Tag Archive | unemployment

Tis Better to Have Loved and Lost

10 months of bliss came to a sudden halt as a few turn of events made it clear I had to walk away. God is funny in that way, making His presence known so mightily even when He is speaking so quietly. I did the hard thing once again. But this was hard for so many other reasons than it had been in the past. Being single is one thing. Being single and jobless and grieving the loss of a loved one is another. I am in the midst of that grief and a few others and wonder often if I will come out on the other side.

As I stood in my bathroom over the sink with a bleeding heart I had one simple prayer: “God meet me here.”

And of course He did.

He made sure I wasn’t alone. Even sent a dear friend to stay with me that night which is a great comfort in an empty home. And as the difficult weekend rolled by and it became more and more apparent I was unappreciated, undervalued and taken for granted, I let the pain roll over me. I poured over scripture, listened to worship music and laid on my face. One by one 7 friends called to check on me, knowing the grief I was facing.

7 friends and 7 women who walked with me down the aisle as I laid her to rest. 7 women (and then some) who covered me as we stood near her grave. I was in a fog that day and really for several months after. I felt nothing and that was such an odd feeling to feel nothing for one who has always been such a deep feeler.

But now I am surely feeling. I felt that weekend when I chose to let him go and try to do this season without the crutch. I chose to walk the unseen path laced with doubt and uncertainty. The pain was horrible and in some ways worse then I remembered from past breakups.

I have asked God why has He allowed so much loss and trauma in such a short time? To which I feel His response has been, “I’m entrusting you with it.”

I think we can be entrusted with suffering. And there was a time I would have counted it a great honor. Even James encourages us to do so (James 1:2-4). But I have never felt pain like this.  So now I don’t feel very honored.

I go to counseling tonight and I look forward to it because before when I went I was told that I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to talk about the deep things. The things of her passing and the suddenness of it and her being the only family I really had.  So God gave me Time.  He gave me a distraction which was sufficient.  Until it wasn’t.

But now it’s time.

All of these changes happened suddenly and coincided with Rush Hashanah the Hebraic New Year and that was not lost on me since He had taught me years ago of the significance of the Hebraic calendar.  It is clearly a new season.

I was driving not long ago and kept praying about this new loss but the whisper on my heart was that it was not mine but his. His loss because I am the one of great value. Not that he isn’t but I did value him, yet he did not return the favor.  At least not at the very end.

I talked to my friend and told her even though it hurt like hell I’d still rather have loved and lost.  To have nothing, to feel nothing is in my opinion a greater loss.  I value feeling, at times overly so.  But still there is value in it.

I know it’s been a while since I poured out my heart on this blog but so much has happened that vulnerability and intimacy through writing to the public felt overwhelming. Though God stays the same I’m changing and life is changing and I’m trying to navigate it all at once.

I know there is grace to navigate but that doesn’t exempt us from the pain of doing so.

SHALOM

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Anyone Else Feeling Uncomfortable?

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Thinking back on my faith journey I can see in hindsight what God was doing and why He was doing it but while being in it, it looked like a mess. A hot mess actually. I was walking up the driveway to my home the other night and my landlord was on my heart. She had been laid off earlier this year and she and her hubby have been in a serious testing season. I prayed God would open a door for her. The way He had for me. Little did I know later that evening she and I would have a conversation about that exact topic­—her unemployment. I was blessed and encouraged by her perspective. She shared God was doing a work and stretching her faith. He wanted her to trust Him. She got it. I shared I have been unemployed several times now. I know it can seem like I don’t have much wisdom to offer when speaking to someone with decades on me but when You walk closely with the Author of life and follow His path, you can’t help but to accumulate wisdom. So, I shared what I had accumulated. I said that looking back, I can see that every time I was in between jobs or the work slowed at work, He was working in me. He was teaching me that my value, identity and worth are not defined by a position or a title. He was teaching me this world is passing away and I can only hold it loosely…

There are seasons to this life. There are seasons of high-highs and low-lows. Sometimes they can intermix. I know they have for me in this season…There are times we are blessed and times we are stretched and times we are both. There is darkness and there is light. We are not exempt from the darkness. We are not exempt from the suffering and in fact I think you can’t have one without the other in this life. Would we really appreciate the blessing if we had not first experienced the pain? Can a plant bear fruit unless it is first pruned?

I know the underlying theme of my journey has been to not be comfortable. To not be focused on the surface of what this life appears to be, but to go deeper. To live from the depths of what is underneath. What is unseen…

We are not all going to have this understanding. There are some of us who will live our lives for the temporary. We will choose this world and our own passions over the higher call. In fact, it is only those who are chosen who will supersede the notion of this world’s definition of humanity; selfish gain and ego pride.

It is only His grace that the chosen will choose the more.

The depth.

Him.

