Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just When I Thought I Had Figured Myself Out...

Life is so funny.  Actually, God is pretty funny.  He has quite the sense of humor.  His timing both makes me growl and makes me chuckle.  The past 3 days have been one revelation after another.  I am literally mentally gone. I have not stopped processing since Monday afternoon, and that is too long of a stretch for my mind to be going non-stop with no down time.  It is amazing to me how God has to figuratively beat me over the head with a topic before I face it and realize that He has been talking to me this whole time, but I have been too wrapped up in my own thoughts to hear Him.  I am so grateful that He doesn't give up on me, that He is patient with me, and that He knows how to get my attention.

We are forever changing, growing, and hopefully maturing.  Our lives produce circumstances and events that shape who we are and who we become.  In addition to that, God has hard-wired us with a unique design.  Today, I was made aware of how I really have no clue about myself...I thought I was getting a pretty good grip on how I think and what makes me tick.  As my Daddy used to say, that's what I get for thinking.

This morning, I was blessed to be in a Bible study group for ladies who serve in ministry.  Our teacher led us in a survey to determine whether each of us were introverted, extroverted, or ambiverted (a mix of the two).  My friend and I were chatting a little about the "test" and how if we had taken this same test 10 years ago, we would have tested totally different.  As a sociology major in college, I was obsessed with survey, questionnaires, and tests.  Today, I still love to take surveys.  During my years studying psychology and sociology, I underwent several personality tests.  When I was in college and was a younger adult, I would test across the board as a strong extrovert.  I was outgoing, low inhibitions, full of zest, constantly surrounded by other people, and often the life of the party.  As I have grown up, my personality has changed.  Today, when I took the test I had very high extrovert tendencies, very high introverted tendencies, and several of my answers landed right in the middle.  My friend and I were talking today about how different our answers were than when we were younger.  We agreed that this is a part of maturing, but (for us) the changes have also happened as life has happened.  The hurts of our lives have caused us to add a protective layer around our hearts and minds.  In my case, I spent so many years trying to change myself into the person I thought my spouse wanted, that I would skew a personality test to fit what I thought he needed.  What is interesting to me is that I had lost sight of who I was designed to be by God.  I am a wonderful creation.  He made me the way He made me for a purpose.  I knew I had been watering down who I was in the past, but today made me acutely aware of how little I really know myself.

Later this afternoon, I had a meeting with my mentor. Toward the end of our meeting, I was asked what my love language is.  I had no answer. I realized (again) that I had even manipulated the way I gave and hoped to receive love to fit someone else's idea for me.  My mentor said it's obvious how I give love...I am an encourager and am all about sharing words of affirmation and giving gifts.  But, neither of those are really what I need. So, I went to a quiet place, got online, and took the Five Love Languages Profile.  I zipped through the questions and answered what was on my heart.  I have to tell you, I was completely surprised by the results.  Again, I have been so deep in trying to make another person happy and to feel loved, that I was completely unaware of how God wired me to receive love.  Totally blew my mind.  And, given the issues I have been dealing with all week, it helped me to understand why some of the hurts I have felt have not been resolved.  It is also why I probably have a new set of worries...because I just don't know myself. 

This has made me realize how grateful I am for this season where I can take time to spend in meditation and communication with the Lord.  This can be a season of peace where I need to just let Him speak to me and remind me who I am and how He made me.  There are some things about me that haven't changed...I've always been an encourager, and I always will be.  I know that's part of His design for me.  I am filled up with joy when I am encouraging others.  But, there are other aspects of me that He has allowed to change for whatever reason. I am trusting in His timing.  I am excited to discover His purpose for me.  And, I cannot wait to see how He moves in and through me.  I am thankful that He is never "done" with me...I get to be a work in progress, and that is simply astounding!

If you are interested, you can click on the colored, underlined text in the blog to take these quizzes yourself.  You might be surprised!

(Just in case you were wondering, I am almost completely half and half on the introverted/extroverted test.  In the Five Love Languages profile my scores were: Quality Time, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, and Receiving Gifts (which actually was a zero).  These results 100% threw me for a loop, and explained a lot of the battles I have been struggling with internally for a long time).

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