In this recent massive survey of millennials, it was found that above listed traits such as eyes, intelligence, *ahem* buttocks, and a myriad of other characteristics, both men and women ranked a person’s personality as the most attractive quality to be had.
I often tell folks I’m only a wizard at, like, three things in this world: using hair products & hair appliances, writing make-you-cry-so-heart-felt notes, and understanding personalities.
(This one time, I went on a first date with a guy and attempted to impress him by guessing his Myers-Briggs personality type over frozen yogurt…don’t ever, ever do that. It’s not cute. It’s creepy and under-appreciated.)
Any whoooo, the point is I love to talk about personalities. I love to “type” people in my head within minutes of meeting them and engaging in conversation. I love understanding people better and responding in ways I think they need from me.
Most of all, I love believing that somewhere in the world a personality description is written that says I am understood, valued for who I am, and capable of being amazing because I’m me.
But, I’ve found that people who are secure in who they are, people who know the unconditional love of their Creator and love themselves for who He has made them to be do not need personality assessments. These individuals find personality theories to be either very interesting or simply unnecessary.
I’m pretty fragile these days, and I’m pretty sure most everyone can tell because I’m about as secretive as Tom is with his intentions for Jerry. Right now I’m a long, long way from my element. What exactly is my element? Where do I feel like “Valerie” is actually the best version of Valerie?
Well, I like making people laugh on a daily basis if possible. I like making people feel good about themselves. I like directing outdoor summer camps for kiddos and running around like a banshee. I like teaching to a classroom full of college students who are all just trying to figure themselves out while in the mean time passing a leadership course.
Really, I love to empower and love-on people with the purpose of helping them grow. It all really goes back to having an “ENFJ” (extroverted-intuitive-feeling-judging) personality.
In my quest for discovering reason(s) why God brought me back to Florida, it was revealed to all 3 of my immediate family members that God intends to deal with my deepest feelings of unforgiveness, shame, and broken self-concept, feelings I did not let Him touch so much while I was in Texas. (And here I had just been hoping maybe God brought me back to find a husband closer to home. Bummer.)
Sure, God allowed me to experience in Texas what it is like to feel free and loved for who I am and to love those around me unconditionally. He gave me a taste of what it is like to be Valerie and love herself for being her.
And, in recent weeks, I started the long, long path of forgiveness by choosing to forgive anyone and everyone I’ve ever felt hurt or rejected by, intentional or not. These were the folks I blamed for my lifetime of confidence issues, for why I could not love myself and be okay with who I am at the end of the day.
Faces of the oldest wounds flooded my mind, and words of the sharpest tongues rang once again in my ears; but, as I sat on my daddy’s lap crying heavy tears of anguish and praying for God to help me forgive, the God of the Greatest Love told me to “Forgive All The People.” But, here’s the real kicker:
As much as I needed to release the folks who made me feel so much hurt,
as much as I needed to release the lies I was fed about myself because of the hurt,
I really needed to release the Guy who I blamed for why those folks hurt me,
the Guy who made me who I am with the personality I have,
the reason why I believed I was hurt in the first place.
I never knew it, but from even as early as 5-years-old my heart has been shaking a small fist at my Creator with these words:
“God, they called me weird. You made me weird.”
“God, they ignored me. You made me ignorable.”
“God, they called me fat/ugly. You made me fat/ugly.”
“God, they didn’t understand me. You made me unable to be understood.”
“God, they rejected me. You made me reject-able.”
“God, they don’t love me. You made me unlovable.”
This is now what I understand as a long-standing, serious personality conflict with the Creator. And usually, when it comes to wrestling with God, I like to draw my fights out with long-going contemplation, arguments, and fits of denial before finally coming around to surrendering to Truth.
But, this time, something rather magical, dare-I-say-miraculous, happened when I recognized just with Whom I had entered the wrestling ring. Once I heard aloud the angry, hurtful words I have been saying to God my whole life, I immediately heard God speak back Truth directly from His Word.
It felt like being sucker-punched. It felt like being freed.
Psalm 139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.