“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Facing hard times in life is difficult. When I lost my job last year, I took some time to just grieve that moment. I knew it was coming because business had slowed down, and the magazine industry I was in had slowed as a whole during the economic downturn of 2010 and 2011, so at least I could see the signs. Plus, my supervisor had thankfully given me a heads up that the company was losing a large client and she would not be able to continue to support the amount of people she currently had on her team. Since I was telecommuting from home and wasn’t even in the same city as the office, I knew I would be the first to be released.
Once I took that moment to grieve, I started looking towards the future. While I love having everything in life plotted meticulously down to the minute, I was going to have to let that go. And that would probably be a good thing! I was going to have to look confidently towards the unknown future, knowing that God had something planned. I just didn’t know what that was. Would I find another job? Would it be in the same field? Would I be able to get into a field I enjoyed more? Would this be the time to go back to school for a Masters degree?
The main thing I became convicted of as I prayed over and thought about the situation, was that this job loss was a little glitch in my well-organized life – it was a gap between opportunities. I just had to keep my faith and prepare for the right opportunity that would present itself. I spoke with a friend of mine, who encouraged me to by mentioning that the timing was a blessing, as I lost my job right as the school year was ending and summer was beginning. We talked about how fast childhood goes and that a summer spent with the kids, especially my youngest, Princess, would be well worth the loss of income for three months.
It was so true! I enjoyed a wonderful summer with the kids. I took Princess to swim lessons every morning for six weeks and enjoyed time swimming with her afterwards. I think she learned more swimming with the other kids afterwards than she did in class and we had a lot of fun in the pool. I was able to take the older kids to their friends’ homes and host friends at our home. My stepdaughter also came in for a month-long visit and we were able to visit a lot of tourist attractions and spend much more time together than we would have had I been working.
At the end of the summer, remarkably I got a contract position in my field and first love of writing. I was also able to take on a number of courses in the community college where I taught part-time. The summer of letting go and letting God stayed in my heart as our family transitioned into the school year, supplies and schedules.