that I was somehow supposed to “change them” or help them change themselves. I now know that God’s will for all of us is to have free will and the changes that people make must come from within that person. I was trying to control and manipulate them using the “help” stuff as a cover up. I am starting to use the thinking filter of “what’s in this for me” before I offer my help. If I am doing this for myself rather than to benefit the other I must stop.

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  6. I am a people person but find very few that I truly wish to spend any great amount of time with. As I study via BSF (in my 3rd year) my eyes are opened often to how much “society” dictates how we are supposed to behave or think – I see clearly how churches and those who are supposed to be Godly people have moved into a worldly acceptance of things that are so far removed from God that I think he must cringe everytime they utter his name with their cause or belief. You are too hard on yourself. If you weren’t a people person you wouldn’t reach out on any level to others and this website is proof enough to me you are just discerning….not anti social. I spend alot of time with just my family or one or two close friends – most of the world holds no appeal for me as their priorities are not mine and their compromises sicken me. Hold strong to what you believe and stop worrying about what the worlds expectations are for you. You are gem. I enjoy your post immensely. I find you honest and open and willing to throw your vulnerability out for everyone to see. That takes an amazing amount of strength and courage.

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  7. Hi Atoz :-)…some thoughts for you to ponder in addition to some of the great ones here.

    Not a people person? Um….I don’t think that’s possible to be if we are a Christians. The jobs we were given were to love God, love others and spread the Gospel. You can’t do that without being a people person.

    The question is…what exactly are you saying when you say that you aren’t a people person?

    You may already know this so bear with me if you do..God in his infinite wisdom created essentially two “types” of people. Introverts and Extroverts. The “key” difference between them is that Extroverts are energized by being around others…and introverts are not, they are “drained” by being around others.

    Outwardly, if you met me on the street or at the store, you would probably think me an extrovert. I would probably be the one you’d stand in line with and I’d say, “That’s a really pretty shirt you are wearing.” or at the very least smile and give conversation a possibility..and let God lead me. I don’t know what kind of day you’ve had, but God does.

    It may surprise you to learn that many pastors are introverts..they need their times of retreat to connect with the Father and recharge. But they don’t get to stay there. They have to go out into the world with the annoying, ugly, poor choice making people, the pharisees, etc.

    Atoz…some people have the gift of small talk and some people don’t. I do understand that God created us all differently, and I as a writer, who wants to connect deeply with people, I would suspect you are an introvert (not that you are a hermit but that people drain you) and God made you that way to fulfill HIS purpose…so that you could withdraw and think and write and recharge.

    I’m sure the people who painstakingly wrote the Bible down on paper were not chit chatting a whole lot at the water hole, but I’m sure they did chit chat some.:)

    The thing you have to ask yourself is this…why am I doing or not doing? We can’t TRUST our feelings to guide us. They change. One minute we think this…and two days later we think that.

    We know we all have different callings. We’re not all called to be missionaries in India, or to go downtown and give roses and a sandwich to prostitutes at night. But we are all called to a mission field. At least one. Often more than one. We have our children. Our husbands…but there is the sinful world too and we are all called to go out into it in one way or another…and bottom line is the more you grow..the more God will want to send you OUT into it. That stepping out of “you” (i.e. think of Moses, “ME? But I stutter!”)…and into God’s will is the step of faith God needs you to take.

    I hope God gives me the right words here, but you’ve prayed and I believe you’ve gotten your answer.

    “But, I feel prompted by God to start something–something that involves people–but I don’t know what. I’m thinking a homeschool group when/if we move or a Bunko group or BSF or something.”

    There you go. So it shall be. If you are TEMPTED (notice the word and who it might be coming from)..to second guess…take it to God and tell him you want to be IN HIS WILL and if this is not his will to help you know that.

    Yes, we can be deceived by “good” things too by Satan so it isn’t always easy to determine. BUT usually when Satan tempts us to do something good that’s not God’s will, it’s what comes naturally to us, so we “fall” more naturally into the temptation. For instance, someone who is an extrovert (energized by people), who starts to volunteer at church, then gets more and more involved and isn’t home. Can’t take the weekend off for his anniversary or a trip with his son. Good things he’s doing, but family is hurt and falling apart. Is that God “fueled” serving or Satan “fueled”?

    Yes,there times when God asks families (Husbands/Wives/Kids) to let someone serve for him and bear with being left alone. So how do you know?

    When you are doing what God wants you to do you are at PEACE with it. Notice I didn’t say COMFORTABLE with it. If you aren’t comfortable doing it, then that is when you are looking for God with every step because much of it DOESN’T come naturally, though somehow you do it. God’s grace comes just when you need it.

