a whirl of lessons

March 29, 2010 at 12:39 am 5 comments

I have started so many posts over the last week and just pitched them.  The words just don’t come out right.  Or I don’t know what to say.  So I stop halfway through.  (I have a lot of drafts now!)  But this post will be finished (obviously!), and I hereby shout out to the darling Megan H., who has told me several times that I need to write more. 

Have you ever been at the point where someone asks you what you’ve been learning, or what God has been teaching you lately, and you just go “Uhhhh……..” and try to come up with something intelligent to say? 

Thought so.  I’m usually there, too.  But over the past few weeks, it’s been kind of a reversal – I feel like I’ve been learning so much I’m dizzy.  I’m learning so much about so many different topics that I don’t quite know how to process it all, how to write about it.  I know I’m amazingly blessed to have so much community here at college and to be learning so much – from my friends, from my Bible studies and my mentor and church.  I’ve been learning, for example, what the Bible has to say about real fellowship and community, which is something I’ve really never thought much about.  I’ve been learning about my words – how important they are, and how much of a careless talker I am, just because I’m a verbal person and I like to talk.  I’ve been learning about love.  I’ve been learning about prayer and emotions and suffering.

Told ya it was dizzying.  I’ve also been learning, again, how much I thrive on busyness and adrenaline, which might not be a good thing.  I’ve learned that according to the “elements personality test”, I am Fire.  And I’ve been learning that you can’t trust what it looks like outside for a good indication of the weather; it was warmish last week, but then Friday we woke up to a gorgeous sunny day and all ran outside and discovered it to be freezing.  Thank you, cold front.  (I’ve also been learning what the technical definitions of a cold front is and how it works.  Thank you, meteorology.  I guess).  I’ve learned that I should start a club for all my friends named Megan, because by now we could probably form a small army. 

I’m sorry if you just got mental whiplash trying to follow all that.  I’ll make it easy and just write about two things I’ve been learning.  For now. 

We’ll start with the funny one. 

A few weeks ago, I called my older sister, and when she picked up the phone she announced, “I’ve just been figuring out what you are!”  Huh? 

She kindly elaborated: her roommate had been on some kind of leadership retreat, and had taken this “elements personality quiz”.  Say no more – I adore personality tests.  Love them.  (If you’ve ever taken Myers-Briggs, I’m an ENFP.  I’m definitely an extrovert and a feeler and a perceiver, but I forget what that really means.  Basically, I’m the fun person.)  So anyway, she proceeded to read me a list of what I was.  I forget all the words, but I think some of them were passionate, free-spirited, fun-loving, spontaneous, empathetic, relishes excitement, troubleshooter, etc.  And they describe me to a T.  Except the trouble-shooter bit – Katie and I were both like, what?  I do not troubleshoot.   I make it.  Unintentionally, of course.  Katie is the one who keeps me on track, reminds me to packs socks and print my bus ticket, and suggests that one of my plans might not be as feasible as I’m sure it will be.  (She’s usually right.  Unfortunately.)

I like to think my motto is these lines from the Rogers & Hammerstein song Impossible (from Cinderella): “But the world is full of zanies and fools who don’t believe in sensible rules, and don’t believe what sensible people say.  And because these daft and dewy-eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes – impossible things are happening every day!” 

My darling sister, in every personality test, is the exact opposite.  Completely.  It’s kinda funny, actually, but we balance each other out so it works nicely.  She is Earth in the aforementioned test, with such traits as dependability, faithfulness, loyalty, and over-protectiveness.  Describes her exactly, too.  (Though it makes her sound rather boring, which she isn’t.  At least, not when I’m there to spice things up 😉 ).  I have a hard time convincing her that I’m not the only one living on South campus, that lots of my friends do too,and therefore I’m never walking back by myself alone at night.  Well, rarely.  But I love her and she keeps me from doing lots of thoughtless things.  And she also has the number for the on-campus security people in my cell phone, so I can call for someone to walk back with me if I ever need that.  Hehe!

And now for the serious lesson.

Actually, it’s not that serious; it’s just a really cool insight/parallel my friend made as we were walking to church today.  And I doubt he reads my blog, so I’m pretty sure I can share it.  (Shhh!)

For starters, let me say that today is just one of those completely cloudy, grey, rainy, bleh days.  I don’t really like them very much.  So we’re walking along, and out of the blue, my friend says, “You know, I was thinking.  Water is the source of life for everything on earth.  Nothing would survive without water.  But how does God give us this life?  Only by clouding the skies.” 

Whoa.  What a cool analogy of faith.  For there is definitely a part of it that grows only through suffering, through pruning, through the wilderness.  Through the cloudy skies.  When everything is going swimmingly, I don’t rely on God.  I don’t feel the need to.  But when my life seems cloudy, those are the times I turn to God, those are the times that I know how desperately I need Him – and those are the times I cling to His promises, learn so much more about Him, and watch Him come through for me.  I’ve seen this in my own life, on a small scale, I’ve seen this in the lives of others as they walk through unimaginable suffering but also reap a very precious and very rich faith.  Women like Corrie ten Boom, being sent to a Concentration Camp, or Elisabeth Elliot, whose first husband was martyred and whose second husband died of cancer.  Even Angie Smith, whose baby daughter died last year.  Reading the words of these women is just incredible – seeing what they’ve learned, how they’ve grown, and the very closeness they have with God.

And even James says the same – he says we should be joyful in affliction and suffering, because it produces perfect faith.  It’s a refining fire.  The suffering itself is miserable – no one likes that.  But the life that it brings is so worth it.  Jesus suffers.  And He promises suffering to us.  But I know that so often I have the wrong perspective on this – I think He does it to be mean, or to punish, or something.  And He doesn’t.  He does it because in His great love, He can see what I truly need and what is truly best for me.  In His great love, He cares more for my holiness than my happiness.  In His great love, He offers me the severe mercy of suffering, these cloudy, rainy days, so he can pour forth the Living Water that I desperately need and perfect my faith. 

I don’t really like clouds or rain.  I’d pick the sunshine, any day.  But without them and the water they bring, we not only wouldn’t have flowers, but we wouldn’t have life, period. 

Isn’t that a cool analogy? 

And speaking of flowers, my roommate buys us fresh ones.  Chalk that up as another example of having the best roommate ever!


Entry filed under: college, faith.

ten degrees happier Tuesday Tidbits

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Janine  |  March 29, 2010 at 2:07 am

    thanks so much for posting, megan! i feel the same way…too much to learn and not enough time to process!

    thanks especially for posting the analogy of the rain. it is so true!

  • 2. Megan  |  March 29, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Hooray for a new blog!

    “suffering and affliction produce perfect faith”
    I like that so much. It’s difficult to remember in the midst of a struggle, but whenever I look back later, I always seem to be drawn to the same conclusion.

    And thank you for the shout out! Love you dear. 🙂

  • 3. Annie  |  March 30, 2010 at 10:42 pm


    I loved what your friend said. “Only by clouding the skies.” I’ve repeated that to myself several times. Thank you so much for sharing that! The clouding of the skies, the refining fire; they are both the ways through which our faith is grown. Thank God He is with us through those times and knows how they will grow our faith!


  • 4. Teacherperson  |  April 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I’m an ENFP, too!!!!

  • 5. stream of consciousness « Overlapped’s Weblog  |  June 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    […] mentioned my love for personality tests before.  I was playing around last night, reading more about ENFPs and whatnot (my personality, […]


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