Last November was a tough month for me. I hate to dwell on it. When it comes to human suffering, I've not experienced a lot and relative to most, my suffering is puny, at worst.
The thing that rocked my world was this: the week before Thanksgiving, I got laid off from my job.
I'm coming up on the one year anniversary of the day I lost my job. What a ridiculous thing to commemorate. Believe me, I know. The problem is that with the changing of the leaves, the turning back of the clock, and my increasing excitement over Black Friday shopping, the memory of being laid off is attached to each of those things.
I felt, that day, like I lost my identity. I felt, though, that I would be back at work in no time. I was optimistic that a new job, a better job was waiting for me right around the corner. After all, it was no secret that I was underpaid and underappreciated where I worked - even if I adored my boss and the flexibility that he afforded me. I didn't love my job. That's the truth. I can finally admit it.
And now, a year later, I have some time to reflect on this past year.
I interviewed for two other jobs almost immediately after I got laid off. I thought I had both of them in the bag. I know how silly it is to be that confident, but apparently, I was. I didn't get either of the jobs. It bruised my ego a little bit, but I told myself that these two particular jobs were not part of God's plan for me. What was? I had no idea. That's something I'm still figuring out...
Without giving you a month-by-month play-by-play of the past year, I'll summarize for you. Because the year has been awesome. I've done so many things I wouldn't have otherwise been able to do if I were holding down an 8-5 job. Here are just a few of them -
I watched my girls become the best of friends.
For one week, I got to share my joy of Jesus with a group of 22 rising second graders at VBS.
I've had the pleasure of attending Thursday Morning Bible study, something I've always wanted to do, and finally could.
I got to be an "ambulance driver" when Sarah fell down the steps of our backyard playground in the middle of the afternoon and needed stitches.
I imparted a love of coffee to my girls.
I got to watch God provide for our family despite my loss of income, seeing Sam get a promotion at the beginning of 2011, and kissing our debt goodbye in October 2011.
I found out, despite what I thought I knew previously, that I am not in control. God is.
And that is what I believe this is all about. I didn't lose my identity when I lost my job. I found it. I'm not "the engineer". I'm just Jennie, a lost-but-found wife, mom, and friend who has discovered the ups and downs, joys and trials of being at home...something I've simply never been before.
I'm so grateful for the opportunity. Because I promise you, if it had been up to me, I might never have experienced this.
And, you'd better believe I'm crying again. For a different reason this November than last.
Praise God for that.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass … Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. ~Psalm 37:4,7