Bigger than your personality

If sometimes I come across as a such a wimp in the stories I share, 
it’s because I am. Oh, well. Here we go again...  i'm scared

Last week I knew the good thing to do. Make the visit. It wasn’t the necessary thing. Or even the expected thing. But it would be the good thing.

I planned on it all day. After supper, we’d visit a friend and peer recovering from surgery in the hospital (an easy thing—no courage required), and then we’d visit the family of a very sick, possibly dying, elderly man (not so easy thing).

But the closer it got, the more I wanted to back out. At heart, I’m lazy. Selfish. And introverted.

Visiting people that I don’t really know doesn’t come easily. Sure, I knew all the sick man’s children well. No problem there. But what if they weren’t there? What if we didn’t know anybody there?
What if…what if…what if…?

That’s my personality—“What if?”

But that’s not my faith.
My faith says, “Go. God is with you.

So I went. (With Jeff, mind you. He’s no introvert.)

We made the first visit easily. And walked into the ICU waiting room for the second visit. Sure enough, the kids we knew had all left. All we saw was their mother, eyes closed, resting in a recliner. What to do? What to do?

We spoke to her. And, oh my, were we ever rewarded for it. She was tired, she was concerned, but she was also faith-filled and peaceful and it spilled over onto us. We were probably more encouraged by the visit than she was.

Isn’t that just like God? He blesses our fumbling personalities when we take the risk to step outside them.

Without faith, my personality is fearful.
With faith, my personality is, well, a little less fearful (He’s still at work).

In the transition, He helps me do things afraid anyway. 

As Jeff and I walked away from the visit, we talked about how glad we were we came. But being true to character, I also had to cry. I knew the sick lingo from the visit all too well—DNR, oxygen levels, particular meds—from my parents’ recent deaths. I was sad. But that was okay. Being sad hadn’t prevented the visit. Nor had being afraid.

And I knew that wasn’t to my credit. It was to God’s.

Because that’s what faith can do.

God is bigger than my “what if’s.”
He’s bigger than my introversion.

Because God is bigger than my personality.

* * *

How does your faith affect your personality?

19 comments:

Barbara H. said...

I have a very, very similar personality, and too often I have let it keep me "safe" and risk-free. But when I have stepped out in faith and obedience, I have found, too, that God does help and bless. I wish that made it easier or removed the feelings the next time!!! But, as you said, He blesses when we obey despite feelings.

Brian Miller said...

smiles. i have found more times then not the things i dont want to do become the greatest belssings...nice.

Kara said...

I love this.....

Without faith, my personality is fearful.
With faith, my personality is, well, a little less fearful (He’s still at work).

In the transition, He helps me do things afraid anyway.

wow that is His grace, isn't it. That's how it works sometimes.... the fear doesn't magically go away... it doesn't have to. His grace is sufficient!

Blessings,
Kara

Nikole Hahn said...

I've done the same thing. In fact, your entry today spoke to my heart about another matter that I had the same thoughts on. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I can relate. I just found a church and because of my introverted, shyness I've had SUCH a hard time making myself part of the body there. This post was really encouraging to me. So often my personality wins out where my faith should triumph. I need to remember that His grace is always with me!

PS. You have the same last name as me!

Melanie said...

I love how you credit God with the positive outcomes of overcoming certain personality characteristics. Sometimes, even when we do something through faith, and it works out better than we expected, we somehow switch to giving ourselves the credit rather than God.

I'm enjoying this Faith Jam! :-)

~Melanie

Debbie Petras said...

Lisa, it's interesting that we are often married to people who are the exact opposite of us. :) My husband isn't social and yet I am. Go figure!

But I love how you shared about the "what if's" in your personality. And yet, how right you are. God is bigger than your personality. You were obedient and stepped out in faith to visit. So many people dread visits like this but as a nurse, I can tell you how much short visits mean to families. And you don't have to say all the right words either. Simply being there and showing support and that you care helps them. And in the process, I love how you and Jeff were blessed.

I'm sure this visit was also difficult for you with your recent loss of your mom Lisa.

I loved your jam session.

blessings and love to you,
Debbie

Melissa Campbell said...

So true! I always end up being blessed when I step out or go that extra (very inconvenient) mile. Thank you for sharing!

Blessings, M.

marina said...

lovely. yes, when we go to "serve and bless" often we are the ones served and blessed - renewed and refreshed...isn't He good?
blessings.

Stephani Cochran said...

This sounds just like me! And my husband can talk a stranger's ear off! He learns so much about people and places because he isn't afraid to find things out. I'm not near as introverted as I used to be, but I know I've missed out on a lot over the years because of fear. I'm trying to remedy that. Thanks for sharing! ~ PS I'm a crier too.

Bonnie Gray said...

Lisa, I loved hanging out here at your coffee table for a bit. Just made me smile & laugh because I am so like you, too! I have been to one of those visits and I left having been more encouraged than the person... I'm such dweeb. LOL. It's awesome how you have Jeff w/ you. It was encouraging to remember having friends with diff. personalities is helpful! Thnx for jamming!

Rhonda Schrock said...

Good for you! What a gift you gave...and received for your faithful obedience. Next time, perhaps it will be easier?

Bless you for sharing it with us.

MIchael G said...

Isn't it just like God to lead us into a situation that we feel completely unprepared for and take us home encouraged and praising Him.

Thank you for your honesty and for the lesson of trust and dependence on God. He really does have things figured out!!!

Mommy Emily said...

God is bigger than my personality. oh, Lisa, i want to get this. to truly know it, and to cry out, "less of me, more of you, Lord." thank you, for inspiring me to do so. beautiful post--thank you for humility and honesty, friend. e.

Sheryl said...

"God is bigger than my introversion." This is precious. I need to remember it. Right now I'm in a situation where I need to make some phone calls. I can't believe anyone would want to listen to me . . . but it's not really about me. I need to let God be bigger than my introversion instead of continually showing it to him and asking him to do something else.

Donna said...

Lisa, your story is encouraging because it is real. God is truly bigger than our personalities. I am grateful for that truth.

Charissa Steyn said...

Thanks for sharing this particular moment. I love it when faith rises up in me and spurs me on to do something totally unlike me ;) All the credit is to the Holy Spirit!

Unknown said...

Praise God that He definitely is bigger than my personality!

Meeting new people a definite "remember to breathe" for me. It's always so fulfilling when we do.

It's so wonderful to read posts and relate to it.

Have a great weekend.

Michelle DeRusha said...

I like this a lot, Lisa. It's fresh and honest. And I can relate...without faith I am a big fearful wimp, too! :)

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