When I knew that the BE 7.0 with the RevGalBlogPals was going to be on the Enneagram — well really as soon as I knew it was a potential topic — I searched for the books I had, looked for the pages I had copied so my answers wouldn’t be in the book, and found an online test to take to see what it said my number was. The copied pages were from 16-18 years ago when I was working to save a marriage that couldn’t be saved and showed I was a 6. The online test had me tied for 7 or 9. So I read the descriptions and was pretty sure that 7 was it.
I thought I had some idea what I was in for. Thinking all of that would prepare me for Suzanne Stabile is like thinking playing MarioKart with the wheel adapter will prepare you for driving in Dallas traffic at rush hour. They have a lot of things in common but really it works better going the other way. Dallas traffic at rush hour help you with MarioKart much more than MarioKart help you with Dallas traffic. All of that Enneagram language has a lot in common but Suzanne’s way of teaching has more depth and grace. What I confirmed very clearly is that I am a 7. Going into the BE 7.0 which was Suzanne’s teaching on the Enneagram, I had already registered and paid for the Upper Room 5 day Spiritual Academy and I had the application for the Upper Room 2 year Academy in the bag I carried with me. Having a seasick Suzanne who was down in her back talk about 7s last of all still left me with little room for doubt that both Spiritual Academys “would be good for me.” Kinda like broccoli … or wrestling with an angel. I knew deep within my soul they both were my next right step. God was pulling , calling, me there.
As I listened to Suzanne, I would often find places where Brene Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection” or her concepts of shame, vulnerability, and wholeheartedness would intersect with our ways of functioning as explained by the Enneagram. The concept at the foundation of it all is the imago dei. We are made in the image of God. Neither use that language but both are expressing how we have damaged (or had damaged) and need to restore to wholeness our understanding that we are made in the image of God. We are enough. We are whole. Not because of someone else but in ourselves from birth as we are/were created.
By the time I got to the 5 day Spiritual Academy, I was waiting to see what God was going to say to me. I knew God was going to speak, I could feel it, I just didn’t know when. I also knew, because I know me, and because of the work with Suzanne the silence would be hard for me. Every day there is an hour of silence in the morning and an hour of silence in the afternoon. During the first hour of silence on the first day, the best I could do was take a nap. 🙂
The second hour of silence I had a clear sense of God’s call to “tell your story.” I didn’t even get out of the room before the tears started. I thought “God I’ve got *five days* you didn’t have to start so soon!” When I later told my room mate what I felt from God and my story, she told me I had to tell the speaker my story. I thought, “Why would she want to hear this?” But I heard Suzanne’s voice saying 7s often wait too late or almost too late to have their needs met, their voices heard. So I listened to those voices and stepped up. When I told Rev. Grace Imathiu my story, her response had the effect of a blessing on me. “That is a powerful story … if you will tell it I don’t know where you will be in 40 years.” I had the audacity to say to *her* “I can tell a story.” Thankfully, graciously, having just heard me tell my story, she answered, “Yes, you can!”
Every session after that was a continuing call, affirming that even though I am not very good at being silent I was doing it well enough to hear God pretty clear this time. And, in addition to the message to “tell my story,” I should go ahead and turn in the application for the 2 year academy to the director while he was there in person. So I did.
Now all of the various parts of application for the 2 year Academy have been turned in and I’m waiting to hear if I’ve been accepted. I’ve told some others my story. My sister and a good friend have said, “This is a book.” I don’t know about that yet. My spiritual director said “I have the sense that you are on the edge of something big.” Me too.
Several years ago, the RevGalBlogPals started blogstones (o) as a stone of witness when there were no words. I want to ask you to leave a blogstone if you will commit to pray for me as I figure out how to move forward telling my story, answering God’s call on my heart. If you have words too that would be great!
If you want to know more about the Enneagram 7 here’s a link about The Enneagram and blogging http://www.leighkramer.com/blog/2014/03/the-enneagram-and-blogging-type-seven.html
You can find Rev. Grace Imathiu on Day 1 with a Google search.
Suzanne Stabile is at Life in the Trinity Ministries buying and listening to her Enneagram courses is better than an book. Go to a workshop if at all possible! In person is the best! Here’s the link http://www.lifeinthetrinityministry.com
The Academy for Spiritual Formation at the Upper Room can be found at http://academy.upperroom.org