If you know me, or have been keeping up with my recent blogs, you know that the past two weeks have included some life situations that were not on E!’s Top 10 Sexiest Life Situations. I lost my job in mid-September and soon followed it up with a minor surgery at the hospital that I thought was going to be a little less dramatic. And then I lost my headphones. Just really terrible stuff.
Let me assure you I’m not looking for your sympathy right now, although I’ll take it in the form of a check. This isn’t my first time taking on the job market; we battled from 2009-2012 until I finally landed a good position. And then it was taken from me. I was never reviewed or critiqued. I was never told I was doing anything less than satisfactory, if not exemplary, work. They just swept me out the door for their own reasons that I still really don’t understand.
It’s kind of hard not to be discouraged when you live in a country that puts so much emphasis on the type of job you have and the amount of money you make. It’s hard not to let this affect me in any way. I know all the truthful answers like “I’m not defined by my job,” and I agree with those answers, but some moments you just don’t have the strength to believe the truth. The truth isn’t an easy thing to hold onto sometimes. You have to fight to believe it. Lies and doubt are easy; they attach themselves to you, but you have to hold onto truth with all you have.
Matthew 5:4 has been running through my head a lot lately. Jesus is preaching a big sermon to crowds of people and says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Doesn’t it sound crazy that Jesus would use the word “blessed”? Like as in “blessing”? It doesn’t say, “Cheer up, mourners; just wait it out and it’ll get better in time.” It doesn’t just say, “It’s okay to mourn, you’re allowed to.” No, Jesus actually said that people who mourn are blessed.
What does it mean to be blessed? What is a blessing? A blessing to me is receiving something good that I wouldn’t otherwise have without someone giving it to me. When you mourn, you are usually mourning the loss of someone or something important to you. So how could someone mourning in their grief and pain be blessed?
I haven’t been through as much as a lot of other people have in their lives, and I can only tell you my story, but I have had some seasons of mourning. Most recently, this job loss hurt me in a few different ways. But in the midst of it, I’ve been able to see love display itself in my life in ways I would have never seen before. Family and friends have come along side me and told me I wouldn’t be alone through this. I’ve been taken out to lunch and dinner and been encouraged. I’ve been written emails and texts from friends telling me that they believe in me, they love me, and that I can count on them for anything I need.
This time of mourning has blessed me with opportunities to see love in a different kind of action then I would normally see it in. I’ve been blessed in new ways. Mourning and trials do something amazing for your relationships—they tear down your defenses and expose you. They force you to get real. Sometimes we may become so dependent on ourselves that God allows us to mourn so we are vulnerable and open to love and change in new ways that we might not have been before.
In Mary Beth Chapman’s book “Choosing to See,” she says that when you’re mourning it’s really easy to see the bad, but the good you have to look for. You have to choose to see it. As I said earlier, lies and doubt will attach themselves to you like mosquitoes, but truth is harder to hold onto. I honestly don’t think you can hold onto truth by yourself; to me it seems to be a group effort.
We have the choice to mourn alone in weakness or to mourn in hope and truth. It’s an ultimatum given to us by God. The Mourn Ultimatum. (I know. I’m disappointed in myself for that one, too.) We will all have times to mourn, but we have to choose to look for the blessings, because we are indeed blessed.
I’d just like to end this with saying a thank-you to everyone who has shown me how blessed I really am. I can’t wait to see the good that continues to come from this and I’m excited about what’s up next! Love shows up in some amazing forms when we are forced to get out of the way.