For the last month, I’ve been a housewife/ domestic diva. This is a pretty way of saying unemployed (cue the daunting, sad music). This is the way this month has gone: the first week to week and a half, I was fine. I was kept busy by tidying and organizing our new home. However, by the end of week two, I became bored (mostly), stressed (a decent bit), and worried (I tend to do that a lot, meaning my favorite chapter of the Bible is Matthew 6. Duh.)
I’d like to say this post is about how I’ve gained employment and now am not struggling with doubts, but that simply isn’t true. Daily I wage war against my sinful desire to doubt God and His plan for me. Now that I’ve confessed that, read how the Lord basically slapped me in the face and said, “Shape up.”
Wednesday morning I went to First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange as a part of their unemployment ministry. JRB and I went to First Pres on Sunday, and the pastor was incredibly intentional to get to know us. And through getting to know us, he invited me to their unemployment ministry… not because I was unemployed, but because he thought I could really help and bring in a fresh perspective since I worked at the Career Center last year. That’s God punching me in the gut the first time. I could help the unemployed, being unemployed myself?? Who would’ve thought, right? Doing something for others- now there’s a thought.
When I showed up Wednesday morning I found a room full of unemployed individuals from around LaGrange and several First Pres church members. We basically all just went in a circle introducing ourselves and then the unemployed individuals (not me) told us their stories. This is where God put in several jabs.
The first woman we spoke with had the saddest, most heart breaking story I’ve ever heard from a real-live, sitting beside me person. Her husband (and primary source of income) walked out on her several months ago. Her mother had a massive stroke in February leaving her paralyzed on the right side and needing assistance for comment tasks, thus this woman became her caregiver. She has three children. Her utilities have been off for two months (no electricity, gas, water, nothing), and she owes part of last month’s and all of this month’s rent. Her “family” took in her children, mother, and her, but they wanted them out that day. This woman was homeless. I would’ve never known it because she wasn’t what I thought of when I think of homeless. She didn’t have a cardboard sign, Wal-Mart cart, and home under a bridge. She was well-dressed and put together on the outside, but drowning on the inside. Another woman told us that she has $3 to her name with both rent and utility bills on their way. These people needed help and had no where to go.
I’d like to say we just payed all of their bills, got them all jobs, and now they’re great, but that’s simply not true. These women walked away just as poor and just as homeless. We did everything we could providing emotional and spiritual counseling, and obviously making calls and attempting to pull strings. The pastor was actually correct in his assessment that I could help. One lady had two jobs pending, but needed a resume and had no computer or knowledge of how to make one. I’m definitely no trained career counselor, but after working at the Career Center for a year I was able to build her one (a fine-looking one, if I do say so myself).
I walked away probably just as changed (if not more so) than the women we were trying to help. Here I was with a husband (who is sticking around even if it gets hard), living in a nice apartment, fully capable of eating 3 meals a day. Yes, I need a job. It would make things a whole lot easier for us, but even if I never get one we are able to pay our utilities and rent and eat. How could I be so down and out and anxious about this when there are others who need jobs far more than I do? This isn’t saying I’m going to stop trying to find a job. I’m still looking hard, but I refuse to let it get me down anymore. It isn’t going to be this major mountain in my life anymore. How can it be?
In conclusion, please pray for these women. They are facing some major obstacles not only financially, but also spiritually. Pray that they will know and experience God as their saving, loving, and comforting Father, not just as some deity that gives them prosperity. And pray for me, that I will remember these women and help them in every way and facet that I can. Also pray that I too will find a job, but as previously mentioned this isn’t the most important one anymore.