Sound the Bells

Can I not talk about the Enneagram? Please? I’ve taken the test what feels like a hundred times. Each time I have taken it with the guidance of someone who really knows and loves the Enneagram. First I thought I was a 9. That fit for a while until it didn’t. Try again and find myself typed as a 6. Nope. It never really felt right. A 4. That is surely what I am. Except it isn’t. They tell me the Enneagram is like looking in a mirror with not always the most flattering light. It shows you who you really are without filters or soft lighting. With all due respect to Richard Rohr and all my friends who have found themselves and a better understanding of who they are in the Enneagram, I’m done with it. I think I finally know who I am.

I’m the woman who was a stay at home mom because it was the best thing for her family. I’m the woman who works full time because it is now the best thing for my family. I don’t need the Enneagram to tell me that I find Jesus when I knead the dough for a fresh loaf of bread. I believe in bigger tables, longer tables and I hear the Holy Spirit speak to me when I walk the halls of the elementary school, because God is at work in the different languages and cultures and countries of origins.

I’m the woman who needs to remind myself of the inherent goodness of this world. I need to tell myself over and over again the moral arc of the world points to justice. I need to say even in the darkness, the light is winning, because it is so easy to find myself in auto loop when thinking of the world’s troubles. The weight of injustice is so heavy on me I wake in the morning exhausted – my body sore and pained from tossing, turning, and sleeping with a clenched jaw.

I’ve the woman who has been many versions of myself over the past forty plus years, who always wanted to be able to label herself and know who she is. The idealistic creative girl who saw herself clearly in Anne of Green Gables who was prone to melancholy. There was the do-gooder college student who wanted to change the world and worked to put herself through college working three jobs until she burnt out and dropped out. Remember the young woman thrown into the world completely unprepared for what she saw and how to relate to people she had never spent time with before? This was the first time she saw someone purchase and use drugs, the first time she saw domestic violence up close, and when she learned that people weren’t actually getting rich off government help as she helped sort out WIC, coupons, and EBT in order to makes sure that the single mom who kept her baby could get some healthy food and diapers while those folks sneered at her in a grocery check-out lane.  There was the Hannity listening Church girl. She wanted to do the right thing, believe the right thing, and fight for the right thing. But she learned that Jesus didn’t want to stay in the walls of the church building and didn’t speak exclusively through white men. When she dared to step out and listen to others she met her neighbors and heard Jesus in a brand new way.

At the end of the day, whatever my Enneagram type actually is, there’s me. I’m the Lin-Manuel Miranda loving, Coke Zero drinking, Jesus following, public education advocating, girl who cusses more than she’d like, liberal leaning, bighearted, bleary eyed, children pastoring, bread baking, teacher assisting, quiet yet fiery, family devoted, word writing, pissed off yet hopeful 42-year-old woman.

And so I’ll sound the bells. I will scream when I see children disenfranchised, looked over, and taken advantage of by those who think they know better. I’ll never stop welcoming the immigrant and the refugee. I’ll never stop telling children how very much Jesus loves them.

And I’ll sound the bells when I see beauty in my world, because it’s all around us, when we really open our eyes.

Brenna D'Ambrosio

Brenna D'Ambrosio

I believe in finding and celebrating the breath of God in the every day, and that sometimes a gentle, simple group of words is the best way to reflect the complex and bold beauty of the world. I believe in the fierce. I believe in a generation of girls and women finding their voice. A generation who are the heroes of their own story, who fight their own battles, and slay their own dragons.
Brenna D'Ambrosio

Latest posts by Brenna D'Ambrosio (see all)

  • I’ve noticed myself fitting less into my personality types lately as well. We grow, we change. But keep the hope! That’s what can never change. Love this!

  • And the bells are ringing a beautiful sound.

  • Oh, I so needed this reminder. That, regardless of personality types, I am ME and I can live this life fully, no matter the Type.

  • Brenna, I love this! You are sounding the bells in a most beautiful way. I’m not really sure what I am on the Enneagram either. None of them seem to fit.