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Grieving our Losses 8- Grieving Job Loss

Grieving Our Losses
Day 8- Grieving Job Loss
Dan and Ruth McDonald

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, ESV)

We’re going to have to let you go.” If any words could feel like a sucker punch to the gut, those were the words for me. The Scripture quoted above comes easily to our lips when things are good and we are prospering, but it’s a real challenge when the rug gets yanked out from under our feet. There is head knowledge that God will make things right, but in the moment there is only shock, followed by the unmistakable phase of denial and even anger.

As I was hearing those words of being let go, my mind was reeling with these questions:

How will I pay the bills?
How will I keep my house?
How will I support my family?
How will unemployment affect us?

Whatever was said following that statement was lost in a swirl of my own thoughts. I just remember thinking, There’s no way I can survive this. This is the worst news ever! For a man trying to provide for his family, it’s a tough situation to be in, and then having to come home and share this news with your wife is also challenging—and humbling. In many ways, you feel like you’ve failed, and that’s tough when you know you put in the effort.

As you begin to settle in with the news, a mental battle ensues There is the head knowledge that God will provide and take care of you. But the other voice you hear questions your abilities: Why did this happen to me when I was performing well? This isn’t fair! Was I not good enough? These questions that take up head space are darts from none other than Satan. There is grief in the news and grief in the reality that, although life must go on, it looks different than you thought it was going to. Our new reality was that life would change for us until I found suitable employment; we would have to cut back on our spending and make sacrifices.

Looking back, my wife and I are both humbled at how God provided in amazing ways. We may have been living much leaner, but we were never in want. Week after week, God provided for us. I learned in that season how we needed to have faith and just take it one day at a time. Maybe God allowed it to bring us to a place where we depended on Him like we should rather than feeling self-sufficient. Maybe God allowed it because He didn’t want me where I was and had other plans for me. Whatever the reason, He faithfully carried us through that season and opened new doors for us that were better and more secure. He provided employment with a company that I felt confident would take care of us through thick and thin and could sustain a downturn in the economy.

When we go through difficulties, we don’t enjoy the process, but it enables us to live out our faith in new ways. It provides an opportunity for us to be a help to others who face similar situations, and it shows us how faithful God is every day. While I initially felt loss and grief over losing my job, God really did work it out for my good—for our good—just as He promises. As a believer, grief doesn’t have the last word—He does. He can make beauty from a place of brokenness. If you’re facing something similar today, our prayer is that you’ll also come to the point of acceptance and see the faithful hand of God in orchestrating the events of your life. He is so good. He can be trusted. And always, He wants us to rely wholly on Him.

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