When did we decide that it was our job to re-work ourselves, the woman God created? Cheri and Amy discuss the difficulties of releasing transformation to our Creator while embracing every facet of the person He made us to be. Sometimes the the very quirk that we’ve hidden that He wants most to use in this world. If you’re not convinced, we get it, but listen in for more!
(This page contains affiliate links. Your clicks and purchases help support Grit 'n' Grace at no extra charge to you.)
- Amy & Cheri’s newly released book — Exhale: Lose Who You’re NOT. Love Who You ARE. Live Your ONE Life Well.
- Amy’s devo for Proverbs 31 Ministries: “Your Highest Calling Isn’t What You Think“
- Want a taste-test? Download the Forward, Introduction, and Chapter 1 of Exhale right here!
- What aspect(s) of your personality do you consider your weakness(es)? Your God-given strengths?
- How has God turned a “quirk” into a “perk” in your life?
Jennifer Bryant is a Christian blogger and podcaster who lives in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with her husband of 13 years and 2 feisty kids.
She founded Practical Family after coming home from full-time ministry work, as an outlet for creativity and resource for mothers.
Amanda Davison lives in small town Minnesota with her husband and three children.
A former psychology professor, Amanda is now sharing how her education in counseling and God’s word changed her life and marriage. Connect with Amanda via Facebook and Instagram!
Kimberli Wicks (Freilinger), M.A. has worked in a healing capacity with clients since 1993.
Kimberli is a speaker, watercolor artist and life coach, with countless hours professional training and experience using art and creativity as a healing avenue. Her passion is to help women move forward through fear.
Kate Hollimon loves teaching God’s Word. She delights in helping women grasp and understand the truths of scripture through her clear and practical teaching.
Her goal in ministry is to help women see the Wonder of God’s Word through her bible studies, writing and teaching.
Rachel Latham loves mornings, coffee and hiking.
Her blog, Breathe and Begin Again, is where she writes about how each moment that we have is an opportunity to re-set and start again.
You can find her on her page, www.rachellatham.com or on Instagram @rachel.latham.writer.
Transcript — scroll to read here (or download above)
Grit ‘n’ Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad Rules
Episode #159: The Reason Your Weird is Wonderful
Cheri: Well, this is Cheri Gregory
Amy: And I’m Amy Carroll.
Cheri: And you are listening to Grit and Grace, good girls breaking bad news. The podcast that equips you to lose who you’re not, love who you are, and live your one life well.
Amy: So this week we are continuing our series of love who you are, and part of who we may love or hate about ourselves is our personality, and I had this love-hate relationship with personality tests.
Cheri: Hm. How so?
Amy: I’ll start with the hate since it’s a lot less. What I hate about personality tests is that I think it gives some people an excuse. I have a particular person in my life that will say, “Well I can’t help it, I’m just an LLP,” or whatever it is, with the-
Cheri: Yup, yup, yup.
Amy: So I don’t like them, because I think we use them as excuses.
Cheri: Okay, by we, do you mean other people use them as excuses? Or do we ever use them as excuses?
Amy: Oh no, I meant other people. I mean they, not we.
Cheri: Very good. I’m in full agreement with you. I hate it when other people use their personality test results as an excuse, keep going.
Amy: And the other thing that I hate about them, or I’ve struggled with, about personality tests, is I am one of those people who will do the personality test and go straight to the weaknesses attached to your personality, and I struggle over that. In fact, one day I was having a time with the Lord, and I was telling him all the reasons I did not like my strength finders results. And I was really, I really was angsty over those results, and I was kind of enumerating to God about what I didn’t like about what he had put in me, and he said, instead of striking me with a bolt of lightning, there was this moment, and I honestly, it was like that loud silent voice that sometimes we’ll hear, and he said, “Amy, I’m so sorry you’re disappointed in the way I created you, but I’m delighted with you.”
Amy: And I started bawling, Cheri, literally. And so I was like, okay, I think I’ll stop arguing with the creator now.
Cheri: I love both halves of that, though. I love the I’m sorry you’re disappointed with how I created you, I mean, that’s a very gentle conviction.
Cheri: And then, but I’m delighted in you. Oh, oh, okay.
Amy: Yes, it was heart-piercing.
Amy: It was heart-piercing.
So I’ve struggled with that part of them. But mostly, I love them. Because they’re such great tools, and I particularly love strength finders two point, oh, and the enneagram. And in studying some of these things, and I’ve just learned so much about myself, but I’ve learned two main things. One is the importance of a team, because none of us have the same strengths or the same personalities, and so a team is we bring all our strengths together, and we balance out each other’s weaknesses.
