Love, Mystery, and Christmas

In Miscellaneous by Caris Adel12 Comments


But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clan  of
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”

It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of
Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.

Low expectations.  Smallness.  Unable to see past what is to what could be.  It’s so easy to live tangled in the impossibility.

But love chooses another way.  Love believes that there are deeper things.  That flourishing can occur in spite of our assumptions.  Love knows truths reside in the unlikely places.

 Bethlehem was an unlikely place.  So lowly was Bethlehem that it was not counted among the possessions of Judah. In the division under Joshua, it was wholly omitted. From its situation, Bethlehem can never have been a considerable place.

The entire Christmas story is about an unlikely place and unlikely people.  The paradox of royalty and peasantry.  Divinity and humanity.  Love, entering the world of selfishness.

A marriage between an INFJ and ESTJ is another unlikely occurrence.  It’s difficult to find analysis on it, except negative ones.

It’s impossible. Stay away!

I’ve been in a relationship with an ESTJ for 9 years, should have been 3, and from experience I say don’t do it. They say not to for a reason.

ESTJ and ESTP men…are likely to be confident, aggressive and action-oriented. Being married the “most often” is an euphemism for getting married and divorced multiple times. Sounds like a good type to avoid, but the nice INFP and INFJ girls still seem to like them.

There is probably some inherent danger in clinging to a label and expecting that to explain everything.  But when the label fits so precisely?  It can be immensely helpful.  Not to mention, the money saved in counseling bills.

Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubborness and tendency to ignore other people’s opinions. They believe that they’re right.
ESTJs are take-charge people. They have such a clear vision of the way that things should be, that they naturally step into leadership roles. They are self-confident and aggressive. 
They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.
ESTJs may have a problem with fulfilling other’s needs for intimacy, and may unknowingly hurt people’s feelings by applying logic and reason to situations which demand more emotional sensitivity.

Can anything good come from that?

What is love if it’s not rooted in brokenness, if it is unaware of it’s own vulnerability?

“Our love has been anything but perfect and anything but static.  Inevitably there have been times when one of us has outrun the other and has had to wait patiently for the other to catch up.  There have been times when we have misunderstood each other, demanded too much of each other, been insensitive to the other’s needs.  I do not believe there is any marriage where this does not happen.  The growth of love is not a straight line, but a series of hills and valleys.  I suspect that in every good marriage there are times when love seems to be over.   Sometimes these desert lines are simply the only way to the next oasis, which is far more lush and beautiful after the desert crossing than it could possibly have been without it.” -L’Engle

Out of smallness will come greatness.  From the desert, lushness.   Out of obscurity and impossibility, love will triumph.

I think in the abstract.  He works with blueprints.

I am very right brained and he is incredibly left.

His tendency is to control and obey, and my preference is to critique the rules and explain why they shouldn’t exist.

He would force the kids to wear coats.  I say they will wear them when they get cold enough. (We actually had a near fight over requiring the kids to wear socks with shoes!)

I like to find threads of commonality, he likes to play devil’s advocate.

I’m the spender, he’s the saver.

When you have 2 polar ways of expressing emotion, talking about an issue, or how you even view the world, finding common ground can seem impossible. 

 Sometimes it feels overwhelming.  But love looks beyond the surface.  Somehow, in spite of all of these seemingly difficult things, it works.

Love can thrive in the unlikeliest of places, and it’s deeper than platitudes.

We enjoy each other’s company.  We make each other laugh.  There is so much richness to our love and depth we are still discovering about each other.

The unlikelihood of a thing makes it’s success that much more meaningful.

“When two people know everything about each other, the mystery of the love between them becomes infinitely great. And only in this love do they understand each other, know everything about each other, know each other completely. And yet, the more they love each other and know about each other in love, the more deeply they know the mystery of their love.

Thus, knowledge about each other does not remove the mystery, but rather makes it more profound. The very fact that the other person is so near to me is the greatest mystery.”

“That this Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter, was himself the Lord of glory: that was the mystery of God.  It was a mystery because God became poor, low, lowly, and weak out of love for humankind, because God became a human being like us……That is the depth of the Deity, whom we worship as mystery and comprehend as mystery.” – Bonhoeffer, God is in the Manger

Christmas, Jesus, Love, and Marriage are all great mysteries.  And sometimes, as much fun as analyzing and discovering can be, we need to just revel in the mystery that it is.

