As the gate closed to the company I have faithfully served for the past 9 months, another gate opened: the gate of unemployment. And I cannot say that I was ready. But how do you mentally prepare yourself for unemployment? It’s like a sudden illness that catches you off guard, and lingers with you for what seems like an eternity. In the case of unemployment, faith is the healing agent.
For those who have not experienced unemployment, my description is based on my experience today: Your mind races and your stress level plays tag with the clouds. In situations like these, we forget that God is watching, and it’s only his plan unfolding.
Today, my spirit instructed me to spend my peaceful (after finals) breakfast, job-hunting. I could not understand why it was at the forefront of my mind. Now, it makes sense. Is it not amazing how God tries to give you the memo?
I have spent the last few hours trying to find the lessons, trying to understand it. So far, I have concluded the following theory: Those who know me well, know that I was miserable at my job. I felt that my job was contradicting my values. You see, I’m all about doing your passion. And at my job, I was working for the sake of a dollar. (I believe the dollar should be sentenced for killing so many dreams). But I digress. There was no passion radiating when I worked inside the store. I wanted out. I did not want unemployment, but I wanted a job where I could love going to work. I wanted a job where I could make a difference, where a paycheck was a bonus, but not my sole reason for being there.
My job had become familiar and comfortable. Now, I believe God has ordered a transition along my path. Where to? I do not know. Maybe this is the time to focus on my freelancing career? Develop my business plan? Read a book? Work with children with special needs? Is it even for me to know? I don’t think so right now. What I do know is that I trust God. And, I will faithfully walk through the gate of unemployment, knowing that God has a purpose for this experience.
In the back of my car, I have a daily meditations book I have not read in months. As I was getting my stuff out to head inside the coffeeshop, I saw it. I picked it up, and came inside the coffeeshop. Once I settled down at my table, I read the entry for today, which I will share as the closing of this blog. After reading it, dots started connecting. Too often we mistake God’s lessons for coincidents. Instead, God asks that we be still and listen. I’m trying it, and one thing is for sure, it’s a lot less stressful.
One day, my mother and I were working together in the garden. We were transplanting some plants for the third time. Grown from seed in a small container, the plants had been transferred to a larger container; then transplanted into the garden. Now, because I was moving, we were transplanting them again.
Inexperienced as a gardener, I turned to my green-thumbed mother: “Isn’t this bad for them?” I asked, as we dug them up and shook the dirt from their roots. “Won’t it hurt these plants, being uprooted and transplanted so many times?”
“Oh no,” my mother replied. “Transplanting doesn’t hurt them. In fact, it’s good for the ones that survive. That’s how their roots grow strong. Their roots will grow deep, and they’ll make strong plants.”
Often, I’ve felt like those small plants- uprooted and turned upside down. Sometimes, I’ve endured the change willingly, sometimes reluctantly, but usually my reaction has been a combination.
Won’t this be hard for me? I ask. Wouldn’t it be better if things remained the same? That’s when I remember my mother’s words: That’s how the roots grow deep and strong.
Today, God, help me remember that during times of transition, my faith and my self are being strengthened.
– Melody Beattie The Language of Letting Go