Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Things I have learned from being unemployed

On January 3rd of this year, I learned that my position, along with eight other full time Providence employees was to be eliminated. My responsibilities were over and I was free to go. Not the news I had either expected nor wanted to begin the new year.

My job search began the day I came home. I hadn't searched for a job since 1996. This was going to be a challenge. It has been a difficult time for our family and for me as I am forced to rethink my future and career and ministry choices. It has sometimes been a time of emotional deflation and at other times optimism to see what new things are next.

Here are a few things I have learned along the way:

  • I'm not the only person who has ever lost a job.
  • We are blessed with unbelievable friends who have done way more for us than they had to.
  • I will never forget even the littlest things that our friends have done for us.
  • I will forever relate differently to friends who go through this. I did not understand what a challenge this is when my friends went through this in the past.
  • Being let go from a church in the way we were means that you not only lose your job, you lose confidence in the leadership of your church, and therefore, you lose your church.
  • Losing your job from a church challenges your assumptions that you are supposed to continue in church music indefinitely.
  • It is a huge challenge to write a resume, when you haven't thought of one in nearly 15 years.
  • It's an even bigger challenge to write dozens of resumes, almost a new one everyday, focused in a million and one different directions.
  • Nobody is in the hurry to hire me that I am to start working.
  • Three months of severance may seem like plenty of time, but it goes by so fast.
  • Health insurance for the family is not inexpensive.
  • I'm used to working hard and seeing the results of my work. I have never worked harder than I have to find a job but I have nothing to show for it.
  • It's crazy to think about all the things I would be willing to do, even though I might not like most of them. Once I hear of one or two things that I REALLY want, though, I can't stop thinking about them.
  • From my experience, anybody who hires me will wondering what they ever did without me.
  • To quote a good friend: It is not up to me to provide for my family; it is ultimately the Lord's promise. I am straining to put my trust in him.