I am an Enneagram Four. At the most crude, basic level, to me this means that I have emotions-- and a LOT of them. (If you know me this likely does not surprise you). And for me, part of being a Four entails a frequent wrestling with not wanting to be labeled, to feeling unique and individualistic and desperate to be seen and known while fearing the opposite. These past few years have honestly been healing to me in many ways, because as I've stepped out and shared my feelings and thoughts and emotions through social media, I have realized that in many ways I am not alone.
I have found myself feeling incredibly emotional lately. I had a heaving, ugly cry the night after the election, and the day later, too. I went to a wedding and felt so incredibly happy for my sweet friends while at the same time acutely feeling the loneliness of not having a partner. I do not just have feelings-- sometimes I AM my feelings. And part of being a Four is always seeing what is missing, so it's not surprising, but it doesn't make it easier. I can daily mourn the things that I don't have, to my personal detriment.
In the past few weeks especially, I have come again and again to this idea that both joy and sadness, fullness and lack, beauty and pain, can exist in the same space-- and oftentimes do. I joke that I can have 15 different emotions in the range of five minutes, and I am equally swayed by all of them. And I could let myself (and do, in my low moments) drown in the unending depths of feelings that I have. But the thing that I am learning more and more that there is a way to both be who I am, and live in a wide range of emotions, but not be swayed by them unnecessarily. And that way is through Jesus.
Fours live their life looking for what's missing. And I can rattle off a lot of things that feel missing in my life: a relationship, money, success, popularity... And yet I am learning, in fits and spurts, in difficult seasons particularly, what it means to see God's love for me as the fulfillment of what's missing. I write a lot about how we should act if we really believed that God loved us so deeply and immeasurably. I think most days, I don't really believe it. An article that went to my core recently is entitled "Loving the Life You Never Wanted". I immediately clicked and read, because in many ways I find myself in the life I never wanted. And I was most challenged by this thought:
I want to know God in a way that He truly is the most satisfying thing I could ever have, and to know a fullness of life that extends beyond the barriers of what I feel I do not have. I want to trust that God's story is better than the grand story I've written in my head since childhood. And I don't know about you, but I feel like that is something I will actively adamantly have to seek out every day of my life in order to know it-- because I will always see what's missing, I will always see my pain as excruciating, and I will always want something outside of what I have. I see what's missing, and oftentimes overlook what But I desperately want to pursue that, because in the end, I want to want God more than anything else. Do you?