Personal experience should never be the standard in passing on advice but I will make this an exception.
Unemployment can be tough, at one time, I even wished I could simply get a place where they just offered me lunch, and transport maybe, yet I was ready to be content with one. I longed for a daily schedule, months fresh from my wedding, a little cushion remained in my wife’s employment, but my ego wouldn’t let me rely on that too.
I wanted to “provide,” silent questions remained. I can’t lie to you that all was fine, my wife had fears, of course she did her best not to voice them (glad she did, two fearful people under one roof has never been a good way to begin a marriage.)
In those routine days after my contract had been terminated, spiritual growth became my priority and God’s word saturated my mind. I even took time off and wrote a little book on writing, I embarked on a second one and ran out of ideas around the third page, I checked my email almost daily, even a little response acknowledging receipt of my Resume made my day, self employment ideas filled my notebook, the idea that I was a recent groom didn’t help the situation, questions about where I worked were like questions about my identity? Eh! -they hit hard, but my confidence in God’s character remained.
I prayed that God would take me where he wanted my next placement to be, while recognizing he could even choose to do nothing about my job prospects, and still remain good. My heart needed to reach those levels I am telling you. I am thankful they did. That period grounded me in habits of prayer, meditation and study, whereas I had no 8-5pm schedule, I, by God’s grace, detested wasting time because I knew it was highly likely such a season wouldn’t ever return.
I knew formal employment did not mean my life was informal. God still did his work. I contemplated lessons from my previous job, God’s constant provision for my basic needs then, and yes, my wife’s patience in bearing with me through it. And when I received that appointment email months later, I smiled, not because this was the end of the story, but because the posture of my heart had changed – from horizontal, (what others think) to vertical(what God thinks) you may say, my identity too – from being known for where I work to being known for who I am, In Christ.
My new challenge now became about remembering the God who never stops working, whether my circumstances change or not.
And I am sure God didn’t stop with my story.