A year and a half ago, I was laid off for the first time in my career. Instantly, I was befriended by shock and depression. I was always the one to say, “I’m leaving.” Now, the job was saying, “Goodbye.” I had so many thoughts running through my head, but only one stood out more than the rest: How was I going to live? I tried applying for unemployment with no avail (the ministry I worked for opted out of these benefits) and I had no idea how long I would be able to survive on my severance package and Dave Ramsey emergency savings. Though, while I was debt free, I still owed bills; rent, car insurance, and phone bill. But me being me, I was too prideful to tap into the resources I knew about. In the meantime, I focused on searching for a j-o-b, but dreaded the idea when I didn’t have a clue as for what I was looking for? I wanted to take action, but I just couldn’t think. For a moment, I didn’t want to be me, yet truthfully, I wasn’t. I had lost a part of me as soon as my boss said I was let go. More over, each day I woke up, I was a little less of the person I once knew. I had lost my place amongst the rat race.
“But God,” two of my favorite words, had another plan.
Grace abounds in those who have much love and faith in God. I was taken back by the amount of grace my landlord gave me about rent, so much so I didn’t know how to handle it. Thank you never seemed to be enough. When I scrapped together pennies, I felt obligated to give her as much of the rent I could and stretch the dollar in other places. My parents of whom I share a phone plan with, took on my burden of the phone bill and slowly over time, like dish soap cuts through grease, so did grace slice through my pride.
Months after walking out the doors of my job for the last time, though I was more thankful, I was still lost. Any purpose I had, was gone, or so I thought. A graduation speaker I had heard about, said that, at the least of everything you do each day, make your bed. This wisdom changed my course. So as I became more distraught about seeking employment, slowing cultivating my introvert, and wondering if I am on a permanent vacation, I rose each morning to make my bed. My view was pretty damper and I didn’t know how to shake the feeling, but the more I became purposeful the more I felt I had purpose.
In each day, I had to relearn to trust Christ again; relearn to find myself in His eyes and not my own. I saw Him in my landlord, my friends, my family, and my church. He laid jobs in my lap and taught me things of which I was once fearful of, such as taking care of others, breaking down walls of the prideful (myself included), learning to let go, and reaching out for the lost to share His word. Jesus was shaping me.
When I moved to Michigan this past winter out of obedience to the Lord, I thought I learned how to accept my continued grace that has been poured out for me. Turns out, I still struggle with being on the receiving side, but am thankful for it. Without it, I wouldn’t have the chance to develop a better relationship with Christ. And as for purpose, I am getting better at leaving that up to the Lord by telling him daily, “Father, don’t allow me to get in the way of Your purpose today.”