I’m One of The Dreamers

I have mentioned this a few times already, but my MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) type is INFP (Introverted-iNtuitive-Feeling-Perceiver/Processor). The common archetypes for this personality are the Dreamer and the Idealist. Sometimes if you look into web pages all about the functions you'll find other unique archetypes for the INFP, but I won't go into those archetypes. However, I will go into the functions.

For a long time I thought the four letter system was the end all, be all of the MBTI, but I was wrong. The four traits are only the beginning. The real fun starts when you look into the functions, and I learned so much about my personality type when I did so.

As an INFP my functions are as follows, in order: Fi, Ne, Si, and Te. The order is important, because it indicates how much I use each function. Fi (Introverted Feeling) is my dominant function, and oh boy does it make decision making hard! In the context of the MBTI, feeling is not only indicative of emotion (although feelers are usually very emotional), but of principles. Meaning. Morals. Everybody has morals, of course, but for the introverted feeler morals are EVERYTHING. Every single decision I make revolves around my inner moral compass. Every. Single. One. I kid you not, when I was a teenager, I once spent hours contemplating whether or not it was morally ambiguous for me to leave a lady bug that I had found half stuck in a slowly melting sheet of ice. HOURS.

That's where Ne (Extraverted Intuition) comes in. It's as if people with a dominant Fi function and an auxiliary Ne function have an innate belief in the butterfly effect, and we see it as our moral obligation to always be aware of how even our most small, insignificant, every day actions could effect the world around us. It's exhausting. I think this may be one of the reasons why an INFP will often struggle with procrastination. Sometimes we really are just lazy, but sometimes we are paralyzed by the many possible moral implications of our actions.

As far as I understand it, Ne is about how we engage with the world and process stimuli. As previously mentioned, Ne is my auxiliary function, so although it is a very strong part of my personality, it's really more of a servant to my dominant function. My Ne function allows me to consider endless possibilities for all sorts of topics, and find patterns and connections with ease. It's great for brainstorming, but awful for decision making. Seriously, it's a miracle that an INFP can make any decisions at all! (This is why I married an INTJ. He not only likes making decisions for himself, but he rather enjoys making decisions for others, too.)

My tertiary function is Si (introverted sensing), and I think this may be the function which I personally value the least in my day to day life. It basically has to do with information input and output, and how that information is stored. In a way it seems to serve my Ne just as my Ne serves my Fi (and to a lesser extent my Si directly serves my Fi as well). It strengthens my intuitive nature in connecting past experiences with present experiences, and from what I have read it can even cause the body to respond as if it is reliving the passed experience. I think this sort of causes us to teach ourselves based on those experiences, and I imagine this would have a profound influence on my Fi.

My inferior function is Te. This has to do with efficient organization of information, which then leads to greater systemization and quantification of that information. It's no surprise that this is my inferior function. Anybody who has seen any of my personal work spaces should know from how I "organize" my physical surroundings, just how little the organization of my inner world matters to me. This is my most frustrating function. As I had recently talked about in another post, my intellect matters a lot to me, and I don't want to neglect it, but it is clearly not my strength. I'm not empirically minded, nor do I easily look at data through an ordered lens. However, I know that I am intelligent, and I never want to make the mistake of placing greater objective value on my subjective feelings than is warranted. So, this would seem to be the source of my eternal struggle. I wish I could write a satisfying conclusion to this paragraph, but I can't. This is the burden of my particular set and measure of cognitive functions.

Well, I think I've rambled on enough about my thoughts on my personality, and the frustrations therein. Maybe one day it will all be worked out. I know that God isn't done with me yet, and sense loving God is not complete if we do not also love him with our minds, I'm sure he will eventually work out all the contradictions of my mind.

Thank you for reading my blog! God bless you!

(P.S. I'm no psychologist, only an enthusiast, so be sure to take everything I've said with a grain of salt.)

