Aha moments. Those moments when you literally feel the light bulb come on. Don’t you just love them? Aha moments can be exciting or painful. If it is painful, there may be some work to do. One possibility is there may be someone you need to forgive. I love the fact that the Holy Spirit is so real and involved in our lives and our growth. I think He enjoys giving us those moments just as much as we enjoy receiving them.
I knew that comfort was very important to me, but safety is a close cousin. I was thinking about the time I went on a missions trip to Romania. I was terrified. I took every type of medicine I could get my hands on just in case…. (my imagination filled in the blank many times.) I’m not sure how that beautiful country looks now, but in the 90’s there wasn’t a drug store on every corner.
I’m realizing that these discoveries fit well with my score on the enneagram. Some have mixed feelings about the enneagram, but I have enjoyed learning more about the personality God gave me. Yes, people and environments influence our personalities, but I have been fascinated by what I learned. My personality is NOT my identity but it’s helpful to see why I am the way I am. The first time I took the test and read about my number I cried. Now I know that the weaknesses of my personality are what the Bible refers to as flesh patterns. We all have them, and will battle them until the day we die. Understanding your flesh and allowing it to be broken (our dependence on self strength or coping mechanisms) is a big part of the Christian life and growth.
After being tested, I learned that I am a 6. The 6 is called “The Loyalist.” Well, I knew right away that fit. I am very loyal and I get hurt when others are not as loyal as me. But the thing that is really speaking to me is the motivating factor for the 6 is safety. If a 6 is walking in an unhealthy state, they struggle with fear and anxiety. (There are great qualities and difficult qualities in every number. The key is to become more healthy as we age.)
I’m so thankful that my identity is determined by my spirit. My spirit is one with Jesus’ Spirit. He lives in me and gives me a new identity. The enneagram is only a tool that can be used for personal growth.
Here is one of the aha moments I have discovered. I don’t think I ever attended a women’s study without someone requesting prayer for their husband. The request would be for God to help their husband be the spiritual leader in the home. I remember hearing years ago a great answer to that problem. Actually, he IS the spiritual leader because it is a God given role. I do understand, however, there are legitimate hurts from men not operating in their role. But wives nagging their husbands to read their bible more or go to church doesn’t help. This scenario described us the first few years of our marriage. I desperately wanted to have a “Godly” marriage and a “Godly” husband. The more I pushed my agenda the more Tim resisted. It wasn’t long until the Holy Spirit convicted me. My “idea” of a Godly leader had become an idol in my life. I wasn’t loving Tim and accepting him unconditionally. I was trying to mold him into what I believed he should be. When I laid down my perceived right for Tim to change, he became more than I could imagine as the leader of our home.
So what did I learn? If Tim could check off all of the boxes on my list for a “Godly” leader then I would feel safe. Wow! It wasn’t about him and his walk with God. It was about me! I desperately needed to feel safe. Obviously I did not feel safe throughout my childhood, and that was influencing my adult life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my desire for Tim to grow spiritually. But my desire became an expectation and I began to put laws on my husband. The Bible is clear that law produces rebellion. Love and grace is what can change your spouse or yourself.
I’m learning that I cannot keep myself safe. Another human being cannot keep me safe. Only my Heavenly Father can be my source in this area. And if I experience something that is unsafe, He will be with me each step of the way. He has promised to never leave me and to use everything in my life for my good and His glory. The question is, “Will I trust Him?” Psalms 9:10 says, ” And those who know Your name (or character) will put their trust in you, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Do I believe God is a good, good Father?
Will I trust that God is progressively making me and Tim and my marriage what He wants it to be in His timing? Will I give myself and my husband grace and lovingly speak the truth in love when needed? Will I walk in dependence on God for my safety?