I still gain much insight to the inner workings of my brain from the personality type test I took in June. I am Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving and the following is true of me:
“An INFP friend describes the inner conflict as not good versus bad, but on a grand scale, Good vs. Evil.”
My latest inner conflict includes other Christian sisters and my relationship with them. I recently attended a celebration for a sister in Christ. Although I knew most of the people in attendance, I left the function feeling completely detached and very alone. I cried the whole way home, mourning this feeling of aloneness that is a recurring theme in my life.
This feeling of detachment, separation, aloneness is not new for me. I suppose I became aware of this feeling in jr. high when cliques were in abundance. Not only did I not understand cliques, but I was torn by having to choose friendships according to who was in what clique. This was extremely stressful and emotionally distressing to me, and the cliques continued through high school. I never felt like I “fit” anywhere during this time period.
To this day, I continue to feel this lack of connection with many people, especially in a group of people that already have established, close friendships. I suppose I feel like an unwelcomed intruder in these social situations.
I am not the most savvy communicator, especially with people I don’t know well. I have been really honing my “small talk” skills over the past decade. Small talk is very difficult for me, but in social situations, it is essential. My difficulty with small talk is not the words, but the underlying emptiness to them. Once again that personality type comes into play. Everything to me must have great purpose. My introverted feeling dictates that “The “object,” be it homo sapiens or a mere representation of an organism, is valued only to the degree that the object contains some measure of the inner Essence or greater Good.” To me small talk has no value because it is not impacting anything in life.
Here is the essence of the whole conflict for me. If I do not feel valued in a relationship, I disconnect myself from that person or people. If the relationship is one-sided, with me making the effort and the the other person really showing no reciprocating interest, I shut down. And my Good vs. Evil inner conflict is the impact I would love to make by investing myself in a relationship with another vs. selfishness I see in myself when I perceive no connection and find myself in that place of emptiness. I am dreadfully hurt when my voice, my person, is really not heard. This is not because I see myself as so greatly valuable to everyone else in the world, but because I have that inner desire to be accepted and valued by the other person.
So when I was crying my way home from this celebration, I was crying out to God asking Him why He made me this way. I was so frustrated with myself. He immediately showed me the value in my personality. He told me why He created me.
I am here to love immensely and with great purpose all those He puts in my path, even when it makes no sense. I am here to love the unlovable, because I see such great value in their personhood and the fact that God created them. I am here to rejoice when the flower blooms, or to mourn when it does not. I am here to love deeply the nameless, the discarded. I am here to see beauty where it does not otherwise exist.
God has a way of putting things in perspective.
“As Christians, we are called to convert our loneliness into solitude. We are called to experience our aloneness not as a wound but as a gift–as God’s gift–so that in our aloneness we might discover how deeply we are loved by God.” ~ Henri Nouwen
I get it. God revealed to me on the way home the beauty and value of this river of mine that runs so deep. What was a viewed as a wound became a gift. He made me this way because He has plans for me. He wants to use me for His glory. How awesome it that?!
God has put me in a regularly occurring situation this summer in which I have an opportunity to explore these feelings and perhaps get a grip on them. I am coming to realize that I am so fearful of rejection that if I don’t sense a reciprocating interest in a friendship, I stop the relationship before I have a chance to get hurt. My choice is to either embrace the feelings of detachment and lack of value I feel, or to crucify these feelings and lay my heart on the table come what may.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.