1.3.17

The ENFP life. . .and online dating.


You know the feeling when you let it all go and let God? Yeah that just happened. It's that gut wrenching desperation to know Him more. It usually happens after I've been wandering for some time, trying too hard, giving too much, not getting poured back into. When I'm doing it by myself. Answering my own questions. Rewind a bit with me for a minute, because I'm going to talk about personality types. It's important because my personality type plays big time into everything I do, say, and think. Oh, and so does yours. I encourage all my close friends to take the test (16 Personalities is the free version of Myers-Briggs,) not only because it's amazing insight into their brain and heart, but it was one of the most essential things for me to FINALLY understand all my weird little quirks, inconsistencies, and seemingly unstable thought process. Hah, but aren't we all a bit "unstable" at times? ;)

Ok, so I'm an ENFP, aka Entrovert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. This is important because yes I'm an extrovert, but ENPs only make up like 5% of the population and are thee most introverted of the extroverted types. It applies to my smack-in-the-face encounter with God just a few minutes ago because let's just face it. . . I'm burnt out. See, I go, go, go until I've poured out everything I have. . .and. . .let's call it my "love tank" needs refilling. Only not everyone views life and releationships the way I do, so I recede into a dry little hole and hide for a few days before I come back out again. It hasn't been that simple this month however, with all sorts of real-life audulting situations and lots and lots of work. Not that I'm complaining. I like my job and need the hours. But this is on top of constantly emotionally supporting everyone around me, being super social at work, and basically getting little to no alone time. This isn't to say people don't energize me. I am a true extrovert in that way. People and people's stories are life. They keep me pressing forward and make every day an endless adventure. But yeah, the love tank. I love so deep and so hard, and then I crash. Only I haven't really gotten the chance a couple weeks to do so. Which is why I'm holed up in my little nook of a room trying to type on an iPad since my laptop is in an unhealthy state and at a friends house awaiting a new keyboard. And then I have to wonder. Do I really have to give emotional support to everyone I feel close to? Of course, to some extent. But maybe I invest way too much, and maybe it isn't as radically soul-inspired to them as it is to me. Maybe I'm actually burning myself out. . .and I can't even help it.

I'm realizing the older I get how much I depend on being stimulated. I hate the feeling of boredom and uselessness, so I'm constantly looking for new projects and things to keep my overactive brain satisfied. Well, life isn't always like that. It's healthy to sit still and listen for God's voice. He can only meet me face to face when I am actively seeking Him. When I want Him. He's always there, I just have to remember that I don't need to do this alone, and invite Him over for a nice long chat. It finally happened this afternoon after wallowing along and trying way too hard to do everything exactly right. It came with tears and honest to goodness out-pouring of all my fears. Literally begging for His sustenance. A simple dialogue with my huge, bigger than life, very alive, so powerful, Kings of Kings--my heavenly Father--and poof! The soul is gratified and life seems a little less daunting. He's got this. This whole crazy new stage of life, this not having the answers or being in control. He has it all, and I am re-centered in that knowledge.

So yeah, take the personality test. I've met several ENFPs, but few that have been so accurately-text-book-definition as myself. Kind of scary, actually. But also so eye opening into the intricate world that is my mind. And your mind. That is one of the many, many reasons I love so much. Each individual is so incredibly unique with their own, specially designed talents, gifts, likes, dislikes. How can you not want to reach out and touch every living thing? It's all that dynamic difference and uniqueness that makes this world so colorful. Oh wait, but this is my ENFP self speaking. ;)

Ok, so that was a major rabbit trail. I wanted to talk about online dating. Haha, big change of direction, right? Also, depending on your background, totally controversial and maybe seemingly desperate and even unnatural. I was exactly where you are, so no judging, just as I ask you to read on with an open mind. If you can't say anything nice, don't comment. Thumper was right. . .just don't say anything at all.

Notice a theme here with singleness and relationships? It's been on the brain for a long time, was just too afraid to talk about it before. So over that! One seriously positive, anti-ENFP trait I've learned is that honestly, this is my life. God works differently in every individual, and if something is good for me because I have evidence that it is. . .then it IS good, even if it is unpopular or not normally accepted. The same goes for stumbling blocks. Something may tempt me or make me stumble, but is perfectly fine for someone else. Now don't go reading between the lines and assume I'm talking about sin issues! I could take this entire article and talk about grey areas vs black and white, but that isn't my goal today. I view online dating as one of those (many) grey areas, much like preferences toward modesty, Bible translation, music, etc. Again, if you disagree that's ok, you need not read further! Saying this in love. :)

I believe that God can bring me a husband. In fact, I know He will. I want to be married, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that He planted that desire, thus I have His promise. I've explored the idea of perpetual singleness, and while I know that is a possibility, I really do believe God has a husband out there. . .somewhere. And when it is time, He will reveal that man to me. How exciting is that? I remember when I was about 13, taking a walk around the neighborhood. I'd recently been turned on to the idea of romance, and the innocent thought of one man waiting for me. . .MY man, the only man I'd ever hope to love, my prince, my knight in shining armor. My soulmate. Yes, I've always been a sap. But I started praying for him that day, even though I was still so young, really dedicating prayer for that special, sacred union. As I grew older I learned that romance doesn't necessarily come at eighteen like so many other girls I knew. "My man" wouldn't come falling from the sky or riding a white horse. I'd get hurt. . .over and over again. . .waiting for him. Attempting to meet him. Funny how looking back, I am so glad none of those potential relationships took flight. I was immature, and those men weren't "my man." The wounds sting, the scenarios weren't fun or pretty, but they have been the turning point in my life again and again. Without those heartbreaks, I wouldn't be the woman I am today. Oh yeah, and then sometimes you turn 26 and are still single. . .and lessons learned, you still can't help wondering. . ."will it ever be my turn?" Any single in their late 20's and 30's know the hopeless fear that love will never find them. 

