Unemployment Answers

What are you worshiping? Envied by all my friends, I boasted about my position as a dress buyer for the San Diego region. My career at Nordstrom was my life and my identity. Recognized with awards for double-digit increases, I soon discovered I was as good as my sales figures.

In 1990, the Gulf War impacted retail business across the country. During this crisis I was on maternity leave with my first child. Back at work after six weeks, I left behind my newborn daughter to go to New York City for the latest fashions in an attempt to improve sinking sales.

Ten months later when I informed my supervisor that I was pregnant with my second child and she asked, “How many kids do you plan on having?”

Naively, I announced, “I want four.”

Raising her brow, she said, “Do you plan on keeping this job?”

I said emphatically, “Yes, of course. I have a nanny.”

Soon after the birth of my second daughter my supervisor demoted me. She suggested I take a sales or management position. Although I was better at management my pride kept me from stepping down.

When I lost my job, I lost my god.

Cutting our salary in half I searched for significance by starting up a t-shirt painting business. I got my affirmation through women who bought my t-shirts, but the toxic chemicals of the airbrush paints prompted me to end that endeavor. I turned to a gift basket business to search for my new identity, but with the birth of my fourth child I could no longer afford to maintain the high costs of subcontracting out my services. Without a job I had no purpose.

At home, raising my children, God put Christian women in my life. He pursued me for five years. Eventually my marriage struggles caused me to go back to church. As I began hearing and reading my Bible for the first time, I discovered a personal God, a heavenly Father who loves me and sent His Son to die for me in order to have a relationship with me. I found my identity in Christ as a co-heir to the throne.

I think back and see how God revealed himself to me through the loss of my job. If I had continued to make Nordstrom my life and my god, I may never have turned to the One true God. In fact, I can almost guarantee that my marriage would have ended in divorce and probably with me having an affair. I would have seen this as the easy way out.

With an income I would have felt entitled to better treatment and never looked at my own behavior. As we see today, many replace the old spouse with the new. The consequences of divorce are bigger than most of our marriage problems could ever be.

As a new Christian, I cried out to God for help with my marriage struggles. God put it on my heart to write. I began to write letters to people in my life. Through this process Jesus began to heal my past hurts, reconcile my relationships, and give me purpose.

Not until God revealed himself to me did I recognize the importance of raising and training my children in His ways. For the first time I realized they are a gift from God. My job was to love and adore my children and raise them to be compassionate responsible adults.

If you face unemployment today, consider the possibility that God wants to do something in your life. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your identity?
  • Do you need to draw close to the living God?
    Jesus rose from the dead and He’s alive.
  • Have you accepted the free gift that Jesus offers?
    He died in your place, all your sin went upon Him, and He paid the consequence of your sin. We can now stand before a holy God cleansed by the righteousness of Jesus.
  • Do you love and adore your children?
  • Have you surrendered to God’s will for your family?
  • Do you worship idols and material possessions?

Surrender to God’s plan for your life, whether to work or stay at home, we must care for our families. By seeking God with all your heart He will give you clear direction as to whether you should go back to work. Ask Him to guide you in His Word. You might be surprised at what He tells you.

God’s Word To Live By:

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight.

Psalm 139:23
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Jeremiah 29:11-13
God has plans to prosper you not to harm you, but to give you hope and a future as you seek Him with all of your heart you will find Him. He will take you out of captivity and deliver you into something amazing.
(Paraphrased)

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