You Were Made On Purpose

The first time I read the description of the ENFP in the Meyers Briggs personality test I took, I cried. Gregarious, full of energy, passionate, an ability to inspire others, I knew who they were talking about because I was who they were talking about. I cried because if I was one of 16 types than I wasn’t created on accident. I didn’t have to work to be a little less, a little less enthusiastic, a little less in love with other people. I didn’t need to tone it down. There were REASONS I was so boundless in my energies. I was an ENFP, and this was the way my tribe navigated the world. I was supposed to be talkative, I wasn’t wrong. I was me, an ENFP.

I cried again when I found out which number on the enneagram chart I was. This wasn’t because I was relieved. This was because I was horrified. I am not alone in this feeling after discovering I was the helper. Turns out the two is most sensitive to criticism and your enneagram number is really best found when you think of yourself at your very worst. But I also cried because I didn’t totally understand what the enneagram was for. I thought it was telling my HOW I was to behave and not WHY I was behaving. The enneagram isn’t very interested in labeling your behaviors, but rather telling you why you might be doing those things. I thought I had been made incorrectly again, I thought I was being told I was behaving outside the bounds of a two.

But as I continued to work through my understanding of the enneagram I came to realize that, again, I was made on purpose. I didn’t have to fit myself into an imperfect box. I didn’t have to be less than or more than or something I wasn’t. God made me on purpose, for a purpose. I wasn’t an accident or a factory model that needed to be shaved here and reformatted there.

This semester, my first assignment in my preaching class was to find three preachers you aspire to preach like. I want to preach in a congregational context, every (or most) Sundays in a pulpit. I want to pastor well, and I want to show up with my whole self. But I couldn’t seem to find my voice in the pastors I was finding online. I am not measured and academic. I am loud and excitable. I cry and laugh a lot. I do these things while I am preaching. I don’t want to tone it down for the pulpit. I don’t know if I could if I tried.

But this time I wasn’t so shook by that. I know that God made me on purpose. I went searching for the bits and pieces I admired in all contexts and settings. I found women in conferences preaching with big earrings and flailing arms. I found black men owning truth in a way I hope to emulate. I found a soft southern voice who can craft a story with a vividness I hope to one day aspire to. All of this is me, all of those are me. I get to be that because I am a 2, and an ENFP and because God made me those things on purpose. For a purpose. The labels have helped me discern my calling and the ways I am meant to walk it out, but they don’t make me what I am. Only God can do that, and God did. On purpose.

Abby Norman

Abby lives and loves in the city of Atlanta. She swears a lot more than you would think for a public school teacher and mother of two under three. She can’t help that she loves all words.She believes in champagne for celebrating every day life, laughing until her stomach hurts and telling the truth, even when it is hard, maybe especially then.

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