This is a hard one to write today but this journey towards honesty and boldness forces my hand.
I have been unemployed for a year now and to say it’s been rough is an understatement. This Journey started on October 14, 2016 and what a journey it has been. How did I become unemployed? I moved from New York to Connecticut so I had a two hour commute both ways. The two hour commute forced me to spend a lot of time with myself along with the cranky morning commuters on the road with me. I had a lot of time to think and to spend with God. I felt him pulling me to leave and to go back to school. I had savings that I could live off of for a while and I found a seasonal part-time job near my home that got me by. So again, how did I become unemployed and broke?
“I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror because I was so disappointed…”
As school was about to start once again I felt God pulling on me to leave that part-time job and just go to school. I still had savings and looked for freelance jobs in the meantime. As time passed and the money dwindled I started to panic. I submit application after application and nothing. You’re probably asking yourself the same questions I asked myself. Did I not hear God and made the decision on my own? How could I be so dumb? Did I miss God? I don’t know the answers just yet but Joyce Meyer said something that stuck with me, “Even if you miss it God can find you.” David even said “Where can I go from your spirit?Where can I flee from your presence?” Psalm 139:7. I have learned so much about myself, the world, and the people around me,though this year has been hard I don’t regret it. I’m going to break this blog post into sections to cover the different aspects of unemployment that are rarely spoken about.
No money …
This is the obvious so lets start there. How have I survived a year with absolutely no money. My parents have been kind enough to help me as much as they can. They’re not rich so it’s been hard on them also. I’ve been able to get my necessities and getting to and from school with 20 bucks a week courtesy of my father. They don’t complain and are supportive of what God’s doing in my life and they will never know how much I appreciate them.
“It is easy to look from the outside and make generic statements of what people are doing, what you think they should be doing…”
In the very beginning the threat of losing my car, not having any money to support myself, bill collectors calling non stop brought me close to depression. I’ve dealt with depression in the past that lead to me attempting suicide but I promised myself I would never allow myself to get back to that dark part of my life. It is nothing short of the grace of God that I made it through with my mind in tact. I’m a 31 year old unemployed woman living with her parents. That fact played over and over in my head and the embarrassment it brought made me hate myself for a moment. I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror because I was so disappointed. I’ve never gotten mad at God but I have cried out to him for answers and expressed my frustration and he replied with peace that surpasses all understanding.
The judgement from people who “think” they know your situation was very upfront. It is easy to look from the outside and make generic statements of what people are doing, what you think they should be doing etc. But unless you walk with them and see every detail, until you find out the why and the how and the when, I suggest you keep your judgement to yourself. I admit I was one of those people who I would hear of people being unemployed and the first thing to come to mind is why don’t they find a job? they must be lazy, and that may be true for some but not for all. I am far from lazy , I’ve been gainfully employed since I was 15 , climbing the corporate ladder since 18 but life sort of plateaued as I wasn’t doing what God called me to do. I had no direction, no dedication or drive for anything. I simply existed to work and there was nothing beyond that until 2016 shook me awake. Judgment exists as long as you do not have genuine relationships with people going through that particular situation. If no one close to you has gone through unemployment then it’s easy for you to look through your glass house and make assumptions. For me the judgement came from friends and family alike.
“My God, My God, My God how he has saved me…”
Isolation/Loss of friends…
Losing friends over this period of time was a double edged sword in a way. I had people that distanced themselves because they were able to see the rabbit hole I was in financially and I guess it made them uncomfortable to speak with me. On the other hand I Isolated myself as well because it was hard to talk about my situation when I felt like the world was judging me. I have some good friends that have stuck by me but our interactions are limited because I can’t afford to go see them and hang out and I don’t want to be a burden to them. The ones that text and call anyway they have no Idea how much they mean to me and how much their simple gestures have helped me.
Now that I’ve gotten through all the negatives I want to end this post on a positive note. During this time my family has gotten so much close and we have become so vulnerable, old wounds have healed and I don’t think it would have ever happened had we not gone through this.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
My sister has literally held me up through this entire situation and I thank God for her everyday. She is my best friend and has been such a blessing to me. Lastly, My God, My God, My God how he has saved me, lifted me up, changed me, and gave me a heart for his children. I’m excited to see where he is taking me hence the reason why I’m documenting this journey. I’ve learned how to encourage myself, how to keep my head lifted though I am judged and how to keep my eyes fixed on God and to truly trust him despite my surroundings.
I’ll leave with you with a verse that I hold on to so dearly as of late,
Psalm 119:71 King James Version (KJV)
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.