SHALOM

When Your Job is Downstairs

 I sat across from them in their living room, cup of tea in hand, and spilled out my story. I told them I had been laid off 5 months prior and although I had a seasonal job, I had yet to lock in longterm employment.  I told them that even though the company I worked for had struggled for 3 years, I didn’t see the layoff coming. But even though it was unexpected, it was still a blessing. I shared all the stuff I had not wanted to share with them because I didnt want them to worry. They were my landlords and I wanted them to be secure in receiving rent. But now I had to come clean because my savings was dwindling, I had no job prospects and the tax season was coming to an end. I had a little over a month and my lease would end. I wanted to let them know I wouldn’t be renewing if nothing changed.

So I sat there with this couple who has been in my life these 4 years. They came to my book release party, purchased multiple books, came to my end of the year gathering and supported many of my endevors. It didn’t dawn on me I had made it into their hearts. It didn’t dawn on me they deeply cared for me.

But when I shared about my unemployment their care became quickly evident. The wife shared about her own recent layoff and the husband, well, he offerred me a job. He explained he’d been looking for an assistant, someone to help him get his books in order and my skill set qualified me for the position.

So while it took courage for me to have that conversation and I was battling fear on my way to have it, it was proven to me that once again fear is the lie.

I met with him and we laid out our resumes. Who did I have before me? I marveled at his accomplishments. You never know who’s in your circle of connections.

The very thing I had been waiting on this whole time was right in front of me. But I had to change to see it. The process I’ve been in these 5 months has been so necessary to go through. There were so many toxic and unhealthy mindets I needed to be purged from. A very large toxin was fear. Even now I still practice overcoming it, but the greatest deliverance has already taken place.

The thing about fear is it seems so real. But its not. God is real. And love is real. And if you’re bold enough to push through the fear you just may find your blessing is right downstairs.

SHALOM

Give God One More Day

When this new season started I thought I had this faith thing in the bag. I thought “I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve passed my share of tests. I’ve seen God’s faithfulness so many times. Too many times. But there is never a point of arrival. This season has backed me up against the wall. In mere days I have fought simply not to lose my mind and even my faith. 

I’m still fighting. 

The one thing that has kept me is remembering my testimony and His promises for my future. This present battle cannot be my end. But when will it end?

I was encouraged by Elijah’s story that even after such a great victory he lost courage. Yet God took His time wooing him back to faith. 40 days in fact.

One morning I woke up in the midst of the battle and Jesus reminded me of the man who was blind and the Lord brought back his sight in stages. At first the man saw men as trees which some believe were really angels. And then his natural sight was fully restored. Not to mention there was this unorthodox way God had of healing him, a concoction of saliva and dirt. The point is God moves however He wants to move and sometimes He moves in stages. Sometimes He doesn’t move in the way He did in the past. That can be difficult when I want things done overnight. I want healing overnight. Deliverance overnight. But sometimes it takes 40 days. 

Or longer.

What I’m learning in this process is to just give Him one more day. Maybe today was a battle but maybe the next day won’t  be. Maybe my deliverance is coming in stages.

This mindset is one of resilience. I didn’t have this understanding before this season. I didn’t need it because I had His presence and assurance and awareness of His love. I was very dependent on my feelings and awareness of God. But when feelings are gone what do you have? You are left with your testimony. You are left with all the ways He moved in the past in your life. You are left with His word that doesn’t change. 

And that has been enough for me to just keep giving Him one more day.

In other news, here is a selfie from this morning😉:

  
  
SHALOM

Walking By Faith

I submitted two job applications this morning and that made me feel productive. At least I can say I’m trying. The interview I had Monday went really well. I felt the Lord was encouraging me that He is with me, regardless of the outcome. I’m still waiting to hear from the job I have been aiming for. It seems there is always waiting. I turn over and over the events of the past in my mind, remembering the path. Reminding myself how many times I have been here, and that every time the Lord was with me, and had a plan. My good friend reminds me of the same thing. He has never failed me. Truth be told this time of “rest” would be more enjoyable had I not had my own inner demons to fight. Fear, anxiety, doubt. They all surfaced their ugly heads and once again ruined my attempts at perfectionism. How I dread imperfections! But I do appreciate humility. It’s easy to start thinking your faith is so strong because there is something particularly special about you. At least, it was easy for me to feel that way. As others were unsteady and wayward, my heart overflowed with His goodness and presence. I found out these last couple of months, it was only His grace that I had faith during times of turmoil.  And even in the very mundane.

What has helped me the most when facing doubt is looking back. There have been so many supernatural experiences in my life and so many manifestations of His presence, how could I believe anything different? And the fact that I could just shows me how intense this spiritual battle is that we are in. It is a battle for our MINDS. Our beliefs will lead to what our hearts feel. Our feelings can easily mislead us if we have false beliefs.

I have learned I must cling to His word. His character is demonstrated in His word. No matter what it looks like in the natural, no matter what I feel, His word is true. My experience confirms His word.

Many wonder how we can believe in what we cannot see. Faith is the evidence of things unseen. There is evidence. I told my former boss this a while ago when he unexpectedly brought up faith. I told him I hear God in so many ways. I see Him in so many ways. Just because it doesn’t happen in the natural, does not mean there is not evidence. I have so much evidence in my life.

