Reflections from the Wild
Reflections from the Wild…in this case unemployment
December 2, 2016 was my 10 month anniversary. The anniversary of my unemployment. 10 months on the surface does not sound like a long time. But I truly feel as though it has been a lifetime. I had no idea what I would be stepping into at the beginning of this season, which is my very one wilderness. As with anything, it is important to take time and reflect on what’s happened. So from the wild, I’ll tell you a bit about my journey.
I’ll start with how I got here. Back in November 2015, after a period of fasting and seeking God to refresh my faith, He told me to leave my job. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear, so I just kept praying about it. A few weeks into this, I decided I would begin to “look” for a new job. God obviously wouldn’t call me to leave a job without having another one lined up. I was a senior associate recruiter at a major international accounting company. I had the opportunity to travel, make a (very) decent salary, and do something that I actually enjoyed. God wouldn’t call me away from this without showing me that He had something better waiting for me. Or so I foolishly thought.
Then in January, I remember having my manager at the time sit across from me and say that “they” (still not sure who “they” are) were no longer satisfied with my performance. I fell out on the inside! Like “Whaaaaaat!!!!???” (But of course on the outside, I kept my composure.) God is funny. He told me to leave my job, I asked “how”, and this is what He delivered. With the message received, I met with Human Resources gave my two weeks notice, took that severance package, chucked up the deuces, and was on my way at the end of January.
I had so many ideas for what my “time off” would look like. My days would be super productive yet still relaxing. The plan was to “rest” for a couple of weeks, then find my next job quickly. But once again, God had a totally different plan than what I thought.
The real work began…
Due to my job, it was easy to avoid the issues of my heart and in my home. I didn’t have to worry about building strong communication with my husband because I worked close to 50 hours a week and traveled often. I didn’t have to deal with any old wounds because my time was better spent working and I made sure I filled up most of my time with work.
The first thing God had me do was work on old wounds in my heart that I had tucked away. Wow this was A LOT of work! And it was hard too! I felt like a mental case for the first two months. My husband had no clue what to do. Going through this process was tough, but God provided healing and restoration. Not just within me, but with some relationships in my life.
God had a totally different plan than what I planned for myself.
The constant time at home with my husband forced us to learn how to communicate better and be in each other’s company without distraction. At first it was hard for me because I was so used to being on the go, but now, I had nothing but time. We had our bumps and fights. But after three months of this, there was a shift. I stopped trying to find my validation in him and control him (which is what I was doing with my job). I finally accepted and appreciated him without making him responsible for filling me up. Now we’re closer than ever and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Rivers in a Desert Place
While all of this healing was going on, there still was the ever present situation of having to pay bills. But literally, just like water in the wilderness, God made a way. God has covered us in ways I didn’t expect. In 10 months, we haven’t missed a beat. We have not come up short, we have not gone hungry, there were surprise expenses but at the same time there would be surprise incomes. People have been crazy generous towards us, without our asking.
Recently, I was led to Deuteronomy 8:3, “He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.” This whole “wilderness” season has been a humbling experience. I could no longer find my identify, value, or distractions in a position or title. I had no other choice but to cling to God for my every need and to remember who I truly was, HIS.
I could no longer find my identify, value, or distractions in a position or title.
Same Circumstance, New Me
Now that I’ve stopped looking to my circumstances to tell me how to feel and now look to God for my direction, I have greatly changed. Not going to lie, there have been moments when my flesh wants to shout, I’m highly frustrated, and just feel like giving up (even though there’s nothing really to quit on). Some days I’m just tired and don’t know what to do. However, I know that my feelings will change and God’s promises are sure. God has gotten me this far and hasn’t failed. Why should I worry that he’ll start now?
At the time of this typing, I do not have a job. Interviewing is a drag. But I know where my hope comes from and who provides my strength. This has been one heck of a season, but I’m thankful for the One that saw me through each and every moment of it.