Bubbling Away From Pain

“Bubble, BUBBLE!”

My twelve year old yells the word “bubble” constantly while playing Super Mario Brothers with her little sister, Grace.

“Bubbling” happens at the press of a button. Grace remains in the world, but she just floats through the game in “observation” mode.

Em wants to keep Grace out of the way so she can take down the bad guys without Miss G messing up the attack plans. Because to be honest, Miss G is not actually a great player.

But ultimately, “bubbling” keeps Grace insulated from all the darts, bad guys and lava Mario land has to throw at her.


I’m a “Bubble”

I might have invented “bubbling” before they ever added that option to the Mario game (yes, I was alive when it came out, GASP!). Except, I applied the skill to real life.

At the ripe old age of ten, my life was a mess. Maybe that’s why I was a little more mature than your average ten year old.

My family had fallen apart—my parents divorced when I was 6. I was living with my Dad and step-mom; they had their own problems—I didn’t know what they were, but I heard all about them from the next room.

I was still sad that my mom and dad couldn’t be together. I was sad that I couldn’t live with my mom, who lived four states away. I was sad that when I would visit my mom she seemed out of reach, still hurting from losing dad trying to find her footing as a single-mom to my little sister.

I remember sitting in my room on a yucky, gray, Florida day. The air was thick and dirty. I was at the end of my ten year old rope. And then I decided something… I decided “No more.”

No more sadness. I didn’t have time for anymore tears. I had STUFF to do. So, I “BUBBLED.”

At first, I bubbled myself in anger. I turned sad into mad until I learned how to amputate sad.

Then I bubbled away all the pain. I lived through everything learning to cauterize all the grief in me.

Except, the “bubble” stopped being a thing I did, and became who I was.


A “Bubbled” Heart = A Hard Heart

Over the years, I didn’t know what I was doing to myself, but by God’s grace I started to see it. Most people just thought I was I “strong person.”


I was a hard-hearted person. And I had done it to myself. Somehow, when I had no real understanding of God, it made sense to protect myself from feelings I didn’t need or want.

And it wasn’t pretty how I made the discovery that something was off with me. After I came to Christ, I was sitting in the pew behind someone blubbering in a puddle of tears over a message. I was harsh and judgmental in my mind. I had stinging thoughts like, “GET A GRIP, LADY. Pull yourself together!”

Yep. It was bad.

Yet, God is faithful in my rottenness, and it ALWAYS comes down to this phrase in my life…


God was gracious to make me look at those thoughts and to see the nature of them. I didn’t figure it all out right then…OH, no. But He’s showing me. And He’s helping me see over the wall I built one baby step at a time.

And how is He doing it?

HIS HOLY WORD, that’s how…

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

That judgmental, insensitive, unfeeling me? It doesn’t exemplify the character of Christ. Little by little, God roots it out and calls me out on my sin. God bursts my bubble—in a God way…and it’s all good!

My prayer:

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

I don’t want to “Bubble” through life missing the beautiful struggles that pull me closer to God’s heart—even if they break mine.


You’ll find me linking up with Suzie Eller’s Live Free gang here.

And Kelly and Friends on Tuesday. 🙂


photo credit:



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