And the other thing that I’ve learned is I’m not alone. So I think when we get in those angsty places, we think we’re the only person that has that struggle, or that weakness, and what we find out from these is, no, there are whole groups of people that have those weaknesses, that we are not alone.
Cheri: We’re in good company.
Well, and you know, the importance of a team when you are a part of a team and you’ve grown together, I mean one of the things I’m finding is, and I’ll bring up the C word again, is I’m slowly in some areas, very few, but at least some, I’m able to release control, and say, “That’s an area of weakness for me, but a huge strength for her, why am I still trying to do it?”
Like, how about I not only trust that this other person can and will do it, but they enjoy it, they’re glad for the opportunity to do it? And oh, that’s so freeing.
Well okay, so I read something a while ago that I have been dying to share with you.
Amy: Oh, goodie.
Cheri: And it is a new idea for your overdeveloped sense of responsibility, AKA your hypervigilant inspector personality, AKA your enneagram one, what, improver is one of the many titles for the one?
Amy: Uh, yes.
Cheri: And this isn’t all for you, it’s also for me, it’s for my enneagram two helper slash meddler, and for the overzealous connector part of my personality. So basically I’m saying this is an idea for the perfectionism and for the people pleasing that with still are continuing to grow out of.
So, the book I read is called Boundaries for Your Soul, and the author suggests that we give these overeager parts of our personalities, these parts that have worked so hard to defend us and keep us safe, that we give them an honorable discharge. Like we just recognize them for their years of faithful service, albeit misguided service, that we give them permission to stand down, so that they are not constantly at attention, but they go to at ease, and just really assure them that God is our protector and deliverer, what do you think about that?
Amy: That’s an amazing exhale right there.
Amy: And what is upending about that thought is that … I’ve never thought about it that way before, but my overdeveloped sense of responsibility is a protective measure. It’s armor.
Cheri: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Amy: And the things that I think I’ve tried to buy with that, or protect with that, is that my responsibility helps me earn your approval, and it helps me belong, but then that is so sick and twisted because I consider producing for you a way of buying belonging. That’s just sick, isn’t it? But anyway, so at least is a really good thing to do for that overdeveloped sense of responsibility. Beautiful.
Cheri: Well, I did a Google search. I did a Google search to see if I could find like medals of honor for these parts of our personalities, and I did find one that says, “Someone didn’t like me today, and I was okay.” But I couldn’t find one that said, “I held my tongue and the sun still rose the next day,” so.
Amy: That’s awesome.
Cheri: Maybe I’ll get you a certificate, I’ll make you a certificate that says that, since I can’t find it, a medal.
All right, well in chapter 11, you talk about how God turns our quirks into perks, and you say, and this is a quote, “The difficulty of hiding your gifts behind a façade to fit in feels less scary than authenticity, even if it’s painful to shelve your gifts, it’s less excruciating than being shamed for you superpower.” And this got all up in my business because just a few weeks ago I came to the inescapable conclusion that maturity requires authenticity.
So when we hide and shelve our gifts, we’re actually stunting our own growth. It’s like we’re staying on the playground, playing let’s pretend, rather than growing into the women of influence that God created us to be. So, you’re welcome, you know. When God gives me these convictions that step all over my toes, I just have to, you know, share the wealth, misery loves company, however it goes.
Amy: Love it. Well, you know what? I just had this flash of a picture, did you ever have a hermit crab when you were little?
Cheri: I saw them at the aquarium, I didn’t actually have one.
Amy: Our pet stores used to carry them. But, hermit crabs are interesting, because as they grow, they have to shed their shell and find a new shell. But that’s the problem with our shells, right? Those self-protective things that we put around ourselves, is we can’t grow inside of them. And so what … I love what you just said, and then the picture of the hermit crab is what came to mind.
You know, I don’t think we shed our shells and just find a new one as easily, but sometimes that perfectionism is shapeshifting, so we do that to some degree, but we cannot grow inside those shells.
Cheri: Well, and we’re never at home because what you’re describing is somebody who’s just constantly being, not a freeloader, what would be the word for somebody who’s constantly inhabiting other vacant places?
Amy: Oh yeah, that’s true.
Cheri: Yeah. But it’s still a way of not actually being our true self. So that’s a great illustration. All right, so looking back at the last year, how have you grown as a result of God turning a quirk into His perk?
