Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Season of a Layoff!

During my 10- month layoff, I came to understand that it was a time of developing, strengthening, pruning, maturing and God demonstrating just what he says in Philippians 4:19, that He will supply all my needs. It was certainly a time of trusting in the Lord! No one can tell you how to get through the season of a layoff. You feel what you feel – doubt, stress, fear, the angst of not finding the next job in time or if one will come at all; it’s normal to feel those things. Deep down you know God is there, but there are days where your faith seems to shrink down to that of a mustard seed, and just when you think you’re going to tip over the edge, God comes through! As I look back, I can see clearly how God was and is faithful in meeting my every need. I didn’t want for anything – my needs were met! I consider scriptures in Philippians and in Matthew that tell us not to be anxious and not to worry, but a great deal of the time I can tell you that I found myself doing just that – worrying and being anxious! The key was to lean and trust, lean and trust.

This was also a time where I learned that we must let others in to help, encourage and show their support – after all we are all called to bear in one another’s burdens. Being unemployed is definitely one of those times that you need your brothers and sisters in Christ to lean on. During my layoff, I also had major surgery – God provided for that too (being laid off gave me time to heal from the surgery, etc.), but the reason I mention the surgery is because I had no choice but to allow others to help me; I was flat on my back! I needed someone to bring me food, check my mail, and so much more, especially because I lived on the third floor and was not able to climb stairs. God was faithful, and I can tell you that I ate some of the best home-cooked meals! It humbled me and gave me a deeper appreciation and heart of gratitude for what God does through the body of believers.

If I may suggest, get out of your head and get involved in something you love to do. Volunteer and give your time in an area that stirs your heart for God. It will help reduce the fears and worrying, especially when you’re able to witness God showing up and doing something amazing in the lives of others– it’s very encouraging and can serve to remind you that He is working! If He is willing and able to help others, He will come through for you too!

When things seemed hopeless, and when I had recovered enough from surgery, I volunteered, joined a bible study, visited friends and anything else that kept me connected to life! You absolutely must not fall into isolation – it’s one of the worst things we can do when we are in such need of encouragement to keep our spirits up.

I know it is easier said than done, but just do what you can do and leave the rest to God. File your unemployment, complete your job searches; do what’s required and pray that God would only open the door to the place that he has tailor-made for you! Picture him strategically moving you place to place equipping you with nuggets here and there to strengthen you and prepare you for your next assignment! God is faithful and he will do it!

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