Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Weathering the Storm of Unemployment

Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R79053 / CC-BY-SA
"Industrious Young Man Looking For Work"

I have been out of school and without a paying job since July 1, 2011. For those slow at math that is 1 year (with a leap day) and 220 days or 586 days or 14,048 hours and 25 minutes...26 minutes.

That is a long time.

Now I realize that there are those that have been out of work longer than I have. There are those that are in more dire financial straits than my wife and I have been in. But it has been a significantly difficult time in my life. It would be my guess that it has been the second most difficult thing that I have endured. This time has tested my faith, patience, resolve and confidence just to name a few things. However, this is not in any way meant to be a "woe is me" post.

Rather this series of posts come from an idea that my wife had. We have been fortunate enough that God has provided her with a good job to support us. And while we count ourselves to be truly blessed that she is working we both really want our roles to be reversed. She is eagerly anticipating the day that she can retire from full-time work and I am eagerly anticipating the day that I am working full-time.

She has also been a great support in other ways as well during this time. Without her this would have been by far the worst two years of my life. Her idea was for me to share my struggles and how she has supported me so that other wives might get some insight in how to support their out of work husbands. My hope is to also share some insight for how those same husbands can support their working wives. I also hope that sharing my struggles and some of my pitfalls will also help people endure their struggles easier and to avoid those same pit falls.

Near the end of 2005 it had become clear to both me and my wife that I was extremely dissatisfied with working in the business world. After much discussion and prayer we decided that I should quit my job and return to seminary. So in the fall of 2006 I enrolled at Western Theological Seminary in their Distance Learning program in order to earn my Masters of Divinity with a graduation date of July 2011. Of course what we didn't know then was that 2006 would prove to be the peak of the housing market and the bubble was about to burst. Then economy started it's downward spiral. Even with these events I don't know that our decision for me to enter seminary would have changed. To add to the struggles my wife lost her job in 2009. Fortunately she received an excellent severance package and was later able to find another job. We can only thank God for his provision during this time.

In January of 2011 I started to do some preliminary job searching as my school schedule would allow. At this point, even with the condition of the economy, we both figured that I would find something by the fall of 2011. The fall of 2011 came and went. There were a few cues that probably should have indicated that this might be an extended search process but we were still pretty confident that something would come along in the early parts of 2012. The early parts of 2012 came and went. Then the late parts of 2012 came and went. Now it is February of 2013. And we figure something will come in the early parts of 2013.

Yes we are still confident that God will provide the right position for me when the right time comes. But I have to admit that keeping this confidence and weathering the storm has not always been that easy. Over the next few weeks I plan to share some of that storm. This storm has been a large part of why I needed to take a break from blogging. Right now I have a few topics that I am going to address and I may add more.

The initial topics that I am going to address are:

  • Dealing with an abundance of rejection;
  • A lack of patience;
  • The feeling of a lack of personal value;
  • The feeling of a lack of direction;
  • The pitfall of an abundance of seclusion.

Also I plan to be as transparent about my journey as I can. To that end, if any of my readers have questions or issues that they would like me to address please feel free to pass those on to me and I will address them as best as I can. My sincere hope is to help others (both those that are unemployed and those around the unemployed) through what can be a very difficult time. I also hope that there will be something of value in these posts for those struggling with similar issues even if it is not due to unemployment.

14,049 hours and 47 minutes...


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