As I’ve struggled with doubt I’ve learned what it is that has brought me to living a lifestyle of faith. It is my experience. My experience confirms His word. His word says that if we seek Him we shall find Him. Anyone looking will have the eyes of their hearts opened and they will see Him. It is the eyes of our hearts that must be opened to see what is real and true.

I’m grateful the Father has opened my eyes. He has led me on a journey of demonstrating my faith by living the life He intended. He has given me grace to count the cost and choose to believe in the eternal over what is natural.

I hope He is doing the same for you.

In other news, please check out an article I had the blessing to be apart of writing for Shattered Magazine.  I interviewed Sherri Burgess regarding her upcoming book Bronner.  She writes about losing her 2 year old son and how God manifested Himself in such a way her loss is now a platform for His glory.

SHALOM

One Month In

This week will be one month since the lay off. It has flown by. My how I have grown! 8 years ago when I faced unemployment I was ready to cash out my savings from fear that God would not provide and everyday that eeked by felt like eternity. I was so stressed I lost my hair and felt like God had abandoned me. Now my hair has been its own source of joy.
  When I first graduated college I was so worried about my lack of experience. I did not have the internships lined up like my peers or the savvy business connects. I felt like a fish out of water. All I had was a very expensive college degree and a call from God. Turns out that was all I needed. Actually, I didn’t even need the degree-He was enough. So now 10 years later I marvel at His hand. I marvel at His provision and how He is transforming me and writing a story I never knew I wanted written. He is now even using me to write other people’s stories. I tried so hard to box myself in. I felt boxed in that cube for 3 years and thought it would be the death of me. But I learned joy. I chose to make the best of that cube and that was what He was waiting for. So often we think we are waiting on Him. I bet you He’s waiting on you even more!

I met with my career coach and let her fine tune my resume, my cover letter and my Linked In profile. My business cards for both my professional endeavors as well as my book are on their way. It all looks so amazing and yet it doesn’t even cover all of the other professional experiences I am getting with writing in this season. Whatever God has for me is going to be phenomenal.

10 years ago I couldn’t see my future. I couldn’t see where I was going. I had a totally different view of how my life would look and who would be in it. I thought I knew myself. I had no clue I would keep changing. That much of what made me “me” back then was actually not me at all. It was brokenness, wounds, pain, and lies believed since childhood. There is still brokenness, and there is still pain, and lies, but He has made it His mission to keep making me better.

The pruning is worth it. It’s hard, but so worth it.

I finally see now that the path God creates for each of us is to bring out our best. He does not allow us to stay immature and selfish and needy. He keeps us walking by faith so that we are being developed into His image. This image for me has been long luscious locks of natural hair, a 25lb weight loss, clean eating life style, improved fashion style and a radiant dark chocolate skin tone. And that doesn’t even cover my improved character!

I thought I needed a man to make me worthy. I thought I needed a relationship to have value and be beautiful. Actually it was a relationship I needed to make me amazing. But it was a relationship with Christ.

If you are on Periscope please check out my guest spot on TriF.Y.R.E’s “Transparent Tuesdays”! I will be weighing in on the topic of “Christian Singles Being Sexy”.


SHALOM!

Sealing the Cracks

Yesterday at fellowship we talked about the importance of having a good foundation. Whether it’s a spiritual foundation, the foundation of a building or even the foundation of a relationship, one fact is consistent: whatever is built upon that foundation cannot be expected to last if the foundation is weak.   In regards to our spiritual foundation, every person on earth was born with cracks. We were born into sin and sin creates cracks in a person’s foundation. Our mental, emotional and spiritual perspective is filtered through a negative belief system. In the beginning we were given all but sin made us feel we were going without. We were loved but we felt rejected. We were in deep fellowship and relationship but we felt alone. I like to think I am not the only person on the planet who has felt these things even while walking with Christ.  

Of course God in His love and mercy became the solution to our cracks. He saw that we had holes and gaps and missing components to our personhood and He filled them all.  

With His blood.  

The only thing is, this completion, though done on the cross, does not manifest in our lives overnight. Instead, it is the day-by-day journeying with Him in deep relationship that brings about our true selves. 

But since His ways are not our ways, most of this journeying with Him is difficult. It feels like you are being stretched. It makes you uncomfortable.

And often it is painful.  

I have experienced several forms of waiting in my journey and I’m blessed to say I have passed many of these tests. I can see the pattern in my life that the waiting times have been so needed because He was refocusing me on what truly mattered. He helped me to learn to not wait on the gift but to wait on Him. I could be frustrated that We (He and I) have gone through the same tests over and over and learned the same lessons (me learning, Him teaching), but I realize it is about wholeness. He is peeling back the layers of immaturity and dysfunction. I am not wandering aimlessly in the wilderness like the children of Israel like I once thought I was. Instead I am moving forward on a path of purpose that is designed like a helix. Just as the Jews see time, I now see time; b/c God sees time that way.   It is in these moments of waiting, He is repairing my foundation. He is filling in the cracks. And in this particular season of waiting, He is revealing the oneness that the Son and the Father had while Christ walked the earth. It is the oneness we are all called to but we do not all choose it.

Many are called, few are chosen.  

But there is grace to choose.

SHALOM