Have you ever taken a personality test? I highly recommend it. So many times, we know who we are, and yet we live in denial, because it’s not what we wish we were. It’s time for freedom, ladies. Discover who God made you to be. Believe it. And learn to embrace it. May I share a bit of my journey with you?
I’m an ENTJ (in the Myers-Briggs typing). No matter how many times I retake that test, try to answer it “more carefully”, or read about the personalities I wish I was or even am somewhat similar to, the answer remains. I’m a strong, confident woman, not easily intimidated but easily intimidating others. I’m a natural leader, must achieve whatever I set my mind to, and struggle with respecting people who are lazy or emotional or inefficient. I’m a big sister to 13 wonderful siblings, but am still not fully over my bossy streak.
Raised in conservative Christian circles, the ideal woman was always the “quiet, meek, respectful woman”. Trying to be a good girl, and for other various reasons, I played the part as a teen. I was quiet, so quiet that people were convinced that’s who I truly was. I was (apparently) very respectful. But the mask just couldn’t last. No, I’m not a boisterous or bubbly or even someone you would really call outgoing. But as I left me teens, and had some dear friends pull me out of my shell, I discovered some things about myself.
I need people interaction, draw energy from them. I can talk for hours on end. I make dozens of friends everywhere I go. I have very strong opinions. I step into management roles without trying. I observe everything, see what needs done, see who is or isn’t filling the need, step in if at all possible. I multi-task, am very efficient, and always aware of what’s going on around me. I hate saying no.
When it comes to relationships, well, I’m sure it’s part of the reason I’m still single. Those poor guys. I gave them the cold shoulder as a teen, wouldn’t talk to them for fear of flirting, and didn’t realize it until it was too late. In more recent years, I’m rather too confident for most guys. I can talk about anything. I’ve been told I’m intimidating and overpowering. I write men off quickly, especially if I see them as lazy or not having their act together (so, you’re 25, working part-time, trying to figure out what you want to do in life, and I want to date you why?). I have goals, people. I promise, I’m asking God to help me show grace, give people a chance, and I’m not nearly as scary when you talk to me. While at the same time, I’m embracing who God made me to be.
You see, God has also shown me that, as many weaknesses as I have, as much as I need to seek Him and humble myself and allow Him to change me and mold me and help me, He has also given me strengths. Strengths that may not be “typical”, and yet yielded to God, He can use them.
Because I’m not afraid of much, and because of godly women who encouraged and trained me, I’ve been a pregnancy counselor for over 5 years. I’ve thrived in that. I’m now also assistant to the director, helping with fundraising and marketing and graphic design and mailings and websites and whatever else needs done. My multi-tasking and efficiency shine there. I helped oversee and run our abstinence education program for a year. My leadership skills and confidence made it possible.
My various jobs over the years are always changing, always stretching me, and that’s because I love change and hate being bored and delight in dreaming big.
I went on a mission trip, knowing nobody, in what should have been completely out of my comfort zone. But my comfort zone is really large, and I thrive in new environments. I left all of those strangers as good friends. I’m thrilled by the thought of living there someday, as I’ve always prayed about international ministry and serving God all over the world or wherever He wants me.
To be honest, my personality is a big part of the reason that I started this blog. I love writing, I love helping, I love sharing my opinions, and I’m passionate to help women fulfill their purpose, pursue Jesus, glorify God, and be purely radiant.
Who am I to tell God that He made me “wrong”? Who am I to wish that I was one of the “sweet girls who make ideal wives and get married at 18”? Who am I to complain that things like submission and respect and showing grace and patience will probably always be a challenge, things I will need to depend heavily on God for?
See, I am His creation. He doesn’t make mistakes. Yes, I’m a sinful human being, deeply flawed, and my strengths are also my biggest weaknesses. But at the same time, I’m also made in God’s image, and I have God-given strengths I must embrace to fully be the woman He wants me to be. Yielded to Him, yes, but not ashamed.
You may have a completely different personality. Completely different strengths and weaknesses. But as women, I think we all struggle at least somewhat with identity. With who God made us to be. It’s part of being human, but especially part of being female.
What if we stopped believing the lies of what a “woman should be”? What a good friend is? What it means to be a good conversationalist? What if we didn’t feel bad about being energized by people or being energized by alone time? What if we let Scripture alone dictate what is right (ie. the fruit of the Spirit), and didn’t add any of our own preconceived notions or cultural norms or even “good Christian ideals” that aren’t based in the Bible?
Learn about your personality, about your strengths, about who God made you to be. Take off the mask and trying to please people. Shine in being who God made you to be. Seek His face, ask Him to reveal your weaknesses and help you. Be filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit. Ask Him to help you embrace your strengths and use them rightly.
Dear sister, God has big plans for you. He can use you. He can use you in spite of you, but He loves to shine through you, to take all the messy and beautiful and unique and work through it, with it. Embrace it. Embrace Him.