After months of being unemployed, with not even the sniff of an interview, I felt rejected, scared, fearful and even a little hurt. I mean, really, I’m well-trained, strategic, very collaborative and was promoted and praised in every job I’ve held for nearly 20 years. A corporate downsizing almost six months ago could have taken the wind out of my sails, but I didn’t let it. At least not at the time.
When it happened, I didn’t fall apart. I knew God had the situation under His hand. I knew this was part of His plan for me. I knew He would provide. I knew He was closing one door so He could open another.
But, oh, my restless heart. The first couple months were fine. I worked on my resume and started looking, but really, feeling no pressure. I prepared blogs, prayed over and wrote a book proposal, served my family and picked up a little freelance work.
Fast-forward to this week. I hit the 6-month mark with the “unemployed” label. Having never gone this long without gainful employment since I began working at age 16, I’m a little lost. On the one hand, I can handle the rejection of being passed over for a job – I’m convinced that there is a reason for it. But on the other, my insecurities begin to raise their ugly heads when there seems to be an airtight seal on the door of opportunity. It’s easy to start questioning:
· Lord, I know you have a plan, but why don’t I know it yet?
· Lord, what is wrong with me that I am passed over for each opportunity?
· Lord, am I living out the Peter Principle and everyone sees it but me?
· Lord, our family desperately needs me to contribute income and I don’t know what to do?
Just when I found myself whipping up a frenzy of self-pity, I cried out. Please, Lord, help me with just one step, just one assurance that you hear me. Within hours, a list of Scriptures came from various sources – strong confirmation that yes, He hears, He cares and He is with me.
Two amazing things happened.
I nestled into bed with my Bible and my list of Scriptures to devour. First, miraculously, I flipped right to the page in my Bible that holds my life verse, Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Those precious words, underlined and highlighted in my Bible felt like a hug for my weary heart.
After reading through the Scripture list, the message was clear. Give it to Him.
Second, this morning, a verse appeared in my inbox with the words from 1 Peter 5:7. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Webster’s Dictionary defines cast as “To send or drive by force; to throw; to fling; to hurl; to impel.” There is nothing wimpy about that definition. Cast, to me, says let it go. And the next word – all. Not some, not part. All.
I had been holding back in giving all the fear to Him. No more. I am replacing the anxiety with peace because I know His plans are good and He cares for me.