Amy: Well, this has been a perspective shift, and we’ve talked about nerdy girl and wordy girl, and so for so long, I have thought my words are something to be tempered and controlled. Now, is there truth in that? Absolutely, I mean we’re all called to tame our tongues, right? And some of that means not using them at all sometimes, as you just said.
Amy: Shocking, I know. But, I did it to such an extreme, that it became a self-consciousness, it became a shame. And so in writing this book, even I thought my words can be my gift from God to the world, and so you know, I still want them to be a gift, so that does mean that they have to be tempered and controlled to some degree.
Cheri: Mm-hmm (affirmative) mm-hmm (affirmative).
Amy: But I don’t have to be ashamed of them, I don’t have to be so hyper vigilant all the time, that I’m not talking too much, because I want them to be a gift to the world. So it’s just a perspective shift. And it’s so funny because even as I was processing that, I thought, it’s scary to say, because I’m afraid somebody that’s listening is in my everyday weld, and they feel like, “Well, your words weren’t a gift to me today.”
Cheri: Yeah, but we don’t listen to our brothers ever, you know? So we just like … we’ll just blow off what they say.
Amy: We’ll just hope that he’s not listening to this, pretty sure that’s a safe bet. But anyway.
Cheri: But you know, that’s a very, very real fear. You know? We can sit here and theorize about things, and then they run into real life, and sometimes those who are closest to us, we can have the most tenderest reactions to, so I think that’s a really good thing to point out.
Amy: Well, and I just want to say to the listeners today, like pause for a minute, and say what’s your quirk that you’ve hidden from the world? What is your gift? And I want … so let’s pause a moment. What is your gift? And then, I want to encourage you to pull it out and put it on display. It’s part of what God has woven into you, just like Cheri is brainy girl, and think about what a gift she’s been to us on this podcast. And I’m wordy girl, we hope that my words are a blessing to you. You know, what is it that God wants to put on display in you?
Cheri: I love that. So you have selected a beautiful passage of scripture to go with this episode.
Amy: Okay, well this is long, and I usually try to choose one verse, but I had a purpose today, that if you are listening, I want you to close your eyes for a minute, and let me read this familiar passage from Psalm 139, and just let it wash over you, like, take it in. Here we go.
For you created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place when I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body, all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, oh God. How vast is the sum of them?
Or, I want to reread this, because this is a note, it may actually mean this, how precious, or how amazing, are your thoughts concerning me? How vast is the sum of them? Were I to count them they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
Cheri: That is beautiful.
Amy: That says it better than we ever could.
Cheri: Absolutely. So what’s the bad rule that we’re breaking in this episode?
Amy: I must edit God’s creation. I think that’s how I’ve approached some of my quirks is that I have to edit what God did in me.
Cheri: And when I read this earlier this morning, I literally bawled. I read it, and I not just teared up, but I did the ugly cry. I was like, “Oh my goodness, this resonates at such a core level.” So what’s the truth, what’s the fact we can focus on instead?
Amy: I must unveil God’s creation.
Cheri: I love it.
Amy: You know, the grit for me is that it is still more comfortable to hide under the veil. To stay in the shell, in the armor, under the veil, however we want to say it, but I have to make a decision to be vulnerable. Because as you said, maturity requires it. This is not optional, to grow we have to come out from under the veil, out from inside of the shell.
Cheri: Well, and the grace for me, you know how you frequently talk about the stick that you expect God is going to use on you when you haven’t managed to pull off perfection?
Cheri: I realize, as I pray-cessed my reaction to the bad rule, I must edit God’s creation, my version of the stick is a red pen. And so grace for me is that I can quit carrying around a red pen for continual self-editing, and I can simply trust that God is doing a transforming work in me.
Amy: That is so beautiful, because it’s not saying you don’t need a transforming work, it’s just saying that you’re not responsible for it. That God’s in control of that.
Cheri: We hope you’ve enjoyed episode 159 of Grit ‘n’ Grace, good girls, breaking bad rules.
Amy: Make sure to stop today over at our website, grit and grace girls dot com/159. There you’ll find the transcript, and this week’s digging deeper download.
Cheri: If you’re a small group leader thinking about using Exhale for your fall study, or in 2020, make sure to add your name to our leader’s list to receive updates, training, and support.
Amy: Just go to Exhalebook.com/study, and enter your email at the bottom of the page. We’ll be in touch, as things roll out in August.
Cheri: For today, grow your grit, embrace God’s grace, and when you run across a bad rule, you know what to do, go right on ahead, and
Amy & Cheri: BREAK IT!
Take-Away for Today:
Instead of editing God’s creation, I must unveil God’s creation.