I've been unemployed since July. It began as a lovely vacation. We knew it was coming so we did our best to prepare, saving a bit here and there. We didn't have much but having some helped quite a bit. I spent the summer filling out job applications and hiking with my youngest daughter. It was actually quite nice.
School began, the girls returned to their classes and thankfully Joel had found work in a severe needs special education classroom. Their work began and our money ran out.
A bit of panic set in. I knew the economy was rough but I was shocked that nothing had happened...I hadn't even gotten an interivew. I went to the local work force center for a resume building class. I learned that I shouldn't talk about religion or mention that I have a Master's degree unless the job I'm applying for asks for one. The religion thing cracked me up...the past 8 years I've been working as a pastor, how do I get around that?
The third and best thing I learned was that I needed to be volunteering at least one day a week. Volunteering would do several good things: take my mind off myself and being unemployed, keep my job skills up, create networks for more job prospects, and make a name for myself in a new town. The thing they alluded to but never mentioned outright is that it feels good to work, especially when you are doing good work.
The thing is, the work I am doing makes me hungry for more. I absolutely love doing it. It makes a difference. It's not saving the world but every day I work I know without a doubt that I am making a difference. That evil will not run amok freely because the others and myself that I work with are putting obstacles in its path. It's hard work, sometimes it's overwhelming to confront the evils that we humans do to one another but I am glad to be there. To be a face of hope, of comfort, of someone who cares.
This past week I've been especially blessed to preach as well as work at TESSA. After preaching I cried when I got to the safety of our car. It felt so good, it felt like what I'm supposed to be doing. All the grief I carry from not preaching and being the pastor came flooding back. They were good tears to shed. As I left TESSA this week, I felt energized and renewed.
This week I've done good work preaching and volunteering as a victim advocate. I'm selfish, I want to do them both...and earn a paycheck. I hope and pray that I will find good work with a paycheck in 2013.