The desert and dry land will become happy;
    the desert will be glad and will produce flowers.
Like a flower, it will have many blooms.
    It will show its happiness, as if it were shouting with joy.
It will be beautiful like the forest of Lebanon,
    as beautiful as the hill of Carmel and the Plain of Sharon.
Everyone will see the glory of the Lord
    and the splendor of our God.

Isaiah 35:1-2 (NCV)

I live in the desert and coming from California, it took me a couple of years to really appreciate the beauty of the desert. Now, I can hardly wait for Spring to arrive, anticipating the beauty that is about to unfold. Each cactus has its own unique flower. Some last for several days, some only 24 hours, each one special in its own way.

As unique as the desert flowers are, we, too, have been given personalities by God highlighting our own gifts and talents. Personality questionnaires always fascinate me. I know my Myers Briggs letters, my spiritual gifts, chronotype choice, temperament description, and now Enneagram. I know that God has made me just the way He wants me and by using various tools, it helps me better understand myself and those around me.

The Enneagram is not new but has recently increased in popularity, even in the Christian community. I’ve found it fascinating because I like to study and figure out how things work…the whys of what I say or do or act. I am reminded that we are all members of the body of Christ, each with our own functions, necessary for the working of the body as a whole person. I once had a pastor illustrate this idea with the description of one person is the crown molding and another person is the toilet seat. All necessary but some more visible than others. The same with people — those that have bigger-than-life personalities and others who are the behind-the-scenes types, all are necessary.

I am an 8 -The Challenger. I didn’t want to be an 8 but the more I read, I realized that it really fits me. For more years than I can count, I always thought I was a square peg in a round hole, particularly for my generation, gender, and upbringing. As I study the strengths and weaknesses of each of the numbers (there are 9 basic numbers) As I look back on my life I better understand some of the choices and roads that I have walked. It, also, enables me to understand family and friend’s responses to me, especially when there has been conflict,

I have chosen a “word for the year” for the past seven years, e.g., hope, joy and restore. I find it helpful to seek God with a singular purpose for the year to see what He wants me to learn in that area. This year I took the test that DaySpring created to help in choosing a word and received “Bloom.” God had already been preparing my heart so it seems to be the perfect fit. By understanding my particular number, I can be aware of how to bloom in the desert of my life, not only the dry and arid parts but also the lush time of color that spills out across the hills.

I have a friend who took the test and also got the word bloom. We could not be more different. But as I reminded her, we are all flowers in God’s garden. He made each of us different but together we make a beautiful bouquet. Hopefully…

Everyone will see the glory of the Lord and the splendor of our God.