Coping With Job Loss - Another Personal Story
Coping with job loss was difficult for me. It would have been really helpful if I had a letter telling me that my life would be on hold for two years while I learned some valuable lessons about God and my relationship with Him, but no such letter came. God loves surprises. He allowed a situation into my husband's life at work that brought us sudden unemployment. Oh yes, we went through the "normal" stages of anger, denial, guilt, and the all too popular "We'll just show them!" thoughts.
A few days later, reality sank in and we began to be, of all things, thankful. I was so grateful that we had strength from God for each new experience, a savings account to help in the beginning, and especially a commitment to each other in the marriage. Experts say that tough times can really tax a marriage, but our trial strengthened our relationship. I flat out refused to give up, even when job interviews failed to produce a job, resumes sent out weren't responded to, and no prospects appeared for a long, long time. There were certainly dark days when I questioned, "God, what in the world are You doing?" But that isn't giving up. That is getting honest with our Creator.
Coping With Job Loss - Developing an Attitude of Gratitude
While coping with job loss, I attempted to keep our lives as normal as possible. We continued to get together with friends, family, and neighbors. Of course, we cut our expenses, but you can still have fun even when you aren't dining in expensive restaurants. I stayed connected to Bible study groups and continued to be active in my church. Right away, my husband set up an office at home and we respected "office hours." I did not intrude on his time. He needed space and no interruptions so he could process what we were experiencing, put together a plan, and begin working to get another job.
Coping With Job Loss - How to Avoid Self-pity
In those days of coping with job loss, inevitably I did succumb to moments of not wanting to get out of my sweats, put on make-up, and go out of the house. I too became a victim of self-pity. What an ugly picture that was! A sure remedy for this indulgent behavior is to go help someone else, so I did. I took a part-time job to help out a friend in her small business.
Prayer, prayer, and more prayer is the secret weapon we too often do take for granted. I was so blessed to have a great support network. My hurt was theirs and at any moment I could call to talk, walk, cry, and sometimes even laugh with them. Friends are what one little child describes as "Jesus with modern clothes on." Ask others to pray for you and you may be amazed at the results.
Coping With Job Loss - Look for God's Surprises, and His Hidden Lessons
During our time of job loss, I spent months playing cheer leader to my husband. I knew God had a very definite plan in mind. I could hardly believe my ears when my husband was offered a job right where I really wanted to be - a location near family and long time friends!
That Thanksgiving my husband offered the blessing over the holiday meal and thanked God for not allowing "our shoes to wear out," a reference to the Israelites traveling for forty years in the wilderness. So many good lessons came out of our travel in the land of unemployment that both of us agree we wouldn't have given up the opportunity to learn so much about God - His faithfulness, compassion, and direction.
When God allows a "surprise" event into your life, maybe you will look for the hidden lessons so that you can grow in your relationship with Him.