Fortunately, life hums along without major incidents happening too often. We get comfortable with how things are and how things are going. This isn’t a bad thing; humans like routines and being able to plan for future events with our breezy optimism. That is a gift and a curse.
And then something happens that knocks you down, stomps your expectations, assaults even your sense of self, and leaves you reeling and wondering what’s going to happen.
Sometimes that happens with a death of a loved one, or bad medical news.
For me, I got fired.
I won’t bore you with the office politics and how I had massively underestimated how much the manager wanted to get rid of me. The upshot was I had no one in upper management on my side, so out I went.
It was a blow. I had been quite sick that week and was let go on a Friday. I’ll admit I was starting to feel overwhelmed and a bit panicky.
The manager brought me into a room with the HR guy. I knew what was happening, but I didn’t understand why. The manager said my work performance was poor, so they were letting me go.
I pride myself at being good at what I do. I’ve had many a manager praise me for the work I’ve done. I’ve won an award for it at a large corporation. Being told I sucked was a hard knock against my ego and sense of self worth. Coming out of left field like that stunned me. No one had ever complained about me or my work. I had just unraveled a sticky problem that had been plaguing the system for a year and was in the process of isolating edge cases and cleaning those up. And yet, here was a manager that hadn’t talked to me in months about anything important telling me that my performance was poor.
That weekend, I brushed up my resume with some help and started applying to everything that seemed to fit. I prayed a lot. Frankly, I was a little depressed. My ability to provide for my family had been suddenly cut off at the knees, and that took a toll on my self-image.
But I pushed on. I did a ton of phone interviews, several in person ones, and got a job offer that I accepted on the following Friday to a company a little different than what I normally do, but I really liked the management team and my future coworkers with whom I had interviewed.
It was a quick turnaround. Partially due, no doubt, to my work experience, but the glory is to God for how things fell into place so quickly.
My family was very supportive, and they had no doubt I’d be able to find something good and quickly. Their faith in me was reassuring and humbling.
Things suck at times, and you’ll find yourself stretched out on the mat, spitting blood and wondering what just happened.
Get up. You’ll still feel like crap. Push through it. It might a long, hard slog in front of you. Push on. You won’t get through it feeling sorry for yourself and not doing a thing about it.
Trust those that love you. Even when you are feeling down and useless, they can see the best in you, despite everything.
Trust in friends. They might not be able to do more than just root for you, but they are rooting for you.
Finally, trust in God. His timeline is not how we’d wish it be. His ways are not our ways. But He sees all, and bowing your head and finding out how best to do as He wishes is something of incalculable value.
The only failure is to give up.