Coping With Job Loss - Loss in Value
Why is coping with job loss so difficult? When we meet a new person, one of the first questions we ask is: "What do you do for a living?" It seems that much of our worth is wrapped up in the work we do. Our job becomes our identity - who we are. What we do becomes what we value! When we lose a job or are faced with a career change, we often feel we've lost our worth.
Coping With Job Loss - Personal Crisis
Coping with job loss can create an identity crisis. I lost the career I had held for more than twenty-five years due to a serious injury. Because of my resulting limitations, I could not get another job. While employed in my field, I experienced such pride and satisfaction. I valued my education, my experience, the longevity of my career, and my capabilities. Now it was gone.
Suddenly, all of those things that had been so important to me were meaningless. When I lost my career, I felt I had lost far more than just a job. I was distraught and suffered job loss depression. How could I earn a living? I was not really sure who I was anymore or if I had the capability to do anything at all. My self-worth plummeted. Of what value was my life now? It, too, seemed meaningless.
There was a man in the Bible who felt much the same way. Ecclesiastes 1:2 says, "Meaningless! Meaningless!…Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." That's how I felt!
Coping With Job Loss - Valuable Lessons Learned
My journey of coping with job loss was full of lessons. I wondered if God cared about my situation. Although I wanted to know God more, I had to run out of my own resources before I turned to God for answers. I discovered that my values were all meaningless, in light of the awe of God. I also discovered that my worth was not to be found in me and what I was capable of doing, but in God and what He saw in me and what He wanted to do through me.
When I was finally ready to listen to God, He showed me He did not view the value of His creation by what I was capable of doing. In His eyes, my worth was not just about my accomplishments. In fact, it was not about me at all! My significance neither began nor ended with my career. By losing my job, I found a whole new meaning in my life - the meaning God had intended all along. Even though my career may be done, a whole new world awaits me as I look for God's new direction. I'm finally ready to let Him fulfill the purpose for which He created me. I had a whole new perspective for dealing with job loss.
God's ways are definitely not my ways. My experience taught me that until I was ready to surrender to His ways, I would be at a standstill. In yielding my life and will to God's will (which is infinitely better than mine!), I found the truth of Paul's words in Philippians 3:7-9: "I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God's law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith" (NLT).
Coping With Job Loss - God's Plan For You
What will it take for you to discover God's plan for your life? Will you have to suffer job loss? Maybe you already have, and that's why you're reading this right now. I can't offer you resume preparation advice or interviewing techniques, but I can assure you that your Creator has a better idea than anything you've ever considered before. Why not ask Him right now? Let Jesus become the director of your life, and discover what your life was always meant to be.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"