Photo Credit – All T
Breaking out of bubbles can be hard. How do we break them and get outside? I don’t have the answers for all of us, but I can share one of my bubble-breaking stories, because if we don’t start breaking bubbles, our future generations are going to be pierced by the World. We have to get outside of our homes, our comfort zones, our shyness and share the Light.
Probably my biggest bubble that needed breaking was my job. I began at the young age of eighteen, right out of high school as a clerk-stenographer. That’s an ancient term for many of you today. My boss would dictate and I took notes in symbols. It was fun, and I was so good at it, but have lost much of that knowledge today.
Back to the bubble….
I worked my way up in a time when women didn’t go to meetings, didn’t negotiate contracts, and sure didn’t have signature authority. That big man that dictated to me kept pushing me and another woman, and I did not want pushing. I was comfortable writing symbols and typing. Well, eventually I was going to meetings, negotiating and signing contracts.
I spent over 43 years at that office. Boring no – we were Navy, later Air Force and then Army so it was constant change, we were constantly learning, I knew my job and I loved it, but it was very high stress and more work than a human could accomplish. My best friends retired, and I stayed on and stayed on and on and on.
God was ready to break that bubble, and I am so thankful He did, and so thankful I listened. An Army Colonel asked me one day to give a year’s notice because he said with my experience it would take a year to replace me. Not bragging because all I was was surely not me, but how God had made me. Well, one day God spoke so clearly I knew it was time and early in November 2011, I notified our new Army Colonel I would be retiring the end of December.
Bursting that bubble was hard because there I was at the top, and I was Debbie and I was had a reputation of being smart and tough, and our customers liked me. At school I was the kids mother. At church I was the associate pastor’s wife. At the nursing home I was Louise’s daughter. You get the picture. You’ve all had similar rolls.
Well the bubble was burst and I became a whole new person, and I love how listening to the Lord has changed my life. How, you ask?
- First. I was able to go to the nursing home and relax and spend quality time with my Mom who died two years later. I got to sit there and read to her. She loved it. I could spend hours where before I was rushing by after a 10-hour work day and taking her dinner knowing I still had a 35 minute drive home. RUSH. RUSH. RUSH.
- Second. I began three months after retirement looking for a Bible study not at night at my church. I wanted to be here with my husband and cook and clean. HA! Not cleaning as much as I wanted, but hey it’s much, much better than when I was working full-time and progressing each day.
Back to the bubble……..
I found an on-line Bible study and joined and life has never been the same. WHY? Because I can’t get enough of the Word and studying everything I can. I didn’t have time before. I was too busy and barely had time to study my Sunday School lessons or prepare lessons because much of the time I was teaching four and five year olds. Right now I am studying Leviticus and Hebrews with an app called First Five. It takes me about thirty minutes to do each morning. I’m also doing a study by Wendy Blight called I Know His Name about the names of God.
- Third. I have met women all over the World. Me, the introvert changing daily. I love the community I have found in my Bible studies meeting hundreds of them at a retreat, and others that live in Texas and this week one from North Dakota stopped by and spent the night along with her hubby.
- Fourth. God put a fire in me to get to know my community better. We go to church in the next town. We know many of our neighbors, but not our community. He said go and tell and show and shyly I did go get my fingerprints and the paperwork done and I substitute teach. Not a day goes by that I am blessed by how I see Jesus in our schools. Not a day goes by that I don’t get to share Him in subtle ways – some as simple as bless you and I hear kids chiming in over the classroom. I have had opportunities over and over like playing a game of ABC and words that go with it and smiling as a child says church with the C, and Jesus with the J and God with the G, or in a high school talking about leadership and I get to share how I’m a leader in the World’s largest on-line Bible study.
- Fifth. I learned about special needs children. I was afraid of them. When I went to substitute teaching training they asked for volunteers. NOT this woman, but the first day the phone rang I headed to school, called my husband on the car phone and I said, “I hope it’s not algebra”. It was worse. I walked in and they said I was in special needs and I honestly wanted to argue or run, and God said, “NO” “GO”. I did and my life was changed. I’m in love with those kids and what their teachers and aides do each day, and their precious families. That next year, just eleven months later, we had a grandson born with a horrible skin disease, and God said, “see I was preparing you for what was to come”. I could look and see and thank Him that as bad as Colt’s disease was that it was not as bad as a child that can’t see, or talk, or walk.
- Sixth. I am home when I want to be – well mostly. Sometimes I want to be home, but a teacher calls and I go because it is a ministry. It’s certainly not the money because they don’t pay well in my town. All the towns around me pay better, but my mission is to my community. I get to be home when our kids need us to keep the boys. Both our daughter and daughter-in-law work from home so they need help a lot, and I love giving it.
I am so thankful that God burst my work bubble because as you can see I am out of that comfort zone. I was doing lots of things for God, but I was not experiencing Him. I am going and telling and doing and giving and showing compassion. I am growing every single day in knowing and loving Him MORE. There is so much more to life. These grand babies are growing up faster than my kids. This morning as I sit here looking at pictures of the two-year old I was amazed at how fast he has grown.
God burst my bubble. I’m praying that I can make a difference. I’m bubbling over with joy.
I’m joining Suzanne Eller today and the theme is Breaking Out of My Bubble.