“Authenticity is a practice, and you chose it every day – sometimes every hour of every day.”
This weekend, I was visiting a good friend who is training to be a psychologist and holy nugget juice, does she ever have my personality pegged. Pegged. After I took a test of hers she announced the result of my score.
“You’re a type three.” After taking in the confused expression on my face, she explained the term in plan English. In short, it meant I love accomplishing things and care a lot about what people see and think of me. After she told me this, I shrugged and smiled slightly, “yeah, sometimes I care way too much.” She nodded understandingly and poured more steaming liquid into my mug. I lifted the terracotta textured cup from its coaster and hugged it into my chest.
The type three diagnosis confirms the origin of my tireless work ethic and obsession with keeping up appearances. It means I am susceptible to the idea that work defines me.
It’s also the reason for multiple burnouts and depressive episodes in the last couple years. Heck, it’s the reason I can never find something to wear, even though my closet is filled with clothes.
Fortunately, the Lord hasn’t left me hanging. For the past couple months, He has been asking me to stand down from various activities that I derive my importance from: writing groups, boards and modelling to name a few.
Giving these things up has been especially challenging as my husband is an accomplishment orientated, intelligent man. It’s been tough watching him soak in glowing affirmation while I receive none. People don’t see me as a guru in as many areas as Alex and it hurts.
But why does it hurt? It hurts because I placed my value in what I can give people.
This brings me back to the idea that God does not look at the outside of a person. He sees their willingness to listen to Him, not what they have accomplished in people’s eyes. When choosing a King for Israel, God said no to six tall, handsome men and yes to David.
Yes. David, the unusual, unwanted, illegitimate son of Jesse.
Sometimes God will ask you to let go of your expectation of yourself. At times, the new path your choosing to walk may seem counter-intuitive to your mission and passion. It will feel uncomfortable but it’s one of the best steps you will take.
Letting go of our expectations for ourselves and letting God redefine our lives is so refreshing and life-giving. When we do this, we are giving God permission to do with our lives what He knows is best for us.
Daughter, allow yourself to be vulnerable with God. Get on your knees, ask your Father for help trusting Him, offer up your dreams and be amazed by what He is going to do with circumstances that seem helpless.
It’s in letting go of control that we find ourselves in the greatest place of security and serenity.
Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
With much love,