Those who follow me on Facebook know that I was laid off December 2nd. For those smart enough to stay far away from the Facebook vortex -- first let me say, good for you!! You rock!!, and, how do you do that??? -- and second, let me catch you up just a little: I'm unemployed.
Yeah, that's about it....
For 83 days now I have looked for a new job in an economy that absolutely sucks and just keeps surprising me with how much worse it can get as each day passes. I've had a couple of interviews but so far I'm still unemployed.
I finally broke down today and filed for unemployment. Yeah, I know --- many would say I should have done that day one, but can I tell you how utterly depressing it is to file that stuff? Online or in person, it doesn't matter: it just sucks. And since I'm often all about avoiding that which sucks whenever possible, well, I just kept putting it off. But now the deed is finally done. Good thing, too. The severance runs out this week. Now we start digging into school loans and savings.
There are days when life is good and I feel safe, secure, loved, and sheltered by God despite my current circumstances. Those days are like a little taste of heaven on earth. I'm filled with happiness, contentment, and peace about the future -- whatever it holds. Sometimes I can even see a glimpse of God's wisdom and goodness in giving me this "extended vacation."
But then there are days like today, where I struggle to keep breathing deeply and remembering Whose child I am, so as to stave off the panic attacks that are looming over me, ready to devour me whole. These days are difficult, discouraging, frustrating, anxiety-ridden, and very long. The worst of it seems to come after sunset. For some reason darkness outside my windows fuels my fears and depression. I'm not so much afraid of the dark as I am afraid in the dark.
There isn't much I can do to lift my own spirits on days like these. The only thing I know to do, really, is to cry out to Papa, 'please help me! I'm really scared and I feel all alone and lost. Please help me.'
Worshiping helps too, as odd as that sounds.
....Well, that, and dancing around my house like a maniac to my rockin' iTunes "Celebrate The 80s" mix.... but we won't go there right now....
When I listen to songs like Chris Tomlin's "Exalted (Yahweh)," or Tenth Avenue North's "Hallelujah" I am carried to a different place; a place near the throne and majesty and warm holiness of God, my Papa. I turn up the volume and just let the music remind me of His constant presence, and His unfathomable holiness and greatness.
I recently heard someone pray that God would raise us up above the current storms of life so that we could be at peace. As I listened I honestly found myself wholeheartedly disagreeing with this prayer. I don't want to be lifted up above my current storms. I want to find peace in the midst of the storms. I want to be able to rest in the care of God no matter what circumstances befall me. I don't want my trust and peace in Him to be situation-dependent.
These are days to be endured, I think, rather than soared above, if that makes sense. These hard days teach me to trust and rest in peace even when economic hurricanes and emotional tornadoes wreak havoc with the terrain of my life. They teach me to remember that my strength and hope come from God, not from my own perspective of my situation.... does that make sense?
So, this is me, today, enduring a hard day, worshiping Papa and Jesus, grateful for their love and lavish attention.... and hoping tomorrow brings a new job with it. But trusting that Papa has got me covered no matter what.