Category Archives: Personality

Closure Comes in Interesting Ways…

End of year is always a natural time to reflect on what has happened over the last year.  I try to work in reflection more often than that, and due to the way I am wired I tend to be reflecting all the time.  In fact, I tend to keep going through things in my mind until I can find the lesson or meaning in it, and ultimately gain a little closure.

However, closure is not always a guarantee.   Sometimes, things happen and you have to move on without getting all your answers – I really thought that was the case with my last relationship.  It was not healthy and needed to end, but I hated that reality.  I liked the feeling of being adored – or what I thought in the moment was being adored.  I was greatly mistaken though – I was used and I had to admit that to myself – and couldn’t deny it any longer when I got an email from him that spelled it out rather clearly.  It turned my world upside down, and not in a good way.  I was so confused – he seemed so genuine.  I really thought, I will never know why this had to happen the way it did, never get to ask the why follow up questions – the last communication was going to be this email confessional to me and I had to deal with it only with the Lord.  I had to trust that this was best for me and try my hardest to walk forward in that.

And try I did – though it is up for debate how much I really tried because stopping right now and looking back I see I was not trying to trust the Lord.  I was hurt, really hurt.  I was letting my feelings stirred up by this letter define me, and thus, I took on the role and lived it up – say like I was feeling 22.  It helped numb me, but by no means fulfilled me.  I hurt more – I wasn’t hurting him the way I had wanted to because he had no idea what was happening in my life – as we had cut off all communication.

Now, fast forward to about a couple weeks ago.  It’s been two and a half months since the last communication.  I walk into a party – and there he was.  A million thoughts ran through my head – but the clearest was, “Vengeance is not mine to have.”  So, I said hi (not in the sweetest tone by any means) and walked on to enjoy myself.  Eventually, he came up to me and asked if we could talk.  So, we did.  I was in awe – the Lord rushed over me with peace and I could feel him holding me, protecting me and thankfully letting me see – this really is good that it did not work out.  I had nothing to lose, so I could ask any of my questions – worst thing that could happen is he said he wasn’t going to explain.   It would have been sweet if the story ended there, but oh no – I am sinful and so of course it did not end there.  As we were talking, there was a sick satisfaction welling up inside of me – to see that there was pain in this for him and that I still had power over him – I knew that I could get what I want and this time be the one to wipe my hands clean – gah, why is my heart so sick and dark?!!  Vengeance is not mine to have, and yet I still sought it in a subtle manipulative way.

I want freedom from myself.  I want the Lord to change me.  I want to trust the I am where I am for my good and stop trying to take matters into my own hands – seriously.  But, I did what I did – I need to walk forward.  I want to rest in grace and know that God can and will change me – I am not defined by anything other than God himself.  But I need to let Him – I need to chose the way out of temptation when He gives it to me, because He always does – that night I just chose my selfishness – and yet, still the morning after He was gracious to me feel like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  I finally feel like my heart is healed and I can fully move on – I have finally released this ex – and for that, I am extremely thankful.  The Lord’s mercies are new every morning.  Today is a new day – and I can honestly say today that I want to change.  I want to fight my temptations because they do not fill me – they cannot fill the void that only Jesus can fill.  I want that to be sweet good news again.

There are still lessons to learn and things for me to work through in my heart.  But at the same time, there is closure to that season.  I can now look back and remember the happy times with a smile and own the poor decision I made, and learn from them.  The Lord really can redeem all things and use them for good.  Those that know me well, know I am rather stubborn and tend to need to learn things the hard way.  I know a lot of this pain could have been avoided had I listened to so many that love me, but I didn’t.  I chose to walk down this path – but the Lord never forsake me.  He is my sweet shepherd, and has brought me back to himself – so thankful that this good news is true for me today.

I know that this is rather personal – and that a handful of people that read this will know the people involved – but I share because the Lord works through our stories.  I share this story to show how committed He is to us – there are so many evidences of grace at work in this story.  I share because I want people to see Jesus more clearly.  He loves his children and deals with us graciously, so graciously that he even gives this stubborn little brat closure to show me He is with me in this – and He really is better.

Hope this finds you this Monday seeing that Jesus is sweeter than anything this world has to offer – whatever that greatest draw is for you.  I am sure it is a good thing, but it is a good thing that is meant to point you back to Him and not be an end in and of itself.

Much love,

B

 

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Suffering is Not the End…

The last month and a half has been harder.  Some due to it being the holidays.  Some due to other circumstances going on around me.  But mostly due to what goes on internally in my mind.  Now, we all know that I enjoy personality tests, but only when they help us understand ourselves more and not just be a place to box someone in.  Thus, reading about INFJ’s has been helpful as of late.  Things I have read that have made me laugh because they are so true of me, but really have help get some levity to the far too often brevity…

“creative, smart, focus on fantasy more than reality, attracted to sad things, fears doing the wrong thing, observer, avoidant…” –similarminds.com on the INJF.  Oh look – attracted to sad things…makes a little more sense that my default is to go inside my mind and think about heavier things that are sad.  I always want to talk about heavy things – and hate the mundane chat.  I am guilty of thinking I am better because I think about real things – but I am not.  All I am is prideful, and that is sick and messed up.  Jesus had to die for my pride.