High School, The Holy Spirit and Homosexuality

I have seen many interpretations of the verses found in Romans Chapter 1 (specifically Romans 1:18-28) in regard to homosexuality. Some I have been able to agree with completely, some I have been able to agree with partially, and others I have not been able to agree with at all. The reason I am saying this is because the scriptures found in Romans 1 are very important to me. They are the very scriptures that God used to first convict me of my homosexual desires. It was not man kind and human philosophies that first convicted me, but God himself.

It was a timely warning that was given in the wise counsel of the Holy Spirit. I first read these scriptures in grade eight when my ex-girlfriend and I were still just friends. There was no question in my mind what the scriptures meant, nor how they were relevant to me. I had never seen those scriptures before and no one had ever quoted them to me. It was the first time those words had ever been presented to me, and it was the Holy Spirit who was pointing them out.

As I was thinking about this I realized what the major difference between convictions of the Holy Spirit and convictions of men are (in my experiences). I remembered how I felt when I first read these scriptures. I did not feel ashamed, defeated or condemned, which is often how I feel when people try to convict me of something. I actually felt quite the opposite. I felt excited and amazed. I think that inside my soul was rejoicing, and I think my spirit was crying out, “God, you care enough about me to tell me this. You have seen my iniquities and you have not left me! You know my heart better than I do, and you still want to be a part of it!” I was rejoicing in my Lord’s loving kindness. I was delighted that He counted me worthy to share in His wisdom.

However, when I shared those verses with my ex-girlfriend, she reacted very differently. I think she was actually taken aback by my enthusiasm, and sometimes I wonder if I might have even made her concerned or nervous about me. If I can recall correctly, it was not long after this that she stopped being a Christian. This confused me. I could not understand how something which excited me so much could upset her so much. Although, we had not come out to each other yet, so I didn’t have the whole picture. Of course, I’m not saying this was the one and only reason that she became an atheist, but it is the reason that I was most aware of.

Time went on and she and I, along with some other friends, hung out with each other a lot. Going into high school we were a pretty tight group, and we all really cared about each other. Then one day while I was in English Class I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to separate myself from my group of friends. I don’t know if this was intended to be permanent or temporary, but I did not question it. Up to this point I was not in the habit of questioning God in how He lead me. It made no sense to me to question the one who knows me better than I know myself.

So, after English Class I approached my friends and told them that I couldn’t hang out with them anymore, and my ex-girlfriend’s reaction was devastating. They asked me why, and my ex-girlfriend declared, “Because we’re not good enough for her!” and then stormed out, and I’m pretty certain that she was crying. The next day she didn’t come to school, and we were all worried about her. I was torn. I knew what God was asking me to do, and I didn’t want to disobey Him, but I didn’t want to hurt my friends either.

On the day that my ex-girlfriend didn’t come in we had a substitute teacher for English Class, and she was a devout Christian. Seriously. She spent the entire class talking about God and how everything we do has a ripple effect. I don’t know if it was in God’s plan to send someone that day who would spend an hour sharing things that made me feel comfortable to open up to her about my spiritual life, but that’s sure what she did. After class I approached her and started talking to her, and although I don’t remember much of what was said, I remember that she smiled kindly and sincerely, I cried for nearly the entire lunch hour, and she told me that “It’s obvious you care about her”. That has stuck with me for a long time, because for a long time I was afraid that I was just heartless.

That day, despite my conversation with this lovely and mature woman of God, I made one of the worst decisions of my life. I chose to deliberately ignore the Holy Spirit and disobey God, and when I went to my next class I apologized to my other friends and made up. I’m not saying that my friends were bad people who didn’t deserve to have me as a friend. No. I loved my friends, and I still do, but my obedience to God should never have taken second place to anything or anyone.

My friends and I went to my ex-girlfriend’s house after school to see how she was doing, and then I made up with her too. If I can recall correctly, it was not long after this that we came out to each other. It was over the phone, and after we both told each other that we were lesbians, I felt a strange mix of pride and comfort. After we were done talking to each other and we hung up, God’s spirit fell heavily on me. I could feel the weight of the Holy Spirit pressing heavily on my heart. Like, HEAVY.

