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What to do when you lose your job (tell me, if you know.)

Calling

The last thing you expect to have in your hand on a Thursday morning is a severance check. The last thing you expect when you’re called into an ordinary, 10am meeting is to hear that you no longer are employed at the place that’s been your home for so long.

But that’s the position I found myself in last Thursday.

20 of my friends, my fiancé, and I were laid off from our jobs last week.

They had run out of money. Someone had to be cut. Those someones were us.

Our boss kindly but sadly told us that we could go home. We didn’t need to finish out the day or any of our projects.

And so with the tether that had held us in place for a year and a half suddenly cut, my friends and I drifted to the back deck of the office, not sure what to do or say or where to go.

One by one our friends joined us, until Carl came out — the last of us to hear that we were no longer employed at Adventures in Missions.

Carl and I hugged each other for a long time in a worn in spot that had held many conversations, and many similar hugs. “We’re going to be okay,” he whispered in my ear, shocking me back to the reality that we’re getting married in just over three months.

We packed up our desks, still gripping our small white envelopes, and walked out of the office we could navigate in the dark into a future that was totally unknown.

At first we were all in shock. We told the story again and again, even though we’d all been there to witness it the first time. We stuck together like glue, not wanting to be alone long enough to rattle around in our empty homes, and our newly unstructured lives.

The best way I can describe it is going through a breakup. There have been days since this happened where I can physically feel my heart aching inside my chest.

We lost something that was really important to us, a place, jobs, a community, a family, and it just hurts.

I’ve wanted to tell you this story since it happened almost two weeks ago, but I haven’t found the words. It’s kind of like how I haven’t been able to pray, preferring to just sit with God in silence, knowing that he’s close.

And even now, even though some of the sting has subsided, and some of the fear has gone quiet, it still takes all of the energy I can muster to tell you all that’s happened. Grief and change just take it out of you. Don’t they?

I’m acutely aware that this season is going to be a big one in my life. I’m totally cognizant of the fact that God is at work, and that I’m going to look back and send God a big thank you note for what he did in this time.

But right now, it still hurts and it’s still scary. 

I promise I’ll tell you the beautiful stories that have already come out of that Thursday. I promise I’ll share the lessons I learn through this season. And I promise to keep you up to date on the miraculous things that God’s undoubtedly up to right now.

But for now, I just want to ask you to pray with me.

Pray for me, and Carl, and all of our friends who’s lives have been turned upside down. Pray that we grieve well and heal fully, and that we allow God to prepare us for the next big thing in his plan for our lives.

And pray anything else you can think of. Like I said, I’m not the best pray-er these days. I could use some help.

Also—if you know of any job opportunities, I’d love it if you’d send them my way.

Carl is applying for creative director and design positions, and I’m applying for online content management and social media positions. We are not attached to any particular location at this point, so we’d love to hear if you know of anything.

Thank you for caring about me and Carl and our friends. And thank you in advance for your prayers.

I love being part of this community that embraces hard seasons and messy people. I’m honored to get to share this hard, messy story with you.

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Add a Comment
  1. Holley says:

    Hang in there, both of you – you are right, God has another plan for you, you just don’t know what it is yet. These types of things always lead to something better. Your ability to smile and to look for the positive is admirable. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  2. Katie says:

    My fiancé got laid off in December. We chose to charge ahead and plan a wedding anyway. I know how hard and scary this can be. We are still waiting for full time work. I hate when life shakes you in ways you couldn’t imagine. Sending positive thoughts your way, and too if Carl needs a graphic designer friend, give my fiancé a call. This trust stuff is so hard.

  3. christina dombrowsky says:

    Stephanie! You did such a wonderful job putting words to this experience. It will forever be a part of your story and a valley that you will remember God carrying you through. I am praying for you and Carl! I miss seeing your face! But I love reading your heart in these posts. Keep em coming!!

    Remember the last line of the poem Footprints:
    ‘My precious, precious child. I love you and I would never leave you. During those times of trial and suffering, when you saw only one set of footprints in the sand…it was then that I carried you.”

    He’s carrying you, beautiful girl!!!

  4. Aubree says:

    This is beautifully written Steph! I’ve been waiting for you to post something about this, so I was very excited to read the heading.
    You guys are all doing great! You’re going to make it, God is going to come through!

