Have you ever had an aha moment that really has a huge impact? The kind of aha moment that you wish you had known for years? The kind of aha moment that if you really allow to change you and you lived it out could bring freedom in ways that you’ve never experienced?
I had one of those moments yesterday. In the midst of a 2 hour work call where a woman was explaining to me the results of a test I had recently taken called the Birkman, I learned something about myself that I didn’t know before. I’ve taken many personality and gifting tests that have been insightful and helpful but this one came at a particular time in my life that I needed it most. I believe that even though this test is not coming from a spiritual standpoint, God has used it to show me more about how He’s made me, how He’s wired me, and the passions I have in life.
As a result of many things in life, my season of life with young kids (one who still doesn’t sleep through the night), ministry, extended family hardships, etc. I have found that I’ve become really burnt out. I finally feel so maxed out in life that I’m barely hanging on by a thread. That’s not something anyone wants to admit or a place you want to find yourself. It feels terrible, tiring and sucks the joy right out of you a lot of days. Don’t worry, there are plenty of great things going on and I don’t feel hopeless.
So what was my aha moment you’re wondering (or not, but I’ll tell you anyway)? Well, I already knew that I was an introvert in a very extroverted world of ministry and have learned how to navigate that some. But I also found out that I tend to function at a fairly high pace of life, pack my days with things and take on a lot of responsibilities. However, this test showed that my need for a packed out schedule actually falls on the low end of the spectrum. On a scale of 1-100 I ranked a 12 in what I actually need for pace of life. I function at about 70 and need a 12. This is a remarkable difference. When the woman told me that I was burning myself out and that I am designed to function with much less chaos and that I probably have too many things on my plate I just started crying. Tears of relief and joy really. I’ve always felt that I have to have a hundred things going at a time. I feel guilty when I have to say no to things. I feel guilty when all I want is a quiet house and no one talking to me for at least 30 minutes. I feel guilty when I feel tired after a day packed of activity. To have someone else say to me, you are not made that way and it’s okay was incredibly freeing. I have been trying to function as someone who is shaped like a square when I’m made to be a diamond for lack of better terms. It’s like I’ve been piling rocks on my back for years trying to function in a way that I’m not meant to and yesterday I finally realized it’s okay to put down all the rocks and stop heaving around a load of guilt because I’m not made in a certain way. Wow.
I’m actually in the line of work that I have a passion for, working with and ministering to people. That part is still correct. I just need to learn how to not pack my schedule so full that the introvert gets totally squashed and the need for a more peaceful, less chaotic day happens. Then I can thrive. Then I won’t be burnt out.
What about you? Do you try to function in ways that God didn’t actually create you to function out of? Do you often feel tired, worn out, guilty that you’re not functioning like you or other people think you should? I know I was. Now, how to put this new found fact into reality and live out the incredible freedom that I feel just in knowing it.