Today I find myself in unfamiliar territory – unemployed. Last Friday, I was laid off from my job along with 29 other associates.
Aside from the first month after I graduated from college, I’ve worked nonstop since I was 16 years old. I don’t know what it means to be unemployed. What do I do with my time? How will we survive on just one income? What now?
These are the questions that ran through my mind in the first hours after I was laid off. I was never angry, just in shock, sad and worried about the future.
As emotional as I was when I went to sleep Friday night, I woke up Saturday with a sense of peace. God dropped the following thoughts in my spirit, which were a great comfort. Shared them on a Facebook live earlier this week, but I want to share them again here on the blog.
- Getting laid off did not catch God by surprise. 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.”This scripture is comforting for two reasons. 1) It confirms that God had a plan for my life and 2) the plan is for good – to prosper me and not harm me. So I can rest assured that this is all part of His plan and that it will all work together for good. (see Romans 8:28).
- God’s faithfulness in my past is a testimony to His faithfulness in my future because he doesn’t change! I heard this in a sermon by Michael Todd from Transformation Church and it couldn’t be more fitting. God has always been faithful to me. He’s never let me down, so why would He start now?Let’s turn to the book of Tye Tribbett that says, “If He did it before, He can do it again. Same God right now, same God back then.” AMEN!
There are also little blessings I’ve found in the midst of this situation. For instance, the timing. As the country is faced with an economic crisis and record unemployment numbers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, an abundance of resources have opened up for those who find themselves out of work. Congress passed a stimulus package, which not only provides money for qualified families, but also provides additional unemployment insurance benefits. Creditors are also more lenient, and some are offering delayed payments without penalty. Had I been laid off six months ago, these options would not be available. That is a blessing.
I also have more time with my family. This last year I’ve traveled quite a bit and I struggled to keep up with the demands of work, family and my other volunteer commitments. If I’m being completely honest, I was on my way to burn out. I feel like God is saying right now, “Just get somewhere and sit down.” LOL
While I am at peace, the question still remains, “What now?” For the first time in my life, I truly feel like anything is possible. My plan is to take a step back, quiet my spirit, listen and let God order my steps. That doesn’t mean I’ll be sitting on my hands doing nothing (cause faith without works is dead). But with more time on my hands, I can focus on things that bring me joy. Maybe these things will lead me to my next career, maybe they won’t. That’s not up to me. My life is in God’s hands. And, I’m ok with that.