Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Accepting Me as God Made Me

The past two years have been an opportunity for me to rediscover who I am as a woman. I discovered the little things about me like what food I really like and what genre of movies I really like to bigger things like what my world view is and what I value. See, when I got married, I became the Christian wife I thought I was supposed to be. I wanted to be a helper, a companion, a supporter...I wanted to be my husband's cheerleader in all things as well as be submissive and pretty much keep it all together so he did not have to worry about the home. I put every I was into being a wife and lost everything I was as a woman. In fact, a few weeks before my marriage turned into a downhill race, I sat in the dark with may baby in my arms thinking that I had no idea who I was anymore. I had no idea that circumstances coming up were going to cause me to have to figure it out...fast.

Finding my identity in Christ was pretty easy, but taking it out of marriage was so hard. All I ever wanted to have in life was a reality...I just wanted to be a wife and a stay-at-home mom. Once I became those, I didn't know how to be "me" at the same time. In fact, I don't know if I ever really knew who "me" was. 

I did a lot of "fun" things to fit in when I was in college. I drank a lot, listened to popular music, watched vulgar movies and shows...even my language was filled with cursing and swearing. I wanted to be part of a group and I let them define me. When I got married, my husband and I decided we wanted to start following Christ again and grow closer to God. It was an amazing choice we both made, but the problem was that we never knew each other when we were following Christ in our past and we both changed so much once we got married. A lot of people say that the person they are married to isn't the person they married. In our case, neither one of us were who we married. Now, seven years later, I realize the significance in that and how we needed someone(s) to guide us through those changes from the beginning.

Back to learning about "me", a huge life changing moment for me was taking the Myers-Briggs personality profile last year. It was an exact match for who I am and being able to understand why I value certain things and why I make certain choices was a huge "ah ha" moment. So many personality traits of mine were what my husband used against me as our marriage fell apart and made me feel bad about. I saw that the person God made me to be was not accepted, but I also saw some things about my personality that were unattractive to me. I was able to take those traits and do something to work with them. Like, I know now that when something seems hard or I tense about making a choice, it is normally the choice that I need to make. Most of all, I learned that there is nothing "wrong" with being "me". 

I have been able to see my awareness of my personality play out recently as I have been volunteering for a non-profit life resource center called Testimony. Check them out here. In a recent meeting, ides being brought up were right over my head. I could not wrap my head around the ideas people had. I mean, they were great ideas, but I had no idea where to start even brainstorming with them. It was like my rain just shut down. I realized that it was actually ok that I couldn't have those creative ideas that the others had. In fact, not trying to come up with those ideas kept me true to who I am. I am not an "outside the box" thinker. I think inside the box. I am conservative. I am responsible. I do what I know and I do it well. And there is nothing wrong with that. There is a place for what I have to offer and I am so grateful for the people who can think outside of the box so I do not have to! 
Here is a list of my personality traits for relationships: 
(if you know me personality, feel free to nod and agree as you read down the list)

Warm, friendly and affirming by nature
Service-oriented, wanting to please others
Good listeners
Will put forth lots of effort to fulfill their duties and obligations
Excellent organizational capabilities
Good at taking care of practical matters and daily needs
Usually good (albeit conservative) at handling money
Take their commitments seriously, and seek lifelong relationships
Don't pay enough attention to their own needs
May have difficulty branching out into new territory
Extreme dislike of conflict and criticism
Unlikely to express their needs, which may cause pent-up frustrations to build inside
Have difficulty leaving a bad relationship
Have difficulty moving on after the end of a relationship 

ALL of those fit me, well, all except being good with money, but God knows I am working on that one. I am also working on moving on from the end of relationships, not neglecting my own needs and becoming aware of when I start to isolate myself so I can avoid it. Most of all, I am learning to accept this is who God made me and He made me in His image. All of these things don't mean there is something wrong with me. In fact, I am learning to love "me" and accurately represent "me" to everyone I meet. I am not the person who got married seven years ago. I am not the person I was a year ago. I am a new creation, being molded and changed everyday. I am learning to love and accept "me."
For more on ISFJ or the MyersBriggs test, click here

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