My word of the year for 2020 is resilient.  I picked this word long before I was concerned about a worldwide pandemic, before we isolated ourselves for months, before there was a health recommendation to distance yourself.

2020 is proving resilient was a great word.  It keeps popping up, too. In fact, tonight I am a panelist at a virtual conference.  The topic: resiliency. I’ll maybe share more about that later, but today I wanted to talk about distance.

I’m was reading about charisms the other day.  God given gifts or strengths, if you may.  Writing is my gift.  I was reading about using charisms as intended.  Thinking about my strengths got me started thinking about my weaknesses.  I’ve always faulted myself for being distant.  Outside of my immediate family of husband and children, I find closeness is not a natural feeling for me, sometimes it is even uncomfortable.

I’ve always wanted to me more social, more like my husband and my children. I wanted social interactions to be as natural as breathing to me. I wanted conversation to come easy.  I wanted to be able to small talk, that for sure is not my gift.  I’m sure others must feel awkward with my awkwardness, but that is me.

Then I started to think about it differently.  Perhaps my distance is necessary.  If I wasn’t quiet, if I didn’t take that step back and observe, if I didn’t respond to my inner need for quiet I’m not sure I could write.

I do not think distance is my fault, not anymore.  I think distance helps me observe my world and that same distance gives me a space to write and a space to share.

I have started praying that God use my distance, meet me in my distance, and most importantly, fill up the distance.