A few weeks ago I got a call from my supervisor at work who summarily informed me that my job of fifteen plus years was being eliminated. It was a punch in the gut. Boom… find out on Tuesday that your last day is Friday. Ouch. I really enjoyed that job. I worked hard at it and did good work. I got to help others, learn new technical concepts and interact with a wide variety of people all over the world. I have a lot of friends at the office and I could work from home if I needed to. I belonged. I must admit to some feelings of hopelessness, anger and despair and probably dwelled on some of those feelings longer than was healthy.
“No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That's the only way to keep the roads clear.”
~ Greg Kincaid
Once the shock wore off and I began to take stock of my situation, I realized that it’s easy to hitch our self worth wagon to our jobs. However, our jobs do not define us. Jobs and careers are a way to pay the bills and put food on the table but there is more to life than working and taking care of practical matters. I now understand that this is an opportunity to lean on God in ways that I have not had to do for awhile. At my stage of life the task of finding employment can be a bit daunting but I am not ready to fade slowly into retirement and if I am to overcome this setback, I must practice resilience.
In my way of thinking, resilience means operating with hope and the key to resilience is spirituality. I am not talking about religion here… to me, spirituality is an inner understanding that we are all interconnected by a power much greater than ourselves. Our connection to that power, and to each other, can only be realized through love and compassion. When we practice spirituality, we bring meaning and purpose to our lives. When we practice spirituality, we are able to let go of who we think we are supposed to be and embrace who we really are; imperfect and lovable beings. We know that we are loved by a God that understands completely who we are and where we are on the road to salvation. Practicing spirituality means hope. Hope is not a feeling but a way of thinking that we attain when we set goals, understand how we can achieve those goals and believe in ourselves.
"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
If the God of the universe believes in us and loves us, we must be able to believe in ourselves and love ourselves. Sometimes the most courageous thing we can do is to understand that we are sufficient just the way we are.
Job 1:21-22 and exclaimed: “I left my mother’s womb naked, and I will return to God naked. The LORD has given, and the LORD has taken. May the name of the LORD be blessed.”