“Life is not necessarily easy for the INFJ, but they are capable of great depth of feeling and personal achievement.”
personalitypage.com on the INFJ.  I think it is not easy because the way we are wired does not make it easy – hello, attracted to sad things will bring more hardship.

“INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large. They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people — a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious “soul mates.” While instinctively courting the personal and organizational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent “givers.” As a pattern of behavior, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood — particularly by those who have little experience with this rare type.” –typelogic.com.  Okay, that was a long paragraph – but so insightful for me in light of how I have been the last few months.

And there was another quote that I found about the INFJ, but cannot find it now as I write this.  So let me summarize, it went a little like this, “INFJ’s are hard to lead.”  Oh my, how so many people could attest to that statement.  It went on to explain that the INFJ can be led, it is just not always easy to do.  Far too accurate.  Sanctification needed?  Yes.  (Will not get on my lovely little soapbox here, but this is part of my driving force why I love my independence in singleness.  Do I idolize?  Yes, sadly I do.  Not all the time, but I know I cling to that far more than the cross and trusting God.  Work in progress.  Thankful God is doing the work and enabling me by the Holy Spirit to be proactive in this fight.)

So what really got me thinking about this?  Well, this morning I was reading Romans 5:1-11 because a friend who cares for my soul pointed me there.  He saw how depressed I have been and wanted to offer me some hope, but more wanted to point me back to truth.  The reality is as believers we will suffer this side of heaven – no way around that.  It will look different for each of us.  Suffering is not the end though – that is what I far too often forget.  And it leaves me so defeated.  I look at the non-believers and get so confused because they seem to have more joy than I do.  Then it hit me this morning – that is because their joy is here and now, in the moment – so they do have joy in the moment, but it is not lasting.  For believers – we have had our eyes opened to the reality of this world and see that real lasting joy is not here.  Thus, I can enjoy things but they are mere shadows.  Now, not all believers are depressed, in fact I would argue that we shouldn’t be – some of us are still just really learning how to rejoice in suffering (hi, prone to sad things…may be starting a few steps back on this one than the person that is king or queen of optimism…).  Suffering produces endurance.  That is so true – the more we go through the stronger we are.  But this is not because of what we have done – it is because of what He has done for us – and what He has given us the grace and strength to walk through.  Endurance produces character.  And character produces hope – hope in God.  Not hope in ourselves.  That is where the Christian and non-Christian disagree.

These are still thoughts that are formulating, but I just had to get them out of my mind and thought I might as well share them here.  If you have any thoughts, please share them.  If you have anything encouraging for me – or any of the other readers, please share them.  Thankful that I can be honest here (I do love fashion, but that is just a sliver of what I really think about daily.  It is just a way to express my love for beautiful things…).

Happy New Year, friends!

Much love,

B

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Personality What?!

Personality tests are helpful.  They are interesting.  But they are not everything, nor are they everything about a person.  They give us insight to better understand how a person thinks, processes through life, responds to situations, approaches situations, and why they act a certain way in public.  However, where we limit ourselves is when we think that the personality test gives us a complete understanding of why people do the things they do.  They don’t.  There is so much more you have to factor in, such as belief system, worldview, personal upbringing and background, current life stage, circumstances being faced with, etc…

Personality tests should not put someone in a box.  (I say this because I am guilty of far too quickly thinking I understand someone because I know what their four little letters from Myers Briggs stands for, when in all actuality I am only beginning to scratch the surface at getting to know him or her).  Personality tests should be used to help us get to know someone, and lead to more questions and allow you to go deeper.  Not every ISTJ or ENFP is exactly the same.  Not every ISTJ stays an ISTJ (I would know…once was an ISTJ and now am an INTJ/INFJ depending on the setting).  Where we are in life affects the test results – there is no way around that, or at least for most of us there is no way around that, but then again maybe I am just to much of a chameleon.  

I love personality tests – many of you know that.  As I tend to talk about them, well far too often, or so it seems.  Recently though, it seems I am not the only one talking about them, nor am I the only one who feels we may be talking about them too much in a not so helpful way.  Not everyone likes personality tests, and that is okay.  Not everyone has a lot of knowledge on personality tests, and that, too, is okay.  So, if we find ourselves talking about them – we need to make sure that we aren’t being exclusive in conversation, especially since it is a topic that is really intended to help include everyone and better understand one another.  It really can sound like a foreign language when you start throwing letters out, whether you are talking Myers Briggs or DISC test, or words like “Whoo” when referring to Strength FInders 2.0 – if you don’t explain what you are talking about you will lose people.  Quickly.

I think we should get to know one another.  I think personality tests aid in helping us do that.  I think they help us better understnad ourselves.  In fact, if you haven’t taken a Myers Briggs, I highly suggest you do and go here to take it.  But don’t stop there.  Let this insight to one another help you to see how we each reflect Christ in different ways.  You will show me Christ in different ways than I will show you.  That is the beauty of living in community.  So, keep talking about personality tests, just be careful to not make them ultimate.  I know I am fighting to do that, though it is hard because I find them fascinating. 

By no means am I an expert on this topic or innocent in this area.  These are just some of my more recent thoughts on the matter as they have been coming up and I have not spoken up to share my thoughts (guess that is the introvert in me coming out…or more making me retreat…).  So, I wanted to take the time to scratch them out here.  What are your thoughts on personality tests?  Helpful, err no?!

Would love your input, friends.

Much love,

B

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Filed under Personality, Thoughts