Originally published Tuesday, 13 May 2014.
So I just found out that I am an extrovert.
Before you judge me, and tell you knew w-a-y back when -- I needed to figure it out for myself. Okay, now that I have, I can say with full confidence that:
I. Am. An. Extrovert.
My best friend Monique informed me that I was an extrovert after we attended the Dream Culture Conference together at Bethel Church in Redding, CA. She said, "Renee, I am an introvert. I made friends with two or three people, but you made friends with everyone, and everyone knows your name! That's not an introvert."
Guilty as charged.
I did meet and make friends with a lot of amazing people at the conference that I still keep in touch with on Facebook. In fact, I still keep in touch with many people on Facebook from places I meet them.
+ There's Maissa I met on the airplane on my way home from Hawaii many years ago. Still friends on Facebook.
+ There's Jami I met online after she was in the Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. Still friends on Facebook.
+ There's Carla I met in Indiana after I spoke there for an event at her church. Still friends on Facebook.
I could go on and on and on and on and on and, but I think you get the point. Even my own father told me a long time ago, there's no way I'm an introvert. It's funny looking back, but at the time I was f-u-r-i-o-u-s. Because I struggle with anxiety -- I loathe the fact that I am forced to unwind by being alone. I never thought to challenge this fact until recently.
Just because I struggle with anxiety doesn't mean it defines who I am. I am who I am in Christ.
In Christ I am free, whole, and healed.
I recently re-took the Myers-Briggs Test based on Carl Jung and Isabel Briggs Myers. You can take it here. The last two times I took it, I was an INTJ. This time I took it with an open mind, and do you know what I received as my indicator?
It says I have a moderate preference of Extraversion over Introversion (44%). Another part that I am very pleased about is that I am a feeler instead of a thinker. In fact, it says I have a distinct preference of Feeling over Thinking (75%). Below are excerpts from the parts I identify most with:
+ ENFPs are both "idea"-people and "people"-people, who see everyone and everything as part of a cosmic whole. They want to both help and to be liked and admired by other people, on both an individual and a humanitarian level. This is rarely a problem for the ENFP, as they are outgoing and warm, and genuinely like people. Some ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm, which can ingratiate them to more stodgy types in spite of their unconventionality.
+ ENFPs can be the warmest, kindest, and most sympathetic of mates; affectionate, demonstrative, and spontaneous. Many in relationships with an ENFP literally say, "They light up my life." But there is usually a trade-off: the partner must be willing to deal with the practical and financial aspects of the relationship, and the ENFP must be allowed the freedom to follow their latest path, whatever that entails.
+ ENFPs have what some call a "silly switch." They can be intellectual, serious, all business for a while, but whenever they get the chance, they flip that switch and become CAPTAIN WILDCHILD, the scourge of the swimming pool, ticklers par excellence. Sometimes they may even appear intoxicated when the "switch" is flipped. + ENFPs like to tell funny stories, especially about their friends. This penchant may be why many are attracted to journalism. I kid one of my ENFP friends that if I want the sixth fleet to know something, I'll just tell him.
So my question for you is: can people change? Really change?
Maybe a trial in your life forced you to recreate yourself or feel like you have to become someone else. I can relate. I love this quote from Igniting Faith in 40 Days by Steve and Wendy Backlund. It says,
"Healing may not have manifested, but I am healed and bring healing to others. I don't deny my experience, I just don't create my identity from it. I rejoice in apparent times of failure. These are my crucial moments in life. I am who the Bible says I am."
So to those who struggle with anxiety, depression, or bi-polar -- I say -- you are n-o-t defined by your struggle. Love this quote from Staci Eldredge in Becoming Myself:
"I am not a failure as a human being or as a woman. In some core places deep within. I know this. I fail, yes. But I am not a failure. I disappoint. But I am not a disappointment."
Today, I want you to feel encouraged. Whether you feel like change is too hard or not!
"What if change is actually just me unveiling who you really are? Once we surrender ourselves, he gives us back our true selves. In fact, the most important journey any person will take is the journey into becoming herself through the love of God. God knows. God knows. He has not turned his face away. The very fact that we long for the change we do is a sign that we are meant to have it. Our very dissatisfaction with our weaknesses and struggles points to the reality that continuing to live in them is not our destiny. It is not too late. It is not too hard. You are not too much. God's mercies are new every morning. There is mercy in his eyes even now. Accelerating our 'becoming involves saying yes to God again and again and again. It is not a posture of striving but of releasing. God is I Am. He is not becoming. He already is. And now, because of Him, I am becoming myself." (Becoming Myself).