Friday, May 20, 2011

Caterpillar or Butterfly

Several years ago I took the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory.  Among other things, it measures where you are on the introvert-extrovert scale.  I had taken the test previously and had always come out as an extrovert.  This particular time it categorized me as an introvert.  Hmmmm.  As I shared these results with some of our friends, they laughed!  I had to agree with them.  Although fairly close to center, I believe God made me an extrovert.  My family and friends agree. 

As I was pondering this recently, it highlighted an important truth to me.  If I really want to get to know the treasure hidden inside some of my friends, I need to be willing to journey with them.  A journey reveals more of who they are than a one time test or a short acquaintance.

I am so thankful for several friends who have been willing to journey with me.  I can tell them the truth about myself and it doesn’t scare them.  As a matter of fact, they draw closer.  They want to be on the journey with me.

I’ve come to call these journeying friends along-siders.  They come along-side of me for parts of my journey and we travel together.  My husband Bill is a one of a kind along-sider.  For over thirty-eight years we have been journeying together.  I’m not sure there is anything I could tell him that would shock him.  He has been my best lover and biggest advocate.  I’ve learned to trust his wisdom even when it doesn’t make sense to me at first.  I couldn’t have asked for a better traveling companion.

But Bill is a unique along-sider.  All the other along-siders on my journey drop in and out at different times.  And I love each one for their personal contributions.  I need their different contributions.  Each has contributed to the person I am today.

One of my other along-siders is a fellow Navstaff wife.  I so appreciate her ministry to women and am always honored when she wants to include me.  Our relationship hasn’t always been easy though.  But we’re willing to face the hard things.  It has been a special bond as we’ve struggled through some issues together.  I have benefitted.  I think she has too.

There is another friend who drops in and out of my journey.  She is a professional counselor and has given me an open door to call her.  Her gift of godly discernment has helped me many times when I’ve felt like I’ve hit a wall in my spiritual growth. 

I’m thankful for my local along-siders.  We journey together more frequently.  Their gift of friendship and trust is important as I learn what the strengths are that God has given me and how I live them out in my daily relationships.  Their contribution is priceless. 

Each of these wonderful friends and many others who walk parts of my journey with me has helped me to break out of my cocoon and become the women God designed me to be. I’m glad they are treasure hunters.

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”
R. Buckminister Fuller

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Proverbs 17:17

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