A couple of friends introduced me to the Enneagram earlier in the year. For me, it’s been a fun and helpful way to learn more about my husband, my kids, myself, and how we can all best relate with one another. Mason was wary of it from day one, but he’s allowed me to have my relational fun with it! 🙂
I chuckle to myself at how accurate some of the Type 2 descriptions are for me. (I’ve also done other things besides chuckle at how accurate the Type 8 description is for our firecracker firstborn son!)
One site said of the personality type with which our other two children and I identify,
Twos are a feeling-based type with a focus on relationship. They excel at making connections and empathizing with the needs and feelings of other people. They are usually good at supporting others and helping bring out their potential…
A bit like emotional sponges, Twos have to be very careful what they absorb from the people around them. Getting angry or setting personal boundaries can be very hard to do, although they may have emotional outbursts to relieve the pressure.
Has someone been watching me?!
Beth McCord put together this lovely PDF to highlight how the gospel frees each type of personality from their common hangups. I love this! A portion of the Type 2 page says,
Christ’s work removes the need to have the love and approval of others when you have the love and approval of Christ in the work He accomplished for you. His approval of you is based on His perfect life; therefore, you do not need to strive to be the most loving, helpful, and supportive person. You are now free to receive His unconditional love for you.
What a perfect season of my life to fully embrace this truth. My personal relationship with Jesus gives me 100% of the approval I need!
So what I am about to share, I don’t share in order to gain anyone’s approval, though the me from a few years ago may have done so. I share this to point to God’s amazing grace and love, and to communicate to those who love our family how He’s faithfully walked through every season with us.
Recently our kids have brought up repetitive conversations about K – sometimes a couple days in a row, sometimes every couple of weeks, and sometimes once a month. They’ve been freely processing their thoughts and feelings in a way that is both lighthearted and serious.
“I thought she’d be ____________.”
“I didn’t know she’d ____________.”
“I was on board when _________, and then I realized _________.”
This is mostly from our older two. Isaiah (he’s nearing 6) listens thoughtfully. They, too, have experienced loss and are processing it one year later. By the grace of God, I am on the other side of my own health-altering, heart-rending trauma, leaving me prepared to walk through their thoughts and feelings with them. Sometimes Mason is surprised at the end of the day when I relate to him what they said. As Eden decorated our Christmas tree this year, she declared that the white bird ornament on top represented K and all the orphans in the world who need to know about Jesus’ love. Knowledge of His love is definitely the most important thing K gleaned from her time with us!
I’m amazed at how God created our brains to process while we sleep. Sometimes dreams can seem random, terrifying, hilarious or bizarre, and other times they point logically to the processing of recent events. Mine are usually of the outrageous variety, but some realistic ones have acted as nocturnal therapy sessions!
In one dream, I was going through a good day with K, proud of the ways in which she abided by our rules and content with myself for being patient with her. I thought to myself in my dream, “We can do this. We can make this work.” Then I met up with a friend for our kids to play together. At the end of the playdate, I looked around for K and realized she had disappeared hours ago. I went searching for her, describing her to everyone I passed, asking if they’d seen her. They all knew who I was talking about, and finding her in my dream was similar to the way it was in real life whenever she wandered off. She was neither happy to be found nor alarmed she’d been lost. I sat down on a bench with another friend and explained to her the attachment deficit, among others, which caused this kind of thing to repeatedly happen. The next morning in the dream, I entered the hallway on my way to K’s room and saw a broken wall hanging on the floor. Thankfully, I awoke right before entering the room. (It was common in the morning for us to find a wide variety of objects amiss or broken. Entering her room in the morning, unsure of whether it would be a compliant, “easier” day or one beginning in disaster was among the hardest moments of the day.)
I awoke to reality with 5-year-old teddy bear Isaiah sleeping beside me, and I cautiously ventured into the hall where I was relieved to see the wall decoration in one piece in its proper place. The room where K used to stay, which had so often been closed off, was open; and the sunlight flooding through Eden’s pink curtains gave the space a magical, peachy glow. I breathed a prayer of thanks to God for both allowing me to process tough stuff during my sleep, and for waking me up to new mercies!
Down to the very day, it’s been exactly one year since a new season began for both K and the rest of us. Did anyone else listen to Nichole Nordeman in the early 2000s? This song ministered to me back then when I was becoming a young adult. As we’ve experienced each new season as a family since transitioning K, this song has been resurrected in my mind and heart. I’ve been reminded to fully trust God through every season. There are plenty of great songs on this topic; this is just a special one to me because of the way the artist’s words capture both the pain and loveliness of the changes God brings about in us. If you play it, be sure to listen all the way through to winter!
So it is with You and how You make me new with every season’s change
And so it will be as You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring
Which season are you in? Do you see the beauty in it, or can you hardly wait to get out of it? I’m so thankful that this one thing never changes:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.