Jessa > 8
The Challenger is described as powerful, self-confident and confrontational. My sister-in-law, Jessa, inhabits all the Enneagram 8 characteristics and she's going to share how this knowledge has impacted her as a wife and mother.
"I am so thankful and humbled that He allows us to mirror these beautiful, glorious characteristics as His image bearers..."
When did you first know you were an Enneagram 8?
I remember reading over "The Challenger" characteristics, and I immediately knew it was me. The strengths were evident, but even more so were the weaknesses. They made me cringe, because I recognized them so strongly in myself when I'm at my weakest. I didn't really have to dig in or explore different resources before knowing unequivocally that I was an 8. Descriptions like, "protective, powerful, resourceful, intimidating, controlling, straight-talking, decisive, go-getting, domineering, avoiding weakness, and denying emotional needs were all I needed. While I still had (and continue to have) so much to learn about the Enneagram, type 8, and what my dominant wing was (7), I felt for the first time like who I have been and what I have struggled with since childhood somehow made perfect sense on paper. And I'm not the only one!
What have been your favorite Enneagram resources?
The Road Back to You - Cron & Stabile
The Path Between Us - Stabile
The Sacred Enneagram - Heuertz
Self to Lose, Self to Find: A Biblical Approach to the 9 Enneagram Types - Vancil
Suzanne Stabile - @suzannestabile on instagram
Beth McCord - @yourenneagramcoach on instagram
Describing yourself, what do you typically highlight about 8s?
My directness, honesty, strength, leadership, discernment, and protective spirit.
Talk about what the process of disintegration looks like for you?
In the past and during unhealthier times, going to my 5 space has been a fearful retreat and isolation. Escaping from the vulnerability and avoiding facing the conflict head on, normally with Marcus. It has also meant avoidance of humility and resolution. My pride sometimes kicks in, and my 5 space suddenly becomes a very convenient breeding ground for more pride to grow in that over-analytical headspace of self-justification. Thankfully, the Lord has opened my eyes to this, humbled me, and I'm now more aware of what's happening during stress and disintegration. I have found ways of using my 5 space as a healthy tool of taking a step back, away from the rage or the intensity of the conflict (or the stressor), seeking the Lord, and using the quiet solitude to find my way back toward my husband, Marcus (or whoever the conflict was with) in reconciliation and peace. This takes so much intentionality, self-control, and communication with the other party that it's the process I need to go through in that moment so they understand I'm not bailing, ignoring, avoiding, or falling into despair.
What do you most enjoy about your growth number?
I am so thankful when the Lord brings out the healthy 2 in me! When I recognize myself putting others before my own needs, showing care, love, and humility, I know it's the Holy Spirit working in me. I feel the most connected with others during these times and realize that these are the times when I can make the most difference in the world. Not by being dominant or controlling. I think this season might be the best one so far, most likely due to spiritual maturation and sanctification by the Holy Spirit and more time in His transformative Word.
With Enneagram knowledge, how have you grown as a parent?
I try to remember daily that my children are not just like me. Nor should they be. They are their own person with their own perspective as to how they view the world, people, conflicts, fears, failures, and blessings. With the Word as our foundation and the Holy Spirit as our Guide, I believe I have become more compassionate toward my children, allowing them to express, feel, wonder, and respond in ways that might be more natural for them than they would be for me. Right is still right and wrong is still wrong, but there is SO much nuance and self-expression that happens that we can easily judge or condemn just because it's not how WE see. I've gotten much better about giving my kids grace to be who they are and grow in the knowledge and likeness of Christ with their own personality.
How have you grown spiritually with this new knowledge? Which number (other than your own) on the Enneagram do you most admire?
Oh my goodness... I can't even put it all into words. My Enneagram type knowledge has profoundly impacted my self-awareness, humility, sense of depravity and my need for Christ every second of every day. On the flip side, I see my strengths in the person of Christ all through Scripture. I am so thankful and humbled that He allows us to mirror these beautiful, glorious characteristics as His image bearers, all making up a unique, vastly different Body with special purposes, giftings, and offerings for the kingdom.
A redeemed, creative wife and boy-mom who needs God's grace like air.
Also, Jessa is a talented musician and launched her album, Rock in the Storm, to all music avenues (iTunes, Spotify, etc.) on Aug 1, 2019. Go support her music by purchasing on iTunes. Check out more at www.jessamyer.com.