5/4/11

Unemployed? God Has Some ABCs for You!

Lisen Stromberg told her marriage story of surviving unemployment together in Newsweek (4-25-11) in "Love Means Never Having to Say 'Get a Job." Stromberg talked about the "new normal" that entered their lives after her CEO husband lost his job at Google in company downsizing. During a time of restlessness, they went to their garage and purged many things from their lives. "We needed less and, better still, wanted less," she wrote.

As much as I was impressed by Stromberg's article, I was more moved by the love-and-unemployment story of a friend much closer to home and dearer to my heart. My friend Maria Keckler and her husband Sam said that in the process of their losses, God transformed their lives and marriage.

In "I Lost My Job. Where is God?" ~ a "Stories from the Vine" tract written for Maria's publishing company, Vineworks Publishers ~ the Kecklers lay out the struggle of one loss after another in 1992, their creative approach to not giving up, and their testimony to God's faithfulness. According to their account, God stretched their faith, showed them the power of prayer, taught them to wait on Him, proved that He would keep His promises, and said, "You can trust me!" They discovered the life-changing lessons in their circumstances that kept pointing back to God's tender care.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed this spring. In the statistics released March 2011, the national jobless rate was 8.8 percent.

American's are coping with the ongoing problem of unemployment in different ways. It hits marriages hard. So many stresses follow the shock of losing a job.
Every one of us should prepare an unemployment plan now, before job loss occurs.

But for those who are already struggling with unemployment, Maria has a powerful and helpful article titled "The ABCs of Waiting (for the next job) in Motion." In the article, she wrote, "Seasons of unemployment and economic uncertainty demand that we do two things: act on what is within our control and wait for God to open doors for us.

"The media expects us to lose our minds and live in a state of panic," she said, "But we must 'change our mind.' Changing our mind requires that we defy common sense and grab a new set of glasses to see what God is trying to do for us and through us. As Christians, we must decide if we truly believe God's promises, or if we believe the world's skewed view of circumstances ~ we can't have it both ways."

Maria offers simple A-B-C strategies for action that "defy conventional wisdom." For example, "H" is for "Honing." "When doors are not opening and it is time to explore creative job possibilities," Maria says, it is the perfect time to hone new skills." She adds Proverbs 1:5: Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.

Knowing Maria, I can see the powerful results of her taking her own good advice. She is creative, and you will be encouraged by her ABCs of "Waiting in Motion."

Are you struggling with unemployment? What is God doing in your life as you wait on Him?

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