Technically, it’s been a year and a week. Last week, on the actual anniversary, I had intended to write this blog post, but I couldn’t. Like other losses, losing your job carries memories—good and bad—that surface on the anniversary. So I spent most of the day reminiscing. Old friends I’ve lost touch with, and some I haven’t. Trips I took. Fellow speakers I met. How I was fired, what I felt that day, and what God has done in the interim.
I have enough emotional distance now to blog about the one-year mark. So here it is. Don’t be disappointed that I don’t have a top ten list of things I’ve learned or some epiphany that I experienced. Instead, here are my random thoughts as they come:
1. You can know that you are in the absolute center of God’s will and still hurt and doubt and question and… I have no doubt that God took me away from that job. No question. And I if we were sitting across the table from each other, I would tell you why. Even though I knew God was sovereign (and He still is), it still hurt. And I doubted and questioned and wondered. In the end, though, I could relax in the comfortable arms of God who could handle all of those conflicting emotions.
2. The grass can be greener, but it also has its share of insects, too. I often wondered what my life would be like if I were a full-time mom, full-time freelancer. I pictured a dreamy world devoid of the stresses of corporate life. On this side of the fence I can say that my stress level is a -12 compared to my previous life, and that is good. But freelancing also means filing your own taxes, marketing yourself, feast-or-famine work. There are some definite drawbacks. But hearing my daughter tell me she’s glad I’m home when she gets home from work is worth the trade off.
3. My worth does not come from a job—even a “ministry” job. Looking back, I realize how much of my self-worth was tied up in the work I did. The books I wrote. The ministry to girls I helped launch. The authors I got to know and rub shoulders with. Ripping all that away in an instant can leave a gal numb, upside down, and discombobulated. Lest you think you’re immune to this trap, let me ask you a hard question: what would you do if you’d worked for the same place for over a decade, establishing yourself as a leader in your field, only to have it taken away without a moment’s notice? If you were honest, you would struggle, too. Because we’re both human and both susceptible to the lure of applause and affirmation and success.
A year later, I still don’t know where the next steps will take me. I know where I think I’m headed, but this recent journey has taught me that life can change quicker than you can say, “Hey, can we talk to you in the conference room?” One thing I do know: jobs come and go, but my Savior does not. He is my Rock and my Future.
And for this moment, that is enough.