As an enneagram 6, I often run through the worst-case scenarios because I want to brace myself for what may or may not happen. Enneagram sixes’ greatest “vice” is fear.
For me, my fears often stem from the fact that I’ve experienced the worst and been slammed to the ground by the worst: a cancer diagnosis for my dad & his death, the loss of my husband’s job when we were newly weds, years of infertility, miscarriage, and finding out a beloved family member was living a double life.
I love surprises, but not those kinds.
I’ve asked the questions in the midst of it all: why, what, how, when, where…
Why is this happening?
What am I supposed to do about this?
How will I ever make it through this?
When will this pain end?
Where do I go from here?
But really, the question that pulls me out of all of my other questions is this: WHO am I going to trust in this?
The Sunday school answer, of course, is Jesus. That’s the short answer. But the long answer shows me that He is with me in all of my questions, offering His good purposes to my bad circumstances, His presence to my pain, and His hope to my halted world.
I love what my friend, Jessica Jemmott says, “No one can explain why God allows certain things to happen, but we do know that every time you suffer and survive, you receive a deeper experience with the Spirit of God. You have the ability to help others in their difficult journeys.”
1 Peter 4:12-13 puts it this way:
Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal[l] comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. 13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory.
I love that concept of sharing in Christ’s sufferings because it brings such value and redemption to the sufferings we, too, experience. When you’re buried in your sufferings with Jesus, He helps you rise. He helps you rise again just like He rose again. He brings purpose and resurrection to whatever robbed you of peace in the first place. He restores what has been lost in a way that you never could have braced yourself for. He brings glory to all the surprises.
So today, my friend, whether your an enneagram 6 or a person who is just plain struggling with the fears and anxieties of life because of your circumstances, I want to encourage you: Don’t stay in the surprise of whatever you’re facing. Acknowledge it, yes. Process it, yes. But then…choose to rejoice in spite of it.
It’s not natural to rejoice even when things are bad. No. It’s supernatural. When you rejoice in your suffering, you rejoice in the hope that there is more. We don’t rejoice about our sufferings, we rejoice in spite of our sufferings. There is more, my friend. Christ will reveal His glory to you in this and through this. You. Will. See. More.