I lost my job yesterday. It was a total surprise, but not really a total surprise. Either way, I was devastated. As expected, I’ve had periods of tears, laughter, despair, hope, anger and relief. I have some time to figure out my next step because I got a pretty good severance package but it’s still really scary.
But that’s not really what I want to tell you. What I want to tell you about is what happened in the past few days leading up to yesterday.
I recently decided that I needed to look for a part-time job - one where I could work on the weekends to bring in a little bit of extra cash. I reached out to a friend from church who sent my resume to some people he knew, and within a couple of days I had a job offer. That’s pretty amazing. I started last Saturday and while I wasn’t actually at the prospect of working on a Saturday night, I really enjoyed myself. I’m not sure what it was that made me actually send out feelers when I did. I had been thinking about it for a long time, and one day I just took the plunge. And now, the knowledge that I have something that will bring in some extra money makes me feel a little bit more comfortable. I’d call that a God thing.
Sunday morning I had to serve at the 8:00 service so I got up early. When I left St. Martin’s, I met Rick for a quick breakfast and we went to a 10:00 service at Grace-Midtown Church. We have a neighbor who plays in the worship band there, and since St. Martin’s is getting ready to start a youth service, we wanted to hear the music they were playing. There were all sorts of reasons why we might have decided against going. I was pretty tired from the night before and getting up early. Rick was a little bit later than he wanted to be and we had to rush through breakfast. It was raining. But we went – were drawn there, I believe.
The congregation and the pastors were casual, young, and lively. And while the music was good, the message was designed just for me, but I just didn’t know it yet. Looking back now, there were several things: a prayer from one of the music leaders that encouraged us to believe in our own self-worth because we are created by God; a message in the main lesson, taken from The Gospel of Mark, that talks about how you can’t put new wine in an old wineskin without damaging both, and discussion about the contrast of fasting and feasting. I thought it was a good lesson on Sunday. Today, I think it’s a great lesson.
I can look at this time as a fast, and put on my sackcloth and be miserable. But when Rick and I were talking about this last night, I said to him that I don’t think God’s plan is for us to be homeless, destitute and panicked. I truly believe that God has something in store for me, I just need to find out what that is. This should be a time of feasting for me – a time to listen to God and find out what He wants me to do. What kind of new wine to put in my new wineskin.
So while I’m certain to have some more times of mourning and fear, I hope that I’ll turn to God to lead me through this and on to the next really wonderful thing.
One other point that I need to make is that the friends and family I’ve spoken to have been enormously caring and supportive and for that I am grateful. I either heard or read the words “I love you” so many times yesterday. I’m incredibly blessed.