I am sure that most of you have probably heard of the popular personality test- The Enneagram. For those of you who haven’t, it is a personality test that has nine basic types, and it can help you identify your hidden strength. At its core, the enneagram helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more impartial level and can be of helpful assistance on our path to self-knowledge.
The nine basic enneagrams include the reformer, the helper, the achiever, the individualist, the investigator, the loyalist, the enthusiast, the challenger, and the peacemaker.
I am a 6, which is a loyalist. Some of my key motivations are: Want to have security, to feel supported by others, to have certitude and reassurance, to test the attitudes of others toward them, to fight against anxiety and insecurity.
I was reading some more the other day on my personality type and I found a chart that had each enneagram’s vice and mine was FEAR. Vice isn’t a word that we use often, so I looked up some different definitions and synonyms.
Vice: a weakness of character or behavior; a bad habit.
Synonyms: shortcoming, failing, flaw, fault, defect, weakness, weak point, deficiency, limitation, imperfection, blemish, foible, fallibility, frailty, infirmity
I feel like as humans, we tend to always want what we don’t have. If we have curly hair, we want straight. If we have pale skin, we wish we were tanner. Let me just tell you that I desperately want a different vice. As I looked up this word, vice and I am looking at the synonyms, limitation really stood out to me. This is how satan tries to use fear in my life, through limiting me. Luckily though, I am child of a God who is limitless. Knowing this is what encourages me.
A few years ago, I was volunteering on Thursday mornings helping out Tiffany in Children’s ministry and I had heard that a position was going to be available on staff. I had always had a longing to work on staff at the church, but never thought that was even an option. I instantly felt a little tug at my heart but blew it off. The following Sunday during worship I clearly felt God telling me that I needed to apply for the position. I remember fighting that feeling, because of the fear of failing, the fear that I wouldn’t be good enough, fear that I wasn’t really hearing from God, etc. I continued to ignore God’s voice that week and then Thursday rolled around and I felt the tug again and when I got home from serving, I sent Tiffany a text and asked her to let Pastor Matthew know that I was interested. At this point, I knew that God was calling me to do this, but I just thought that He was trying to teach me something. I never thought that I would actually get hired on.
Long story short, I had to go through multiple interviews and lunches with the staff and pastors. All of which were completely out of my comfort zone, and all of which I would NEVER have been able to do without God walking beside me through it. Because I was able to push through that fear with God’s help, I am now on staff at a church that I absolutely love. Even now, when I look back on that season of my life, I am mesmerized by God’s faithfulness and His ability to use my weakness for His glory. Take some time this week and think about different seasons of your life that God has seen you through your fear. I encourage you to even write them down and then praise God for walking with you. Let this be a reminder that God is faithful and that He is good, no matter what you are going through right now and let it be an encouragement for the future.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 English Standard Version (ESV)