The best I can ask for is that this love, which has been built on countless failures, will continue to grow. I can say no more than that this is mystery, and gift, and that somehow or other, through grace, our failures can be redeemed and blessed. – L’Engle

Let's Connect! facebooktwitterpinterestrssinstagram
  • Larissa Heart

    This is fascinating to me as I’m an INFJ but have never bothered to find out what my boyfriend is. Perhaps I won’t though, lest it be a negative pairing and then I’ll feel sad.

    Also, this sentence is beautifully written: “Christmas, Jesus, Love, and Marriage are all great mysteries. And sometimes, as much fun as analyzing and discovering can be, we need to just revel in the mystery that it is.” ♥

    • Caris Adel

      ha, yes, the pairing does not mean it has to be a bad thing. I knew what I was for years, but just recently started looking into it after we were having…..communication difficulties. So then he took the test, and that explained so much. We weren’t crazy people after all, haha.

      • Larissa Heart

        Haha, truthfully I would love to know (my curiosity is insatiable) especially given things going on with us at the moment. How to broach the subject of him taking the test and finding…that’ll be the trick.

        • Caris Adel

          Oh, yeah, that could be helpful. The online test is like 5 min to do. Maybe he won’t mind if it’s quick and painless?

  • Grace at {Gabbing with Grace}

    so interesting! I’m an ESFP & the hubs is an ENTP…it’s ridiculous how much those two little tiny middle letters MATTER SO MUCH!

    • Caris Adel

      I’ve been having fun analyzing people I know, trying to place them. It does make it a little easier to get along with those people that I’ve always found difficult!!

  • emmillerwrites

    I’m an ENFJ. I was on the fence about J and P before my car accidents, but traumatic experiences like that have a way of messing with your personality, and now I like to control what I can control and a whole lot of things I can’t. A friend of mine when I first moved to Chicago about six years ago was really into Myers-Briggs and picked my brain for me. 😉 I’m pretty sure all Joel and I have in common there is being extroverted. I bet his personality is pretty similar to your husband’s; at least, this is absolutely true for us: “I like to find threads of commonality, he likes to play devil’s advocate.”

    I’m not sure if that’s a fortuitous match, but it works for us. 😉

    Also, this sentence is so great: “Christmas, Jesus, Love, and Marriage are all great mysteries. And sometimes, as much fun as analyzing and discovering can be, we need to just revel in the mystery that it is.” That was another thing in rediscovering my Lutheran roots and falling in love with Catholicism. I feel like, unlike being a sort of nondescript apologetic evangelical, there is so much more room there for mystery, and, counter to the J-ness, I am learning to love that mystery!

    • Caris Adel

      I saw that mention of your accidents when I was looking at your fb wall. Have you written about them at all? I’m curious but that’s probably a lot of typing. It’s funny, I used to want to be a journalist, but now, I can’t imagine ever actually pulling that off with being such an I, lol. I’m really close to a T and a J, too, so I relate to all of the bottom left 4 ‘prayers’.

      There’s a really cool book called the 3 Colors of Your Spirituality and it helps diagnose and explain how you experience God – they’ve picked out 9 ways, with 3 of them being related. I definitely tend toward the sacramental, mystical type of spirituality. What I really like is the Orthodox church, but the only one around here is Greek, and it’s a good half hour away. I keep thinking I should take the kids for a field trip, just to see what it’s like.

      • emmillerwrites

        Oh, yes, the ENFJ prayer is perfect! Sometimes God really does give me things in writing, which I always appreciate. 😉 I definitely think I’d be a mystic–I’ll have to look for that book.

      • emmillerwrites

        My computer’s being weird right now and won’t let me hit enter, so excuse all the separate comments for separate thoughts… I actually never have written about the car accidents because that’s all so raw and I like to wrap things up with a pretty bow, and I don’t know if I can do that with that experience yet, and I wonder if there’s value in just throwing that mess at people without being able to offer anything from it. I was thinking of trying to process it for “A Broken Hallelujah.” Do you know if that’s still going, or if that was just for Monday?

        • Caris Adel

          I’m not sure. Yeah I can understand that….that would be a horrible thing to process – and twice!! But there’s value in not having a pretty bow, too. :)

      • emmillerwrites

        Some days I’m not extroverted enough for this job… and I’m pretty extroverted!