People call me desperate for turning to a dating site. Hah, wow, did I just admit on the World Wide Web that I'm advocating online dating, worse, that I joined one such (desperate, scandalous, trusting-in-self-rather-than-God,) website!? Yep. Think I just did. And you know what? It's ok. We are so quick to judge. Hey, I did it too. And no, it isn't desperation. I don't think online dating is the answer or the only way I can meet someone. There are lots of good guys out there, and yet, maybe it's ok to step out of the "safe" avenues and into unconventional highways. This is the 21st century, folks! I never thought I'd join the online dating world. It was below me, full of unwanted, unattractive, DESPERATE people. I mean, you had to pretty much be at the end of all things, totally destitute and hopeless, or my favorite line "obviously no one wants them." Ouch. God forgive me for being so hateful! I'll tell you something really cool though. God asks us to follow Him in all things. You knew that, but I'm just reminding you. Because we often take it for granted. My theme for the end of 2016 and now 2017 on my blog is "expanding comfort zones." It isn't rebellion. It's going out on a limb and exploring all the amazing, frequently missed ways God can bless us if we patiently accept the blindfold and walk straight into the unknown. 

It's like Abraham, remember? He began walking in the desert with all his riches and entire family, because he trusted God when He promised great, unknown blessings. Blind faith. That's why my heart has changed towards online dating. But it's a lot more than just that. It's one of the many ways God is expanding horizons and revealing Himself more, everyday. He can and will bring me a man. . .however and whenever He wants. And if it just so happens I meet him online, it's ok. I'm not desperate, just exploring another side of the coin. We are supposed to be proactive in everything, releationships included. Far too many people are waiting for answers, and not just in their love life. Your probably getting sick of my saying this, but stop using God as a shield to hide behind. Take the resources He's given and start climbing mountains. 

There is my ramble for a quiet, rainy afternoon off. Maybe I'm incriminating myself here, but honesty is the best policy, and I like to update on life whenever I can. Now to find some pretty pictures and transfer all this over from Evernote to Blogger.

Do you ever feel like your living in a daze? Every day I wake up in my little brick house. My house. I don my uniform (very ill fitting uniform, but still quite official looking, ;) ) head off to work, come home in the evening and catch up on a show and texting (my phone has become a huge asset since moving out--I have so many people to keep up with!) or go out with friends, sleep, then do it all over again. Life continues. It's awesome and weirdly freaky. Like I'm a totally different person. Maybe I am. All I know for sure is that I'm going to keep following and seeking and obeying, and maybe this crazy thing we call life with write itself into a story. Hard to imagine that in a few months I'll be headed to Thailand. What? Seriously can't wrap my mind around that one. We serve an incredible God. So don't let the ups and downs of life keep you down. Take it from me; trust goes far. Give Him your heart, and Jesus will take care of the rest. 

"And the pain falls like a curtain
On the things I once called certain
And I have to say the words I fear the most
I just don't know

And the questions without answers
Come and paralyze the dancer
So I stand here on the stage afraid to move
Afraid to fall, oh, but fall I must
On this truth that my life has been formed from the dust

God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He's painting
God is God and I am man
So I'll never understand it all
For only God is God

And the sky begins to thunder
And I'm filled with awe and wonder
'Til the only burning question that remains
Is who am I

Can I form a single mountain
Take the stars in hand and count them
Can I even take a breath without God giving it to me
He is first and last before all that has been
Beyond all that will pass

Oh, how great are the riches of His wisdom and knowledge
How unsearchable for to Him and through Him and from Him are all things
So let us worship before the throne
Of the One who is worthy of worship alone" 

God Is God, Steven Curtis Chapman 

3 comments:

  1. So beautiful!!! I was greatly encouraged by this!! I'm and ENFP,too, so your words definitely spoke to my heart.
    My sister actually met her now fiance through online dating. And I know another friend who's been patiently waiting for a guy for 30+ years and finally joined a site and met her amazing husband. I think God can definitely use it as an avenue. And frankly I don't see how it's a whole lot different than having friends or family members set you up with someone. :)
    Thanks again for the lovely post!!!

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  2. I'm an ENFP too and...yeah all this is familiar. :-) Thanks for sharing these insights Michaela!

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  3. I think all of us have thought online dating was for the desperate at some point or another ;) I joined eharmony a few months before I met Joe, after much fighting on my part against God about it :P I only have good things to say about the experience. I talked to some quality guys and went out with one...suddenly meeting my husband online seemed very possible. And while I was thinking that, I met Joe one night at a church group. Hahaha. But God used the online dating process to really help me think through some things and be prepared to meet him, so it fulfilled the purpose He had. Anywho... You are embracing the possibilities - have fun!

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