  5. Oh Stephanie, I’m so sorry about this. I’ve been there, girl. In 2009 after the stock market tumbled, I was laid off. It was so hard but I made it through to the other side. I eventually got into a job at a non profit which really helped me build my skills with teens. That job allowed me to go to the Czech republic, heal from a hard breakup, and learn about office politics. I firmly believe that getting laid off was a good thing, in the end. Also, when I got married, I had to quit my job and move to San Diego, trusting that God would help me land somewhere. I now have an awesome job in student ministries part time and a FT job at a software company working in marketing. That said, I’ve just been through it, at the beginning of my marriage. I have no doubt that God is in this with you and he has some awesome plans for you! You and Carl are talents, awesome, and lots of people will hire you! Still, I know it’s super scary and I’ll be praying for you both. This could be a great way for you both to grow closer together, although it seems like bad timing…Also, just a suggestion, get on Linked In, tell your social networks what you’re looking for and be specific, polish that resume, and get out there and meet as many people as possible in the field you want to work in. Ultimately, that momentum helped me get a job as did applying on Linked In. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it worked for me! 🙂 Good luck and I’ll be praying!

  6. Nancy says:

    Stephanie This is so tragic! It makes my heart hurt for you. You’re certainly in my prayers and I truly believe that you will get through this as you have many other hurts and be a stronger person as a result. You will also have greater empathy for others going through a similar situation. You are a very special person and any employer would be fortunate to have you working for them.

  7. Helena says:

    Oh Stephanie, you are so graceful! You tell the story well, and I’m proud of you. I can’t wait to see the Lord bless you and Carl with what’s next. He has even more for you. Closing this door was the only way to move you forward toward it, you’ll see.

    Love you and praying for you!

  8. Lindsey says:

    You’re on my heart, Steph.

    Saw these and thought I’d pass them along.
    http://www.designlovefest.com/2013/04/creative-jobs-hiring/

    Love ya,

    Linds

  9. Emily says:

    Thanks for being able to write all our stories. I love y’all. Duh.

  10. Amy says:

    Prayers coming your way! Sending warm hugs from Michigan!

  11. Anna says:

    Wow. Steph (can I call you Steph?), for someone who barely knows you, I am absolutely floored. Just shocked and so heartbroken for you. I know I’m one of many people who had the dream of working under you on the story track at CGA, and hearing this not only makes me devastated for you, but so disappointed for us. For those of us who will never actually get to work with you or learn from you. It’s our loss as well.
    I’m so sorry. Grieving with you and praying for you in this.

  12. Praying for you both!

  13. Sonia Gonzalez says:

    GOSH, I teared up – I can totally relate even though I myself quit my secure job to do something new, and now I am terrified. I live in Houston, Texas, one of the “economic capitals” nowadays, but still fear that I will not do anything with my life. Come to Houston! We can have coffee. I’ll be praying for you and your fiance and can’t wait to hear what God is up to. Thanks for sharing your life – it seriously inspires me. I want to be a blog writer – who inspires others as well.

  14. Grey says:

    Just wanted you to know that I’m one of your sisters in Christ who is praying for you and Carl. May blessings come to you both through this!

  15. Kacie says:

    Thank you.

  16. I got laid off this September after working two weeks at a job I moved across the country to do. They told me they changed their minds and they didn’t want to have any entry level employees after all. I was humiliated at first but the time period in my life ended up being the thing that helped me find a relationship with the Lord again. I surrendered to rely on him fully and I ended experiencing more joy than I ever could have imagined though a time that should have been dark and horrible. I ended up getting offered a job I didn’t even apply for, serving the city’s homeless population through a public relations role. He knows what is best for us so much more than we ever could. My life is more beautiful now than I really ever could have planned it, because I work all day for an incredible cause I am once again am rooted in my creator. I have a feeling incredible things will come out of this season for you and Carl. I am so glad to hear you have felt such love and support from everyone around you and I will continue to pray for you and all your friends.

  17. Katie Swan says:

    LOVE you and Carl. Praying mighty prayers for you both and keeping my ears and eyes open to any job opportunities that might suit one of you.

  18. Martha says:

    It DOES hurt and it IS scary. And now it becomes a part of your life, your story. You will always remember that moment and now how you, your friends and your fiance creatively and gracefully (or not so gracefully 😉 )deal w the pain, confusion and with upcoming opportunities. Thank you for writing w such clarity. We will be standing w you (et al) up here in Virginia.

  19. Catherine says:

    The picture of you smiling with your box full of things – that’s the moment of “I don’t know how to react to this.” I’ve felt that way so many times (I can feel it now, the tightening in your chest even as your head feels like it’s floating above your body). I’m so sorry you’ve lost such an important part of your life. And just being quiet and being with God is its own kind of prayer.

  20. Mandy says:

    Been there… it’s rough. I completely understand… but just know that He’s got something else planned even if it feels like the world is crumbling around you. It’s not.

    It’s just another (hard) reminder that we’re not in control of our lives. You’ll make it. He’s got you.

    in the middle of my two months of unemployment, of not knowing what or where I was going to do. Hopefully it will encourage you.

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