From the Archives of September 2012
“I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed,
the clothes and the make-up made me feel the person he was.
I began to know him, and by the time I walked onto the stage he was fully born.”
Time for New Clothes
The last few weeks I’ve had two significant dreams about clothing. First, I kept changing clothes. Just couldn’t find the right outfit. Nothing seemed right. I distinctly recall throwing one off, putting one on, and then repeating that process several times. The dominant emotions: frustration and a bit of fear. The second dream, last night, I was given a beautiful new outfit by a family. Distinct emotions: love, joy, and a good, healthy sense of trepidation. I kept asking, “Can I really wear these? They are so fun, lively. Can I get away with it?” The loving family kept assuring me and telling me to put them on. Two significant articles of clothing stood out in the dream: the cool, purple, ankle boots (flat and sassy). I lifted my left foot up and exclaimed, “Oh, how adorable!” I felt so full of life and free. Then, the skirt. Flouncy, ballerina-like, and real sassy, once again. Avant garde.
When I woke up, I think I actually had a smile on my face. Felt light and free.
The more I thought about these two dreams, I saw them as a mere reflection of the past month. For the past twelve years (well, actually way more than that), Labor Day Weekend meant the beginning of the school year—in some capacity, either I was teaching in private school or my homeschool, or homeschooling the children of others. For the first time in SO long, I am no longer “wearing the clothes” of a teacher, at least not in the same fashion (pun intended). Yes, I am still an Adjunct Professor for CCC of Kansas, but that is it.
Yet another change in a series of changes this 52nd year of my life. Last week I changed from teacher clothes to professional clothes, once again, as I ventured out, resume & CV in hand, to seek employment as a counselor—in hopes of eventually obtaining my licensure as a LMFT or LPC. At the time of my graduate work, Rob and I were putting Brooke and Grant through college and therefore, funds were limited. This meant foregoing, at the time, the Professional Licensure Track. But, now, it seems possible to move forward on that journey. As I made my way to potential places of employment, I did so with great fear and trepidation. Feeling way out of my comfort zone, highly unqualified on paper for anything, and well, “older,” I pressed on. With each step, I talked to God.
*May 2012, praying the Liberty University Graduation Prayer in
which each graduate surrendered their gifts, calling, & future into the hands of an Almighty God who knows the plan!
“Lord, I’ve always been told that you qualify the called, not call the qualified,” I prayed. “Well, it seems I’m trying to get a job where qualifications on paper are real important. I am really going to need you to work on my behalf.”
Sensing his presence, as I walked the uncomfortable paths to a new beginning, I kept talking.
“Here we go, Lord. Another period of transition. Another new place. Let’s do this.”
One very important truth kept rolling through my mind: God has always been with me. He has always led me to the exact place I need to be. Why would I doubt him now?
I’m not sure what lies ahead but I will continue to move out of my comfort zone in order to possess the future God has for me.
The Uncomfortable Push Forward
How do you handle the whole comfort zone thing? Do you find yourself having to press through a comfort zone of change this fall? Is God doing “a new thing” in your life? Do share how you maneuver your way through the CZ’s of your life. Are you shopping for new clothes (figuratively) for this new season in your life? Take this very helpful thought with you today. Maybe it will encourage you too!
“One’s comfort zone refers to the set of environments and behaviors with which one is comfortable,without creating a sense of risk. A person’s personality can be described by his or her comfort zones. A comfort zone is a type of mental conditioning that causes a person to create and operate mental boundaries. Such boundaries create an unfounded sense of security. Like inertia, a person who has established a comfort zone in a particular axis of his or her life will tend to stay in that zone without stepping outside of it. To step outside a person’s comfort zone, they must experiment with new and different behaviors, and then experience the new and different responses that then occur within their environment.”