Faith Isn’t Free

Yesterday, in a Facebook live video, I mentioned losing a job. I never wanted that to be the part that stuck with folks. Not if you are going to think of it as a bad thing.

My situation is a blessing.

Hopefully, those of you who know me would agree, I am responsible. I am not going to leave a job without another job, even if we are all miserable. Will I try to move by getting another job? Absolutely.

In the last year, I made a chain of poor decisions in my career. The benefit – I learned to dissociate my persona from my profession. I left my comfort zone entirely behind. I tried many new things. I did not take a break. I kept beating that damn drum. (you know, like the energizer bunny)

Finally, they let me go because they needed someone who writes better than I do. The decision was not a surprise, and yes, I was honestly relieved. I had already paid to have my resume rewritten. I had joined networking groups. I saw it coming for months.

Then, I was given two weeks “on the job” to “regroup.” And then, I was given four weeks of severance pay. And then, if needed, there will be unemployment. (I envision God up there going “and then” as I place my order.)

See, blessed. God (or the Universe) knew that I would not take a break. I would go from one job to the next without taking a break because I had already done that. I would keep throwing everything I had at my professional problem, but I was never going to solve it. So, God decided to take care of it all at one time.

POOF! No more job. POOF! Here’s plenty of time. (well, relatively speaking) POOF! Your regular salary and benefits for six weeks while you pull your head out of your proverbial…Oh, and here, because we know you will worry…
POOF! 2 pages of jobs to apply for in your newly preferred area (good choice by the way) with your freshly written resume and cover letter. POOF! Have some interviews before you are officially unemployed. We know how your anxiety can be. POOF! You are going to need people to process. Here, participate in the Unstoppable Influence challenge. POOF! Have a little more time to paint in your 100-day challenge. POOF! POOF! POOF! Enjoy synergy, all around you.

But how in the heck did this happen?! Why? And will it last? I kind of feel like I am playing hooky from school. It is fun, but also a little scary.

The simplest answer. Faith.

Faith will last, as long as I feed it. How do I feed it, you ask. Through good works or deeds. See, nothing in life is free. Faith doesn’t necessarily cost money, just focus on whatever it is God is trying to tell you. If you decide to “give it to God” you have to be prepared to pay His fee by working on what He says. In my situation, that was me. God wants me to work on me. Not in a selfish way, but in a healthy, want me to live 45 more years, kind of way. God wanted me to find faith again. God wanted me to stop and appreciate what I have.

Once I “give it to God” can I go lounge by the pool? I wish. (Actually, no I don’t) Here is what I have been doing:

1. Networking and applying for positions – includes searching job boards, attending events, tailoring my resume and cover letter, filling out applications with the same information from my resume, and following up with recruiters. It also includes helping others with these same tasks.

2. Researching and interviewing for positions – includes researching the company, discussion boards, online product support, etc. as well as working on answering interview questions by making notes and practicing.

3. Reading relevant literature – I am taking a slightly new approach this time. I am trying marketing/sales information so I can sell myself. I am in a challenge. I am in the middle of book #2 about marketing strategy.

4. Relax and find a hobby. I giggle because I have had a hobby. I didn’t realize it until today (embarrassed emoji). I have spent so much of my time trying to monetize it that I missed the overall value to me as a human. Painting pictures has been my light through the last few years of darkness.

5. Stop trying so hard. I have been in fight or flight for so long that I was stuck. You know the scene in Sixteen Candles where the party is over, and Jake is surveying the damage. The record player is skipping. The last six months have felt like that record player. I was giving it all I could, but the song sucked because of things I couldn’t control. Not making excuses. I own this baby. I even took classes. But my song still sucked. It didn’t matter how hard I tried.

6. Getting healthy – going to the gym every single day. Watching what I eat. Getting up and out of the house every single day, preferably outside. Keep working on my mental health. Even examining my TV viewing habits.

7. Rediscovering God through faith – Thank goodness loving God is like riding a bicycle. Instinctually I wanted to check the Bible regarding faith. What does it say? Quite a bit as you would expect. I chose my favorite from James 2:14-26, but here we will look at only 20-26.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[a]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[b], and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

See, giving it to God is not easy. Having doubts is natural. It wasn’t easy for Abraham, but he did it (in more ways than one). “And he was called God’s friend.” It wasn’t easy for Rahab, but she still gave spies poor information. It wasn’t easy for Noah, but he still built the ark.
As I continue working on these seven items, God will keep holding up his end of the bargain when it comes to faith. The more I “pay it forward” or “give to others,” the more help I will receive. In the end, the results will be quite miraculous.

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