Approximately fifteen years ago I was working with a doctor as his insurance coordinator. In an attempt to better understand each of us working with him, he felt compelled to have each of us in the office obtain our Kolbe personality profiles. Each of us took our questionnaire’s, went to our work stations, read each question carefully, answered our most likely and least likely responses to each given scenario and then we waited for the results. When the results arrived we all went to lunch together where the doctor read each of our personality profiles aloud and we had to identify whom the profile belonged to. A wonderful lady named Ginger and my profiles were the most easily identified profiles because each of us was on the extreme opposite ends of the spectrum.
Ginger was a wonderful, care-free, bubbly, happy-go-lucky and perky individual that was always in a good mood. Nothing seemed to ever upset her. I remember realizing it was her profile the doctor was reading as soon as he said, “fly by the seat of your pants individual whose thoughts crystallize as they exit your mouth”. LOL! She made me laugh and I did look forward to seeing her each day because she was extremely pleasant to be around. Though she was a wonderful person and I cared very much for her, working with her in a team format on any given project was something that I knew we simply could not do because our ‘modes of operation’ were so very different. To put it simply, a fly by the seat of my pants individual, I am not.
My Kolbe Personality Profile identified me as the “Strategic Planner whose creativity is in establishing priorities for carrying out plans that are precise and efficient” or in other words as my boss/friend recently told me, “You’re so anal”. Putting it nicely, I’m the kind of person who likes to gather all of the facts, analyze them, and when I begin the project I like to have the entire process mapped out from point A to point Z with any possible diversions considered and resolutions already in place should these diversions arise. I like things clean, neat, organized and very well planned out. The profile advised me that in order for me to avoid stress in my life I should resist: acting amidst chaos; flying by the seat of my pants; jumping in at the last moment; adlibbing; taking unnecessary risks; dealing with too many unknowns; and environments of constant change.
It was funny because as the doctor read my profile it seemed as though the person who wrote it mysteriously had some insight into my actual work situation. My office was in the back of the storage/break room and the back door. Every single time someone came back there for anything it served as an interruption that drove me nuts which the doctor had heard me complain about on numerous occasions. My profile specifically stated that I am an individual who does not like interruptions and needs my very own, personal and private work area. It wasn’t long before I had my very own office with its own reception area and an assistant!
For some reason I remembered this personality profile the other day and decided to pull it out and read over it again. I couldn’t help but laugh as I read it because it provided such a detailed and accurate description of who I was and who I still am. I realized that it’s no wonder why I’m so stressed all of the time as I reviewed those factors I should resist in order to avoid stress: acting amidst chaos; flying by the seat of my pants; jumping in at the last moment; adlibbing; taking unnecessary risks; dealing with too many unknowns; and environments of constant change. I realized that every single one of those factors has completely consumed my life!
Raising a child who is mentally disabled and constantly having to jump in at the last moment to provide solutions amidst all the chaos in order to try to save her from herself; a husband working overseas in the middle of a war zone always wondering if we’re taking unnecessary risks, having to deal with all the unknowns and fears associated with this lifestyle; having to adlib, fly by the seat of my pants, deal with unknowns, etc., etc., etc., with raising a two year old and a teenager on my own; and finally every time I think I have established a course for my life the Lord seems to laugh at me as He throws me in a different direction.
As my husband and I lay in bed last night talking before we finally drifted off to sleep I told him, “All I want is some peace in my life, is that too much to ask for? I try to be a good person. I’ve been obedient and have done what it is I feel the Lord has asked me to do by writing the book and revealing every single humiliating thing I’ve ever done or that has happened to me in my life in order to reach those who are where I once was. All I want is to be able to have my husband at home where he can be a functional part of my day to day life instead of being 8500 miles away in the middle of a war zone and still be able to pay our bills in order to survive. Is that really too much to ask for?” Then as I rolled over to go to sleep I asked, “Lord, what do you want from me?”
As I was reflecting over all of this information this morning I realized that though my mode of operation may be my most functional and productive mode, it doesn’t require me to step out of my comfort zone to explore new areas, learn new things about myself and others and grow. I realized that as long as I’m in my comfort zone I’m not required to look to, acknowledge and lean on others’ strengths in comparison to my weaknesses.
This morning through the course of writing this blog post I’ve realized that the Lord wants to keep me out of my comfort zone, yet I have been fighting and resisting Him trying my best to find my way back to it. He doesn’t want me in my comfort zone because none of us should have peace or comfort in our zones which are based on earthly things. He wants us looking to, acknowledging and leaning on Him. If our hope, trust, faith and confidence are in Him then so should our comfort zones be in Him even if arriving at that point goes against every single fiber of our human nature. I also realized that instead of trying to function in my mode of operation, I should be more open and receptive to functioning in His mode of operation. As Christians shouldn’t it be our desire to discard our earthly human nature and seek to think and act more like Christ? Aren’t we required to die to self? So, when I say, “This is just killing me!” I suppose the Lord is thrilled and saying, “Great!” The only way we can ever cross over into completely trusting in Him and becoming more like Him is to step out in faith and trust Him to be there with open and loving arms to find peace, rest and comfort in Him. Peace and comfort come from nothing in this world, only from our Heavenly Father.