    For many of us Atoz, there isn’t a visitation by angel that tells us what God wants us to do. It happens in the quiet. It settles deep in us and when we ignore it..it keeps resurfacing…kind of gnawing at us till we do it…and there won’t be peace TILL we do it.

    I agree with others that you reach out to others via this blog and help probably more people than you realize…so I think you ARE a people person.

    But…I do understand where you come from. I find that I’ve always been someone who wants to get to the depth in people. What’s REALLY going on deep inside. And I find it frustrating when I have to have the patience to wade through layers and pretense…Are you ok? I’m fine, thanks. You look a little tired? No really I’m fine. OK, well if you ever need anything let me know. Thanks, I will. End of conversation.

    Me: “Well that went well God.” (said with a sarcastic sigh).

    God: “Keep trying.”

    Me: (deep breath) “Ok, how long?”

    God: “Till I tell you to stop.”

    Me: “okey dokey.”

    It can take years to break through. It can take moments.

    I can meet someone and instantly sense that there is hurt looming in there and many times actually FEEL it. It’s an odd thing.

    I sense a pull to that person, that God wants me to help, but I stand there and think..how am I going to do that God?…and go into a whole dissertation inside my head of how I know nothing about this woman or how inept I am or how stupid I feel at that moment.

    God lets me give my “Moses speech” of how I “can’t” (not like he hasn’t heard it a gazillion times).

    Then I stop and shut up and finally God can get a word in edgewise…I feel “something” in her hurting…and God gives me a smile and just then she looks at me…and smiles back. Then the words, “What a pretty sweater that is,” comes into my head and she starts to suddenly tell me that her mother made it, but she passed away three months ago..and begins to tear up…

    And we are off into where God wanted us to be.

    No, it’s not always this fast or this simple. I could know someone for a year or two or three and “small talk” for three years… then one day we decide to stop and eat lunch and I ask her what she’s doing for Christmas (always good small talk)…and suddenly she looks me in the eye and tells me she’s visiting her son in prison and the hurt is there in front of me. It may not be easy or quick…But if God is in it…it’s worth it. NO matter how much small talk I had to rely on him for.

    You may not know exactly WHAT God wants you to start yet (thus the waiting) but he’ll let you know.

    Bottom line, God knows the world is tough…and being IN the world but not OF the world is even tougher. God won’t ask you to sin for him. But he will ask you to go out to sinful, annoying maybe shallow, selfish people. Some may even be Christians. God knows too that some people simply are toxic for us, and there may be some people in our lives we need to stay away from, or limit our involvement with them… but those are very few and very far between.

    Otherwise,everyone else…deep breath…pray…step forward…whether they are the lady next door who hates your kids because they make too much noise, the Mom who’s living with her boyfriend in front of her kids, or the person you have to call fifteen times who never answers the messages you leave her. God may want you to small talk with all of them.

    Being a people person isn’t always hospitality but it always involves loving people. It’s becoming more like Christ. It means stopping at a well and chatting about cool water. It means crossing over into the uncomfortable or inconvenient, knowing if God put you there at that moment with that person…you’ve got a job…and it may most likely begin with “Woah, how about that NY snowstorm?”

    LOL.

    Enough said. 🙂

    Hugs always,
    Nancy (In windy and cold Illinois). 🙂

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    1. As always, Nancy, great nuggets of advice. I just wanted to say I so appreciate the time and thought you put in to my dilemmas (small as they are). It’s much appreciated and I do feel your ‘hugs’ through your words.

      I loved your peace bit. This is how I feel when I write. My novels call to me until I answer (sit down and work on them) and I fiddle around with every word until I think it perfect (key emphasis is “I” here. Others may not think so–literary agents mainly). This is how I feel about the starting something. I know it’s a prodding by God but I also know I haven’t found whatever “it” is and being impatient, it bugs me. Little incidents happen along the way that always make me think, “What am I doing thinking I could do something like that when such-and-such just happened?” These are from the Devil and I know that but when you’re in the moment, you don’t know that.

      I loved your bit of IN the world but not OF the world. We all have to live on Earth for this given time but that doesn’t mean everything around us if OF the world. God is here and when we focus on finding Him, the IN part gets a lot easier.

      “Hugs” Back! It’s snowing here (and cold too!) and even though our school didn’t call a snow day, I am and I intend to play with my kiddos in the snow!

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  8. Several years ago I read Catherine Marshall’s books: Something More and Beyond Ourselves. Both books are excellent reads to help you in your personal quest to know God more personally. I too am in a group of cold women. Not only that they are judgmental. I have to pray to keep going to hear God’s word in this setting. This group was formed to incorporate fellowship in our walk. If I drop out that will in no way honor God and it will not led others to desire to share their load in a personal and private environment. Talk with you discussion leader. She will help you or refer you to your teaching leader. Could be that God has put you in this place at this time to help them.

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