What Life After Unemployment Looks and Feels Like

It had been three years.

Three years!

Three years without any income at all -- well, except for those initial weeks of unemployment wages, which we were grateful for, but compared to the amount of debt we had and the cost of keeping a roof over our heads and our family fed, was barely a drop in the bucket of what we needed to survive.

So we burned through our savings account and every dime of our retirement plans.

Our financial position had gone from six-figure salary wealth to that of two kids straight out of high school with zero assets, when my husband finally got that long overdue phone call with an employment offer.

We rejoiced and thanked God for carrying us, for keeping our credit intact, and for keeping our marriage and our family together and stronger than ever.

Finally, our victory had come!

The thing is, life after unemployment is never quite the same as it was before unemployment.

In many ways, it's better!

What Life After Unemployment Looks and Feels Like

Rebuilding is a slow and sometimes painful process.

Even though there's income coming in now, there are still bills needing paid (some that may have been overdue) and everyone wants a cut of those paychecks. Getting caught up on past due bills is stressful.

Setting money aside to rebuild a savings account is super important, but can be discouraging when you realize the $20 a paycheck you can afford to put in savings equates to years of paychecks just to get to the amount you're comfortable with. And what if there's an emergency in the meantime?

If you're in your 40's or 50's and you've wiped out your retirement account like we did, it's stressful wondering if you'll be able to adequately build it back up before you retire.

Be encouraged! God's provision is still real and present. Invest some time and a little bit of money into reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. (This is an affiliate link)

You survived unemployment. You can and will rebuild.

God's blessings become wildly obvious.

His blessings were always there when times were tough and uncertain, but sadly, they were probably less noticeable since our focus seemed to be largely on our fears and concerns over the unemployment situation.

God loves to bless us and He loves to reward our faith.

In fact, He has blown me away with His blessings since my husband returned to work. I mean, jaw-dropping-knock-me-off-my-feet kind of blessings. They're wildly obvious that they've come from Him and I can't help but sit in awe.

He has completely restored us.Completely! In fact, He's given us more than I could have dreamed of or asked for.

He'll do the same for you too. Remain steadfast. Pray without ceasing. Respond in obedient faith. Be His light to others.

He loves to bless us!

Our ugly becomes beautiful.

During my husband's season of unemployment I felt God pushing me to use our pain and suffering (we had been through so much trial and hardship even before unemployment) for something good. So I started a blog and over time it grew into something awesome, and it's still growing! That one act of obedience ultimately led me to this new found passion of online ministry.

Over the last two years I've watched God's mighty hand at work, in and through me - ordinary, plain jane, just-love-to-write ME! 

And I'm in total awe. Twenty years ago I would have never believed I'd be doing this today. I would have never believed I'd have this amazing relationship with God. I was so different back then.

God uses our suffering to refine us, transform us, and mold us into something so much better and more beautiful than we could ever imagine. He uses our pain and experience for His good and perfect plan!

Oh, praise Him!!

Life goes on and hardship still comes and goes.

Even though we are in a new season where my husband is back to work, we're all pretty healthy and life feels like it's back on track, we haven't been totally free from new hardships.

In the span of the last year, both of my husband's parents passed away suddenly. First his dad, then ten months later, his mom. We've been dealing with so much grief and loss, yet we've found ourselves to be stronger and better equipped to deal with our emotions than we would have expected. Our previous experiences have taught us to seek God first for comfort and strength.

It's tempting to return to old lukewarm Christian habits.

Now that life is going smoothly, we have a natural tendency to live as though we don't need God as much. It's so easy to return to those old lifestyle habits of not going to church regularly, not praying as often, and even skipping those quiet moments with God for something more instantly worldly gratifying.

It's exactly what the enemy wants. He wants to prove that we only seek God for what He can do for us, not because we truly love Him.

We need to remain passionate and lit up in our love and our devotion to Christ. Without Him we are nothing. His word teaches us to seek first His kingdom, so we are best to remain committed to doing just that. Every.single.day.

That's what I do. Or at least it's what I try really really hard to do. Some days are better than others, but most days I'm up praying and reading my Bible before the family rises. Staying in His word keeps me living right.

The emotion and the fear become a distant memory.

Like the pain of childbirth, the intense emotions and turmoil we experience during unemployment and hardship quickly become a distant memory when life returns to some kind of normalcy.

I barely remember the feeling of fear, even though I know it was there. I barely recall the emotion I felt when I had to say goodbye to the home we had bought, the home both of my daughters came home from the hospital to, even though I know it was there.

I can tell the stories of what happened and how I felt, but I barely remember the actual physical heartache of those moments.

Yet, we never forget.

Suddenly we realize every penny we have is a gift from God. He gives and He takes. We don't control any of it.

The pain will be a distant memory, but you will never ever forget.

And your heart will always be compassionate to others going through the same thing.

One more thing...

My husband was pretty traumatized by unemployment. He would tell you it was without a doubt the hardest, most emotional trial he's had to face in his life so far (and he's had some doozies!) -- yes, that's what he'd tell you, if he ever wanted to talk about it again, which he never does, because it hurts too bad to look back. So he doesn't. He looks forward.

Always looking forward and trusting God is with him.

God is with you too.

Whether you're still in the midst of your trial or whether you're freshly out of it.

God is always with you.

What does life after unemployment look like for you and your family? I'd love for you to share your encouragement here with others who read this.

 

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