I'm an INTJ and I'm a woman and that makes me kind of a freak of nature.
I discovered this in the past few years as I have learned about Myers Briggs, a personality indicator based on Carl Jung's theory that asserts that we all have innate preferences that direct how we see the world and how we operate in it. When broken down, you get 16 different personality types and I am an INTJ: Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging. In other words, I am introverted, I focus on the big picture and exciting connections between ideas, I prefer to make decisions based off of objective logic and focus on systems and theories, and I like closure and structure. INTJs are known to challenge the status quo and also get the reputation of being just a little arrogant and callused when it comes to feelings because we tend to think we're always right and hold our emotions close to our vest. And, well, we have been described as "masterminds," I'm just sayin. (For more information about Myers Briggs check out the Myers Briggs Foundation.)
In the process of becoming certified in Myers Briggs I not only discovered that you can explain every oddity about me (well, almost every one) through the lens of my personality but also that as an INTJ I am part of only about 1-3% of the population and as a female INTJ I am probably represented in less than 1% of the population of the WORLD. So, just when I was starting to feel more normal I realized I really am a freak of nature!
I wouldn't have necessarily let you know it but before I knew anything about Myers Briggs and my personality type I thought there must be something wrong with me. I've been "different" since I was very young, just ask my parents. But as I grew older I began to realize that not only was I just different in general, but I was also very different from most other girls. At the risk of stereotyping all women, I didn't cry at sappy romance scenes in movies, I didn't "awww" over small puppies and babies, I hated baby showers, wedding showers, teas, and any other activity that was filled with lots of high pitched squealing and "frivolous" activities. I'd rather talk world politics, literature, philosophy, and connect with someone through a a deep intellectual wrestling than discuss the type of food we like or the best places to find sales on purses.
In fact, being different has become part of my identity. I have always been the tall girl, the Christian girl, the homeschooled girl, the girl who didn't drink, the girl with her nose in a book, etc., and if those weren't enough I was the girl who didn't really think or act like a girl. That's a whole lot of different. On a good day I believe that God made me just this freakish because He has a special role for me here on earth. On a bad day I just feel frustrated, misunderstood, and insecure.
Yes, being an INTJ woman can make me a little awkward in social settings, especially those dominated by estrogen, and can make me a little intimidating because I speak my mind with conviction, but what I really wrestle with.is the different ways that I, as an INTJ, see being a woman, a Christ-follower, a wife, a waiting adoptive mother, a missionary. I see godly women all around me that I admire and cherish, but there aren't many that I identify with or see myself in. Sometimes I feel like I'm forging a path "less traveled" and it can be lonely and frustrating out here!
However, lest you think this blog is a plea for sympathy let me tell you that even on the bad days I am grateful to be who God made me, and ultimately I just want to create a platform for other women like me to not feel alone or isolated in our pursuit of a godly life as a _____ woman....you fill in the blank with your own "different." I believe there are god-given roles for men and women in the church, but I'd challenge that they are probably less confining than we make them. I always come back to the thought that God wouldn't have made me like this if He didn't know that there was a way to be me and be used for His kingdom! And I know that's true for you too.
I'm probably always going to be that woman who tells you what I think, will remind you that it wasn't just us women who were commanded to be meek and submissive, will make some men intimidated when I wear heels and my I'm-OK-with-being-in-charge-if-I need-to be face. I will not feel that my god-given role is confined only to the home, and I will want to barf when I see men knowingly or unknowingly diminish the roles of women in the church to babysitters and "pulpit candy." But I am working on saying and doing these things in love and humility and reflecting Christ as best as I can in the person He made me to be. I don't always get it right but I'm trying. If this describes you as well, then know you're not alone and even though it sometimes feels like an uphill battle the Lord can use you and your gifts and talents and personality.
Be you in Christ, and if you (and I) sometimes feel like a "different" kind of freak, embrace it...God may have something different for you to do today.
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