Shadow Of Victory

Thursday, 20 September 2012

GRANNY'S GAP YEAR (3) it is ..coming to the end of my 3rd week in Academy....I am just amazed !!..I never knew it would be like this....I guess a lot of people have a fixed idea of what any new thing may be like...BUT.....this is like nothing I have experienced before. I truly believe it is because I have stepped out of my "comfort zone".

For many years.....I have allowed my lack of self confidence and my hearing loss to keep me inside a fairly well controlled environment....I have worked from home for decades...with babies...young children and adults with disability and for me it is an easy role to have...

1) I am in my own home
2) I choose who I care for and what I do with them
3) Often the need to "listen" isn't always needed and my hearing loss isn't noticed
4) I have huge confidence in my many years of experience...often in areas that others would be I can tube feed...babies and young children..I can deal with Epilepsy and do CPR....I can use BSL or Makaton if needed....I can provide personal care for adults without any problems and of course I can feed babies and change poo bums with one hand behind my back.
5) I have almost total control over almost every aspect of my day to day life.
6)If I don't want to do something...or learn a new skill then I don't have to...I can choose NOT to learn or try or attempt ....

This is my Comfort Zone...

For decades I have lived within this zone and in all honesty I have pretty much created it to suit me family and my church life. In the last 2 years I have sensed that time is passing....This may well have been because I have went to several funerals of people of similar age and for one reason or another have died suddenly or after an illness....Add to that the birth of my Grandson Elisha and I am so aware that life is moving much faster in my 50s than it ever did in my 30s.

The Comfort Zone was beginning to be more of a restriction than a freedom to me....I cant explain it too well but my friends would have heard me say the phrase "same old ..same old "..which really just sums up that I have been doing the same thing for such a long time and it was no longer comfortable... just SAME !!

I knew just applying for The Academy was the first moving out of my comfort zone. In the last three weeks ..let me list some of the areas and steps that have taken me way out of my zone. You may think..what is she on about...that some of the list may sound "simples"as the Meerkat says...but I am not  the it will never be "simples"

1) Being part of a fairly large group of people who don't know me...don't know who I am or where I come from..or any of my background...
2) Being part of a group who don't know about my hearing loss..or that I rely on lip reading a lot of the time
3) Being part of a group ..6 of whom are from other countries and cultures....bringing the added stress of my hearing tuning into their accents and reading the lips of other language speakers is extremely difficult.
4) Being part of a group of people who are decades younger than me....average age I guess would be 19 or 20??
5)Being part of a group who are technologically way beyond my ability...watching all of them on their Ipads and Iphones and Smart phones...and even using words like USB and Wi-Fi...send waves of anxiety through me and in my comfort zone I don't have to worry about such things....I resisted using my ancient
(but beloved )NOKIA to text until maybe 2 years ago.
6)Having to engage my brain...leaving school at 16 and having no other formal education ...I am now having to take notes (very hard when you rely on lip you go to write the point down you miss the next sentence )
7)Altho I have been a Christian for decades I am learning stuff I didn't even know about...lets face it Messianic Prophecy isn't a lot of use when engaging a 2 year old with Play Dough and whether Jesus was The Lion Of Judah or The Lamb of God isn't of any relevance when running after a 3year old in the park.
8) Being asked direct today I was asked "Why do I love Jesus?"its a sort of intangible  question that my young man who I care for has never really asked me before !!!
9) Today we were also given instructions re our assignments...Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha....and we were also told that there were choices...we could submit them written...or we could choose to "speak" some of the assignments....we could hand write them but preference is for them to be handing in on that USB thingy (!) and then we were challenged to volunteer to be a part of Ben Davies preaching sessions....Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha....Ha Ha Ha.....would anyone like to volunteer.....Brave girl..Gabrielle sitting next to me shot her hand up ...and a second later a voice said..."yep me too"....oh my goodness it was voice...YIKES...Come Back Comfort Zone...all is forgiven..
10) I need to work and earn and couldn't give the time...but the word flexibility is built into Academy and God has somehow engineered it for me to sort of "stretch" time so I get to be where I need to be when I need to be!!

I probably could list more but wanted to give just a flavour of the what Academy is like for me....None of the above list is insurmountable....From the safe and restricting comfort zone of years where I lived in safety I told myself I couldn't do Academy because of 1,2,3,4....etc etc...and here I am 3 weeks on and feeling as if a whole new world has opened up to me....words cant describe I am already changed....

The young students are refreshing and gorgeous....and full of questions and fun to be around and have amazing stories of where and how God encountered them...they are full of zeal and excitement and its contagious...I feel like I am going back to my First Love...Jesus...
The note taking isn't as hard as I thought and the teachers are so willing to repeat if I need it....there are handouts so I can sit back and relax at times.
The students from other countries speak excellent English and altho I am sure I will misunderstand them at times or mis-hear doesn't matter.
I am going to get myself a Smart phone...( I can hear the chuckles and cackles of all my friends and family )
My brain is slowly coming alive again...(hallelujah)
I am determined to serve as best as I can within the time I have available without moaning...and fully expect to be challenged in of my big weakness is to moan when I am moved out of my comfort zone
I am determined to volunteer for as much as I can to grow as much as I can...guess that's why I said yes to the preaching class....
I desperately want the words..."Same Old Same Old"  to be erased from my vocabulary.

So....Granny's Gap year is proving to be heaps and heaps more than what I could ever ask or imagine.!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Irene, you are an inspiration! I love to see God opening hearts and minds to new things, and I'm right there with you, growing on Academy. Now, stop running your technical knowledge down and help me get on Facebook....... Joanne Rowe.