God’s Story ~ Life Begins at 48

Sep 29, 2014

This month’s God Story is from an Anonymous author about learning to overcome her need for approval from others…

Single. Mom. Empty nester. Divorced. Foreigner. Clueless. First real job risk. Stepping out of the box. Sticking my neck out. Finally getting out in the world and (finding out) scared stiff. Scared of letting others know me. Scared of revealing myself. Afraid of others rejecting me and discounting me. Scared of baring myself without the façade, without the masks, the real me. Afraid of letting my hair down. Will I still be liked? Scared and very intimidated. Feeling lost.

After I moved my youngest son to his college dorm last Fall, I got a call from a forgotten employment agency about a job opportunity. I knew it was time for the change I had been giving to God for His approval. In a matter of a few weeks, I got the job. Eyes turned to me as I moved into my office space, a gray, dull cubicle for my work area (like a corner you send a tyrant child to for time-out). The only thing is, it is where I would be staying all day, and I was not a 5-year old. Who is this new black-haired Asian employee coming in to work? Can she speak English? Is she flaky? Cheap? A shallow Asian cyber porn model? Is she smart? Can she hold up a conversation? Will she just stare at you blankly and smile endlessly? (She will not only act like she doesn’t know. She actually doesn’t know what you are talking about.)

The first day of work felt like I was in a library back in college (my first day in the U.S.), then I snapped back to the present. There was hardly any sound around the cubicles. Once in a while a conversation would pop here and there as midday rolled. I was mesmerized with a highly intelligent engineering tech on the other side of my cubicle. Listening to him talk so eloquently in monotone and speak engineering lingo was foreign to me. I was in a different world from my 4-country ladies office job I previously held. It was different from the rugged, brute lumbermen I exchanged with in my other job before that. No familiarity. No safe-footing. Huge culture change. Uncharted experience. So unlike small-town Oklahoma I’d grown used to.

So this first real job for me was with a big international company. 80% male. I participated in an international fashion show and then I “headed” a company-wide event. (I did all the footwork for the managers. Close enough; I felt like I was heading it up.) Amazing! What I found inside me. Not intimidated anymore but very self assured. A kid? Hardly. I am an adult. I leveled with adult males. I even got along with other females. I have so much to share. So much in common. I have stories I can tell. I am invaluable. I fit. I get along well with others. I am likeable. I’m okay.

I saw managers I met in the hallway, grim and intimidating, smile and brighten up when they saw me. I was glad to meet and get to know many people, see how they live their lives, and know who I am. Be ok with who I am. A couple of ladies talked about how I say something, and I laughed with them. They like me. A lady smiles at me and says “Good morning!” whenever she saw me. I thought she did not like me.

I am a recovering approval-addict. I am having the greatest time in my life.

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You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in your life.

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