I knew that what I wanted was dishonorable to Him, and He knew that I knew that what I wanted was dishonorable to Him. This is what it feels like was going on in that moment:

God was saying, “You know my truth. I have already revealed it to you.”

Satan was already creeping into the situation and saying, “It’s just who you are. There’s no other choice. It’s just who you are. There’s no other choice. There’s no other choice. There’s no other choice.

My flesh was giving into Satan and saying, “Yeah, you know what? It really is who I am. It’s just who I am. It really does feel like there’s no other choice.”

And then my spirit chimed in saying, “No! You can’t reject God’s truth! Please, don’t reject God’s truth! Please, you need His good counsel! You need His wisdom! You need His truth! You can’t reject God’s truth and expect anything good to come of it!”

The weight of it all was so great that I literally could not stand. I lay on the ground as I tried to process it all, but in my heart I was already allowing Satan to win. I was already allowing my fleshly nature to become dominant. All I could think about in that moment was how much I wanted her, and how much I didn’t want to hurt her, so I rejected it all. All of it. Everything. I gave in to myself. I gave in to my own flesh. I didn’t know how to balance the relationship I had with God and the relationship I wanted to have with her, and the fact of the matter is that I couldn’t. It just wouldn’t work, so I silenced my spirit and told God to leave me alone, and Satan just got quiet without being told. I am now convinced that he was pretending to co-operate so that I would keep my guard down. God backed off and let me make my own choice in the matter, but He never gave up on me. My spirit remained quiet for a long time, but it was still alive so it remained alert.

That was the absolute worst choice of my life. Ever.

If I can recall correctly, it was not long after this that she and I started dating. I cannot recall much about this time, but I must have still talked about God. I don’t know how much I talked about Him or Christianity, or possibly even my parents’ views, but apparently I talked about Him enough for her to say this, “You don’t need God to be complete, you know.”

This is how I know that my spirit was still alert, because when she said this my spirit rose up and spoke. It said, quietly yet assuredly, “Yes, I do. I am His very breath. I need Him. I am His very breath. I need Him. I am His very breath. I need Him.”

This is probably the reason why I cried the first time I sang the song Great Are You Lord in church.

This is all that I will write for now. Thank you for reading my blog. 🙂 God bless you.

Who or What Is Our Master?

(If there are any children reading this please stop and let your parent(s) or guardian(s) read it first.)

There is one thing that annoys me above all other things in the controversy over homosexuality. There is one thing that makes me want to continue sharing what I have learned, even if some may not like it. I’m actually a little afraid to share this, but I think it needs to be said.

I’ve read a few articles concerning advice given to people trying to figure out how to deal with homosexuality (whether in themselves or with someone else). The one that I will specifically share was posted throughout the internet in November of 2013. It is an Ask Amy article called Parent pressures gay son to change. This article makes me angry for a couple reasons.

I will begin by saying that the parent’s entire letter irritated me. However, Amy’s response, though having some wise points, had a statement that irks me just as much as the parent’s whole letter. After suggesting that this parent undergoes sexual orientation change to teach her son how easy it is (obviously sarcasm), she says this: “I assume that my suggestion will evoke a reaction that your sexuality is at the core of who you are.” This fills me with anger. Any time I see or hear someone saying of another’s sexual orientation, “It’s who you are” or “Don’t suppress your true self”, I become literally hot with rage. I have chosen not to speak on this specifically until now because I try not to let my emotions run me or dictate my values. However, I think the time to speak of it has come.

The reason I hate such statements is because they are oppression disguised as liberation. If you say to someone that their sexuality is who they are, or that it’s their true self, you are basically saying to them that on some level, sex is their master. You are telling them that they are a slave to their sexuality. I believe that this is the worst form of oppression. This teaches people that they cannot master their own thoughts, they cannot master their own feelings, and that they cannot even master what they do with their thoughts and feelings. That is not empowerment. I believe that it teaches people to oppress themselves.

