Enneagram Identity Crisis & Spiritual Blind Spots

February 11, 2021 – from Erin

Quick Updates

  • We met with the surgeon at Vanderbilt and really liked him. He was very personable and patient with all our questions. He feels I have over 95% chance of coming out the other side of this with the only loss being the hearing in my left ear. He feels confident they can preserve the nerve that affects my facial muscles.
  • I was also able to consult with the surgical team at UCSD in San Diego for a second opinion. They had the same assessment and the same approach. They also shared the same (if not more) confidence that I should have a very positive outcome.
  • We’ve discussed and prayed about it and decided we’re going to move forward with scheduling surgery at Vanderbilt in Nashville. It feels good to have made the decision, but also scary to be another step closer to having the surgery.
  • Kate had an amazing birthday weekend – thank you for praying! I feel like I was able to be present and enjoy it without being distracted.
  • PLEASE PRAY – that we can get a surgery date scheduled. We’re hoping for late March-early April.

How I’m feeling

Since learning about the Enneagram, I’ve thought I was a 7. I mean, I really love to have fun and I love making everything more fun for the people around me. But recently a friend asked me if I was a 3. At first, I thought it was a really silly question. But as I started to think about it and discussed it with people who know me well, I started to think maybe I could be.

I’ve recently started a new role at work and I’ve found myself working lots of extra hours, not because I’m expected to, but because I want to prove that I was a good hire. I also noticed that I rarely ever sit down to watch tv or a movie without my computer in my lap. Also, in middle school, I bought boxes of blow-pops at Sams Club for 6 cents each and sold them for 50 cents each…so I could raise money to purchase a pure-bred dog…so I could breed it and make money selling the puppies. I was always coming up with new business plans. At any rate, since discovering I have a brain tumor I’ve become increasingly aware of my need to “achieve” my way to the other side of this.

I’ve got a lot of fear about this upcoming brain surgery. So, I immediately reached out to my counselor, thinking I just need to identify the root of the fear, name it, and eliminate it. Surely if I can identify the cause of the fear, I can logically work through it and then it will go away, right?

I’m realizing that’s really not how it works.

I believe God knows I have a brain tumor. I believe He will use it for my good and to encourage others. I believe He loves me deeply. I believe He is with me, right by my side. But, if I’m honest, I’m not sure if I believe He really wants me to give this worry and fear to Him.

I mean, He gave it to ME. It’s mine to carry, right? My duty, my responsibility to figure it out.

How many times have I read those verses that say things like “cast all your cares on him” or “don’t worry about anything” or “bring me your heavy loads and I will give you rest”?

I remember when our oldest was a newborn and Reece’s parents came to visit. My sweet mother-in-law wanted to give me the gift of a full night of sleep. She said she would get up and do all the feedings one night so I could sleep. And she did. But could I receive that gift and sleep? No. Every time he woke up to eat, I sat awake in my bed, crying about how I was neglecting my responsibilities as a new mom.

What is wrong with me? Why can’t I accept help? What am I trying to prove? What do I really think God is asking of me?

The story God is writing is not a story where I’m the hero and he’s the cheerleader. It’s not a story where I continue to struggle and stumble while he pats me on the back.

It’s supposed to be a story of His strength being made perfect IN MY WEAKNESS.

I didn’t realize I had this blind spot. I didn’t know that I haven’t learned to give things over to God and trust Him to handle them. I think I’ve mostly trusted Him to help me handle things. And that’s not the same. This is a new level of surrender. Maybe one I couldn’t have learned another way.

So, I’m certain this fear can’t be processed, thought through, rationalized, conquered, or overcome with any strategy I can develop. I can’t muster the amount of confidence needed for this. And that’s okay. Because it’s not ultimately up to me. I do not have what it takes to trust God with something this big.

But I’ll be okay on brain surgery day because He will show up in that supernatural way that He does. I’ve seen Him do it before. I know it’s real. There’s nothing in the world like it.

And it won’t be because I’ve “done the work.” It won’t be because I’ve done my part. It won’t be because I’m so strong or so resilient. It will be because I’m weak. And His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

6 thoughts on “Enneagram Identity Crisis & Spiritual Blind Spots

  1. Beautiful, beautiful.
    I love your reasoning, and talking, and thinking on paper. Keep it up. The healing will come, because you kept your heart and yourself open- open for others to sit with you on the other side of the screen, to pray for you, to learn from you… you are going to make it through this, Erin. Keep praising, keep trusting, and keep talking!!!! May the Lord bless you and keep you, precious daughter of God.

  2. Erin,
    I should be able to speak to you about this but find myself looking for words. So right or wrong here goes……

    I too have survived a brain tumor. For me it was on the right side of my head and had engulfed one quarter of my brain and was headed for my spine. When found the doctors gave me two weeks to live. My chances were not good 60 – 40 I think… then they made me write a will. Surgery was the next day and was successful. And yes they removed the entire lower right hand quarter of my brain. Much to everyone’s surprised I have led a relatively normal life except I am better off not in a crowd. Am glad yours was found early and you have time to process what is happening to you. I know you will be okay. From my point of view the following is true for you…..after this you will have a wonderful life with your family…….
    Please learn to let go of your fears. GOD has this. I believe you will be fine.

  3. I’ll be praying for you Erin. I don’t know if you knew, but paster Uth of First Baptist Orlando recently had a tumor removed from his brain. It went well. His last service before going into surgery was incredibly inspiring. I believe it was the first week of Nov 2020.

  4. Hi Erin, I am just reading this update on your situation. I am glad you came to the decision to go forward with this surgery. I will continue to pray for you, to be calm and to put your trust in our Lord. You are young and strong, so God will be with you all the way. Let us know the date of your surgery so we can be praying that day.
    God Bless You and Your Family.

  5. Erin so sorry to hear about this but that you for sharing your heart and life. I have a minor issue myself and have surgery Tuesday and you have helped me id some issues as well.

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