Odd. Intimidating. Quiet. Blunt. Arrogant. Rebellious.
These are common adjectives that have been used to describe me. I started noticing a pattern when I was in college. As a christian for a few years and suddenly given an amazing discipleship community on campus, it didn’t take long for these terms to come up. In fact, some of my very best friends hated me when they first met me.
It frustrated me to no end until my Junior year of college. During that year the (wise) woman discipling me asked me to take a test. Perhaps you’ve heard of it…the Myers & Briggs Test. She was a psychology major and had access to some pretty cool things. I personally think she had a hunch. She was, if I had to define her, empathy embodied. She empathized every emotion I couldn’t voice, sat with me a I wrestled through every yard of tangled random thoughts just to verbalize my painfully logical conclusion, and prayed for me when my heart and soul wanted to buck conforming to some “ideal” christian standard of feminism. So, I think she had a hunch already on what my personality type was, but taking the test confirmed my unicorn status. INTJ. Or, Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking and Judging. Some surveys have put female INTJs as below 1% of the female population, on the scale of mythical creatures in society. As she explained my personality to me…lots of things clicked into place for me. But, a week later, she wasn’t done with me. Because, for the christian….God isn’t done with us.
“Who do you most identify with in the Bible?” she asked. I answered “Paul” without any hesitation. After a few moments discussing whys and hows, she challenged me in a most life-changing way:
“What woman do you most identify with in the Bible?”
I believe I snorted. Or just stared an gaped like a fish. After a bit of floundering, I ranted about the question. There weren’t any!!! This was the whole point of my frustration…how do I model being a christian female when all the females I’ve read were villains (Delilah??), meek or emotional wrecks? I believe this was one of the few times I got so worked up I was crying. As always, she empathized. But forcefully and lovingly said…”Find one.”
Months later, I did find my first example. Abigail. A few years after that…God revealed some INTJ traits in Lydia as well from the new testament. There may be more that I have yet to discover, but it was a turning point for me. And through it all, my counsel from my discipler was the same: God has wired and redeemed your personality. The “rough spots” will diminish as you yield to His love and grace in your life. You will become more well-rounded as the fruits of the Spirit develop in your life. You are precious and you are redeemed.
For kicks and giggles, I retook my test today. This is a shortened version…I have a vague memory of some 100 questions the first time, but I remember 15 years ago (!!!) most of my scored were 90% or more dominant in each category. There was very little “give” in my early christian nature. So even though my personality type is among the lowest amongst women, and INTJs make some of the best villains (Khan, Magneto, Lex Luther), God’s not finished with me yet. Unicorn or not…I am redeemed and there is evidence of His grace in my life. And while I can’t change who He’s made me…I can let Him have all of me for His glory and good purpose.
Curious about famous female INTJs? I was too.