If I cannot master my own body, then I am truly a pathetic creature. If I cannot even say to myself, “I will keep control of my body. I will not be enslaved by my own desires,” then I am no better than a dog who chooses not to discern between its food and its feces. Such a creature requires a better master than its own self. I require a better master than my own self; one who can teach me to master my own body. That master is Jesus, and he has already done this for me in great measure.

I know that homosexuality is a heated topic right now, and I am not writing about it so that I can get in on the controversy. I don’t want to single it out, but it’s something I have personal knowledge about, so that’s why I talk about it. I’m not sharing my experiences and understandings of it because I believe that I’m morally superior and better than everyone else, and I don’t write in complete oblivion to the fact that there are actual human beings who might read it. I don’t share these things because I believe that I should be able to dictate what other people do with their bodies; I have no intention of making anyone a slave to any form of sexuality. I actually want the opposite to happen.

Whether you struggle with adultery, bestiality, fornication, homosexuality, lust, masturbation, necrophilia, pedophilia or pornography (notice that these terms are in alphabetical order, to make it clear that I am not ranking them), if you have been saved by Jesus Christ then sex is no longer your master. You are no longer a slave to sexuality, and you do not have to behave as if you are.

This doesn’t just apply to sexuality. I speak the most on this topic because it is what I have struggled with the most, and Jesus has brought me through and given me victory over it. Because of this I believe that I have more authority to speak on this specific part of life than I have to speak on anything else. Part of the reason I’m afraid to talk about this is because so many Christians have tried to have strong opinions about this matter when they had little or no authority to, and have thus made Christianity look like an obsession with the morality or immorality of sexual behavior, which it’s not. I don’t want to add to that, but the fact of the matter is that I cannot share my testimony without talking a lot about the morality or immorality of sexual behavior. So, I would like to be so bold as to speak briefly on other topics which I have some authority in as well, in the regard of oppression and liberation.

If you have been saved by Jesus Christ, than you have the power to change and be completely transformed through Him. Therefore, you are not a slave to depression. You are not a slave to laziness. You are not a slave to loneliness. You are not a slave to food. You are not a slave to your appearance. You are not a slave to human expectations. You are not a slave to the media. You are not a slave to gossip. You are not a slave to anger. You are a not a slave to envy. You are not a slave to bad dreams or nightmares. You are not a slave to sleepless nights. You are not a slave to fear. You are not a slave to pride. You are not a slave to shame. You are not a slave to hopelessness. You are not a slave to regret.

This is what my major turning point was. I named my perceived master – that which my flesh was content in being a slave to – and then I rebuked my flesh. I claimed Jesus as my master. I am not a slave to sin but to righteousness. Please do not let your flesh say, “This is stupid.” Instead let your spirit rise up and proclaim that you are NOT a slave to ANY of the ways of this world.

Thank you for reading my blog. 🙂

Romans 12:2

Romans 6

Galatians 4:1-9

Matthew 6:24

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

 Greg Sczebel – Good Fight 

My Identity: Part Two

You know my name. Sunshine. 🙂

If you read the first post of this blog you know three pieces of my spiritual personality; Springbok, Mountain Sheep, and beautiful child of God (running on the hillside). 🙂

But wait, there’s more! One day at church when my Uncle C was encouraging us to learn about our spiritual personalities and to encourage others in theirs, two women came to encourage me. The first women was a very lovely lady whom once hosted a silent retreat which I attended, and she told me that she saw a Gazelle leaping on the mountain tops. Then my mother came to me and told me that she saw me as a fawn who likes to stay near it’s parents, and she said that in this metaphor the fawn’s parents represent God. Wow! God has given me three confirmations all revolving around the same piece of my identity. He was really driving it home. (Springbok/Gazelle/Fawn)

