I’ve taken many a personality quiz in my day. I’ve always been interested in (obsessed with?) finding out who I am and how I am and why I am who and how I am. On those quizzes, I was consistently an extrovert. I was off-the-charts sanguine. I was fully orange. It was a personality quiz I took in high school that literally changed my life. I don’t remember what version we used, and I don’t remember the results of it. I only remember asking my youth pastor to help me with a question I was stuck on.
He came up beside me and read the personality traits over my shoulder. I was simply supposed to choose which column I most identified with. He said to me, “You think you’re supposed to be this one,” and he pointed at the left column, “but you’re really this one.”
That was the first time I can ever remember someone telling me that expectations (imagined or real) were affecting everything I did. It would not be overstating it to say that he changed my life that day.
He gave me permission to believe that I could be something besides what I thought I was supposed to be.
Where did those expectations come from?
Where did I learn to perform?
Who was I performing for?
I’ll be exploring and answering those questions for the rest of my life. And the pressure to perform is so engrained in me that I will struggle with it for the rest of my life, as well. That’s not to say that I can’t find more freedom. That’s not to say that Jesus hasn’t redeemed that part of my story already. He has. And he’s still rescuing me from that part of my story. But freedom and redemption doesn’t mean my brain gets rewired and I never struggle again. Freedom and redemption means that, though my present reality involves struggling, I can rest in the finished work of Christ.