A Journey Through Unemployment

Before I begin, I would like to say thank you.

Today’s blog is brought to you by Mitch, the incredibly blessed husband of Nathana Clay. I thought I’d give her a morning off. She’s earned it in countless ways. So, while I have the opportunity, I would like to take a moment and express my gratitude for you. Yes, YOU. If you are a consistent reader of this blog, then you know that our family has been in the midst of transition for a while now. Many of you have sent us kind messages, good thoughts, and even prayers. For these things, from the bottom of our hearts; thank you. Your support and well wishes have meant a great deal to us. 

For those of you who read occasionally, or perhaps this is your first time to The Engaged Home, here’s a quick recap of what our lives have looked like lately. In late September/early October (I can’t actually remember…) we were blessed with news that we never expected. We knew that we were pregnant. But twins hadn’t even crossed our minds. The whole world paused, and spun out of control all at the same time. 

In the same breath, I had been considering a change in plans for the trajectory of my career. I had spent my professional life working for churches as a Youth and Family Minister. Work that I have loved and cherished for as long as I can remember. But I felt like God was telling me that He had other plans in store for me and our family. He placed on my heart a deep desire to work with couples and families in a more intimate way. So, in early November I started searching for alternative work opportunities, researching Marriage and Family Therapy master’s programs, and resigned from working for my church. It was a leap in faith. A terrifying leap into the unknown. A great adventure of general uneasiness and unemployment.

In hindsight, maybe not my wisest move. But, I just had a feeling that God knew better than I did. That is, until we got the news that the twins were boys. BOYS. Fasten your safety belts; this ride is about to get rough. We thought that we may have one of each, but neither of us expected that they would both be boys. 

There is, of course, more things to list that we didn’t expect. (I guess at this point, we should stop expecting anything at all. What’s the point anymore?) But here’s the biggest thing that I didn’t expect–76 days of unemployment. I knew deep down in my core that I was going to land something within the next couple of weeks when I resigned with the church. 

If I had known the journey ahead of time, I’m not sure that I would have left. Have you ever felt that way before? I would have left 30 minutes earlier if I knew this wreck was going to make me late. I never would have taken my kids to the library if I knew they would bring home colds. Why didn’t someone tell me that poaching an egg is so hard? I would have just scrambled them!

We can’t help what we don’t know. The lack of clarity and insight can get the best of anyone. I certainly have had moments within the past weeks and months of unemployment that had me questioning almost every decision that I made. But I think that is the ultimate point. I didn’t know what was in front of me. But God did. And He knew what I needed. I needed to let go of the sense of control I had. I was grasping for shore, but clutching handfuls of saltwater. God knew I needed to realize that I didn’t call the shots in my life. Not really. And I never really did. He even says as much in Isaiah chapter 55, verses 5-7: 

“Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I’ve always known that these verses were true. But I’m not sure if I’ve ever understood them more clearly than I do right now.

And what am I doing right now? Getting ready for work. I’m preparing for my first day at my new job as a sales associate for Outdoor Traveler, selling vacation packages in our local Bass Pro Shop (an outdoor gear store). Is this what I expected? No. And that’s a fact. I never saw myself in sales. But the way things have worked out with this job have God’s providence written all over it. So I’m putting my trust in God, and allowing Him to make up my lack.

What about you? What the last thing that God has surprised you with? How did you deal with the unknown? I’d love to hear your story! 

5 thoughts on “A Journey Through Unemployment

  1. ❤❤❤ life is a journey. We do our best most of the time. None of us are without sin or blemish. Love the verse you posted. In the end we have hope. Without hope we would never keep striving to improve. Very proud of you and your family. ❤❤❤

  2. Thank you for sharing your story Mitch. We all go through times where we feel like we are in a free-fall, and we KNOW God will open the parachute eventually, but we still worry when?!?! We have confidence that He will provide for you and your growing family, as we keep you in our prayers. Love you always!

  3. We have seen people seemingly leave their career but their career never leaves them, and because of that seasoned so called middleagers or seniors are God’s gift of missionaries for youth in the work force that are looking towards the world dollar by dollar.

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