" You have searched me, Lord, and you know me." Psalm 139:1
It's hard to believe sometimes, isn't it, that the Lord knows us so much better than we even know ourselves. Well, I thank the Lord that He does know me inside and out, good stuff and bad, the entire package, yet He loves me all the same. He doesn't compare me to anyone because He made me exactly the way He wanted me to be. Even though I'm far from being able to say that I never compare myself to anyone, I learned a long time ago that life is much sweeter when we embrace who we are, not who we think we should be or who someone else thinks we should be.
I do things the way I do them and say things the way I say them because God made me the way He made me!
He's our biggest and brightest cheerleader. He's God, and everything He does is perfect.
Now onto this awesome online Bible study...a wonderful that God opened for me over a year ago which has changed my life completely. It is such a blessing!
This week, our inspirational verse is Psalm 139:1 and what a powerful message in just a few words. But then again, that's God, isn't it?
This week has been awesome because it really opened up an opportunity to discover a lot about myself, Our author, Renee Swope, really broke down this chapter in an awesome way to help me really understand what God made me the way he did from the inside out.
This week focused a lot on personality types, abilities, and spiritual gifts. I'm pretty confident in my abilities and spiritual gifts, but I asked my husband for help when trying to decide what type of personality I have. Though there are four different types, I found pieces of me in each one. After reading each personality type, my husband decided than I am the "Melancholy type: Desires perfection." He knows me pretty well at this point, and I believe that he is right. He made sure that I understood that all of the "Relational Challenges" didn't necessarily fit me, but some of them do. For instance, I don't get easily depressed and I'm thrifty, but not to what I would consider an extreme, and I'm content in most situations I'm I find myself. I actually feel that contentment is one of the most important blessings God has given us. But I do lack spontaneity, I can be hard to please, and I am a perfectionist in the things I do most of the time. That trait, I will tell you, is exhausting. But it is who God made me!
My strengths as a Melancholy-Perfectionist Type are pretty accurate. I do work well alone, but to be honest, I don't like being a lone for long periods of time. Aside from my quiet times in the morning and sometimes at night, or when I'm really trying to concentrate on something (perfectionist!) I really enjoy the company of people.
I am a planner and I'm pretty organized (except for my car and our computer room). Treating others fairly is very important to me and I try my hardest to put myself in another person's shoes as opposed to judging what they are doing and why they are doing it. And creative...I am creative. I love to quilt, craft, cook new things, decorate, I love it. I've found creativity to be an awesome way to express myself.
My God-given abilities go along with most of my strengths...creativity, singing, talking, listening. One of my favorite abilities that God has given me is to be able to see God's greatness and wonder in the simplest of things. Take snow, for example. Snow, to me, is one of the most magical things God has created. It's peaceful, quiet, and there is absolutely nothing humans can do to mess up the beauty of falling snow...no matter how hard we try. This time of year, I'm known to wait by the window when the forecast calls for snow. I just love it!
Before I talk about spiritual gifts, check out the Bible verse that describes them way better than I ever could!
"...so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have the gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly."
-Romans 12:5-8 NLT
At first, discovering my spiritual was a little difficult. Just like the personality types, I found little bits of myself in each gift. But after reading them, re-reading them, and really thinking and praying about it, I decided that serving is my spiritual gift. Whether it me family, friends, or complete strangers, I love to help and serve others. I love it so much I became a nurse so I could serve others all day long. But it's not just about serving...it's about serving others, and helping them in ways they may not be able to do for themselves. I do that as a nurse, as a mother, as a wife, as a church member, and as a friend. I can think of very few things that bring me as much joy...true joy...as I experience when I am serving others. Not it isn't always a picnic, I'll admit. Especially when someone I'm trying to help doesn't want to be helped. But most of the time, it is a blessing. I've said for a long time that I truly believe God put me on this earth to help others. That is my spiritual gift.
What has been really awesome about this week is discovering how God gave me a certain personality type, special abilities, and spiritual gifts just so that He could impact the lives of other people through me. Little old me. And He did it all on purpose, knowing exactly what He was doing the whole time. I love Him for it. He made each of us that way. We just have to slow down long enough to figure just how special He made each and every one of us so we can make His world a wonderful place the way He intended us to. And with that, I'll leave you with another awesome verse that just shows how special God made us and how much He loves us. God Bless!
"...and the whole body depends on Him. All the parts of the body are joined and held together, with each part doing its own work. This causes the whole body to grow and be stronger in love." Ephesians 4:16 ERV