Dear Laid Off
Words by Monica Solano
Dear Laid Off,
I remember being called into the editor’s office in the middle of the afternoon for a talk. You know it’s never a good sign when something needs to be discussed behind closed doors.
I had just finished submitting what would be my last story for the Daily Press when I got up from my desk and made my way over to the room. My heart was beating so fast while the feeling of anxiousness and embarrassment crept its way into my chest. As I stepped into the office and the door slowly closed behind me, I knew exactly what was coming next. So I braced myself for the worst.
I was told there was no longer a need for my position and I was let go, and that same day, I had to clear my desk in front of my now former co-workers.
You know how the age-old-story of growing up goes: go to school, get the degree, then set out into the real world in search of the perfect job. I used to think life would just gradually fall into place and figure itself out after college.
When I landed my first real job at a newspaper, which was in my field of study, it felt exciting and reassuring. Knowing I'd be working in a place I thought I should belong made me feel secure and proud. At the time, it made me feel like I could conquer the world.
No one is ever prepared for the unexpected. When certain situations arise it feels like a curveball blindly hitting you in the face ... and boy does it hurt.
Life certainly took an unexpected hit for me after two years of reporting was summed up with a simple “thank you for your time,” all the while trying to remain optimistic about what had happened.
In times like these, we tend to wish the world could just pause and give us a moment to breathe.
It’s difficult finding peace in trying to understand what the Lord may be doing in our lives when something crazy, like losing your job, just occurred. Those moments when everything seems to be turning for the worst are extremely challenging to find peace.
Some days are easier than others. I’ll have days when I feel happy with the small things I’ve gained in life. Other days I’ll find myself overthinking and worry begins to settle in, especially now, being back in the job-hunting game.
But as life moves on, I am learning to shift my contentment (and discontentment) in order to move forward while patiently and faithfully leaning on the Lord for support.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance" (James 1:2-3 NIV).
Life is a journey and when we learn to view it from God's perspective, that journey can be amazing. Just as James encourages me to, I’m finding my strength in the Lord in order to continue moving forward and seek joy in Him with each passing day.
Unfortunately, many of us have become consumed with the idea of finding our destiny or purpose, while stressing out over the idea of "not succeeding in life" in this day and age, especially in the work industry.
While a job may seem like a comforting source of identity, I had to learn very quickly that is not the case. Having mine taken away so abruptly and the tight situation I found myself in, left me to realize I had pushed my relationship with Christ to the side for a long time. Because I was simply “too busy” or exhausted with work, I had forgotten what was really important.
It was never “my job” but “a job” I was blessed with and I realized I should have been more thankful for the experience, than angry for being let go.
If we place our identity on things the world thinks we need to be, we’ll find ourselves very disappointed with the outcome. Seeking out God's perfect will instead of our own dreams and success, as I am continuously learning, is so much more important.
His perfect will means being thankful for the little things in life, waiting and trusting in His plan, all while working to faithfully follow Him one step at a time, despite not knowing the path ahead. Jobless or not — I want to succeed in my walk with God. Because my salvation in Christ is much more valuable than a mere paycheck.
So with that, I'll leave you with a bit of advice Heavenly Father has been teaching me during this unemployment season I hope will help you get through whatever funk you may be in.
It's going to be alright. Take it one day at a time. Try the best you can no matter what current position you're in.
There may be days you'll feel like you have plenty, and maybe days when you're scrambling to make ends meet. But no matter what, He'll be there to supply all your needs. Big or small.
You won't be forgotten if you don't succeed because you are beautifully and wonderfully made.
No matter the trials, hurt, and failures of this life He is still good and everything will all turn out for the best.
In the end, His will for our lives is greater than our own when we continue to stand firm in our faith. Even if our life seems to be taking a different direction from what we expected, He'll be there to grab us by the hand and lead the way. He is showing me how certain moments in our life, like having a job, will only last “part-time” as He continues to prepare us for our “full-time” purpose here on Earth.
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you'" (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).