Another day while I was in church another lovely lady came up to me and spoke to me about waves. She talked about how when we wave a flag, there is a split second in which the flag remains still in mid-air. She said that even waves on the ocean do that. She said that I’m like a wave. Then, another day while I was in worship some women came to pray over me and encourage me, and during that my mom approached me and showed me the flag she was holding. It was a flag that was cut to look wavy, and on it were the words “Waves of Mercy, Waves of Grace.” She reminded me that my name, Anaisa, means “mercy, grace, and prayer”, and told me that she and my dad decided quickly on that name. She said that she believed God intended for me to have that name. God was piling on the coincidences to drive my identity home.

Also, last week I remembered what my middle name means. Helene, which is a form of Helen, means “God’s little light”. God’s name for me is Sunshine, and my middle name just happens to mean “God’s little light”. So many coincidences! So many confirmations!

For a while I was debating with myself whether or not I should post this. It seemed so arrogant to just talk about my identity, but I’m not just talking about me. I’m talking about how God works tirelessly to tell me what He wants me to know. To carry on to completion the good work He started in me. (Philippians 1:6)

Glory be to God in the Highest.

Thank you for reading my blog. 🙂

My Identity: Part One

God has given me my identity. In a world where people are constantly inventing their own identities and are telling others what their identities should be, God gave me my identity according to his grace and wisdom.

First is the identity that all Christians have; children of God who have been brought back into His family by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are Citizens of Heaven. We are co-heirs with Christ through partaking in his suffering. We are new creations, and so much more! Neil T. Anderson has listed many other pieces of our identity in Christ in his book Victory Over The Darkness, which is helping me to understand the scriptural truths of my identity in Christ.

But that’s not all. God has also given me pieces of my own personal identity in His Kingdom. Having struggled with homosexuality during a time when one’s sexual orientation is made out to be a crucially defining characteristic of one’s identity, my own sense of identity (and thus my sense of purpose) became one of my weak points. This is exactly how God showed me one of the ways He likes to work. He likes to take our weaknesses and turn them into strengths in ways that we never could have done without Him.

Let me begin by telling you about the first experience I had in receiving a piece of my identity according to God. I was in high school, and one night at Youth Group the Youth Pastor’s wife shared with us that God has a name for her. A special name.

Her name is Laughter.

Before she began speaking and everyone was chatting, she laughed at something someone said, and one of the other kids piped up and said, “Oh I love her laugh!” and said something about how unique or special her laughter is. During her talk the Youth Pastor’s wife made note of that. That little piece of confirmation said in passing was a personal confirmation of her identity, spoken through an unlikely bystander.

Well, after that, I started asking God to reveal what His name for me is. A few months later, I was walking around the church before the service started and looking out the windows. It was a dark and cloudy day; gray and gloomy. I thought to myself, “I feel like those clouds; gray and gloomy.” This was during the time when I was struggling with depression. Then, as I was walking downstairs I bumped into the Pastor, and he said “Good morning, Sunshine!” and that just stopped me dead in my tracks. He smiled and continued on his way after I said good morning back, and through the rest of the day I thought about that statement. It just hit me so hard. I didn’t feel like sunshine that day. I felt quite opposite to sunshine.

After a while I felt God pressing on my heart that there was a reason why my Pastor greeted me like that. Although the Pastor later said he greeted me like that because he thought my yellow shoes looked sunshiny, God pressed on my heart that he noticed that specific detail for a specific reason. He saw the essence of who and what God created me to be even when I wasn’t living it. It was my name. It was God’s name for me; His title for my design.

Sunshine.

That was the first unveiling of God’s special identity for me. The common identity that all Christians have in Christ is the foundation of my identity, which is critically important and cannot be replaced. My name from Him is a sweet little bonus which helps me to understand in a deeper way who I am in Christ and in the Kingdom of God. God is making my weakness into my strength, and will continue to do so until His work in me is complete.

Thank you for reading my blog.

God bless you. 🙂