hot bliggity blog 267

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

unemployment: day 98

When I lost my job this past August 2, I knew exactly where I was headed: the pool.  Where better to wallow in my sorrows than in a lounge chair basking in the sun’s rays with a good book?  Actually, I never really lounged in a chair as it was so stinkin’ hot this summer!  I spent 95% of my pool time in the pool, with a towel folded up by the side to protect my book, drink, and cell phone from heat and water splashes.   And even then, it was nearly unbearable.  But I had earned that pool time!

After two weeks of water logging and doing my best to stay horizontal, I realized that I had to do something about my situation.  I know God works in mysterious and miraculous ways but I also knew that He probably wasn’t going to send a blimp with a tail that read, ‘Ellen, will you accept [this] job offer?’ while I was being lazy and burning away skin cells in the sun.  I also knew that laying around would not pay any bills.  Thus began what has turned into a long road of patience and perseverance.  

***FYI—A little background information on where I’m coming from:
I completed a 4-year undergraduate degree in Interior Design and minor in Art.  After graduating in May of 2006 I went on to pursue a Master’s in Architecture.  Prior to the 2-year, M.Arch program, I had to complete a 1-year, ‘Career Change’ program in which we [me and fourteen peers] endured a grueling curriculum of 42 course hours!  In May of 2009, I walked across the stage for the 3rd & final time with a Master’s diploma and Healthcare Design & Research certificate in hand.
However, if you remember the economic hardships of this particular time, you will recall that this was the worst time for anyone to graduate and find work in their field, especially in fields such as architecture & design.  Since graduation I have worked a series of short-lived jobs & internships in a variety of positions, cities, & fields: architectural consultant at a law firm, contract project manager for a construction project at a local church, summer counselor & leader at four student camps & retreats at my church, receptionist at a small, private-owned business, and a quotations specialist/inside sales at a private oil & gas company.
With the help of an amazing friend Rich [who is in the architectural/building industry himself], I took an entire weekend to up the ante on my resume.  Until August, I had been working with a pretty good resume but was advised that I needed to 'move from a collegiate level resume to one that builds and illustrates my career experience'.  To achieve this, I needed to highly illustrate any and all relevant architectural, project management, and design experience.  This was NO fun.  But, I knew it had to be done and I wanted to take full advantage of the time and expertise that Rich was offering.  In 48 hours, I successfully created a Resume Portfolio that I was excited and proud to share with potential employers.

So, with my new and greatly improved resume, I began uploading the PDF file to any and all career search websites such as Career Builder, Monster.com, and LinkedIn.  I also began emailing the many contacts that I have collected over the past 9 years.  Every professor, colleague, and family friend was sent an email asking for advice, recommendations, any knowledge of openings, and/or prayer.  Responses were all prompt and sympathetic but yielded very few possible leads. 

Over time, I began to get very frustrated with my situation.  Feelings of worthlessness, unintelligence, and failure have been daily components of my emotional psyche.  I began to question myself and my abilities; days have come and gone where I have had zero confidence in myself.  It is very easy to compare yourself to the lives & well-being of others when you’re in a situation like or similar to this one.  I have fallen victim to that on more than several occasions. 

But even though I felt alone and forgotten, God never left my side.  In fact, I can't think of a time in my life where His hand has been more evident to me as I have been blessed beyond belief throughout this difficult time.  When I haven’t had the money to pay rent or car note, God has provided the security of a roof over my head and funds for my car through the love & assistance of my parents.  When I have run low on hope & faith, God has encouraged me through the support & prayers of friends & family.  When I’ve torn myself down, God has assured me that I am valuable and worth the effort through the kind words and actions of a special someone.  I could go on and on about the ways that I have been blessed but we would probably be here all day!

Since graduating in May 2009, I have consistently cried out and asked God, ‘When will this end? When will I be happy again?  When will you give me what I want?’  I’ve known all along that God has not forgotten nor given up on me.  It simply just wasn’t His plan...yet.  He has been teaching me patience, perseverance, and faith.  I’ve even realized that I’ve had to go through these tough times because I was lacking in patience, perseverance, and faith.
James 1:4 (NIV)
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Like any situation, though, good can be found amongst the bad if you look for it.   With all of this spare time I have gotten to do many things and be a part of a lot of important events.  I’ve gotten to:

…travel to Alabama for a family funeral

…designed & created centerpieces for my cousins wedding

…be in Atlanta for my cousin’s wedding, sharing her special day with her

…unleash my creative energies & impulses in preparing decorations for our singles' conference

…make a trip to Midland/Lubbock for football, family, friends, & fun

....witness my sister's final defense of her thesis project just as she did mine back in '09

…do so much more!  I have been so incredibly busy!  I honestly don’t know how I ever held down a full-time job!

Without the free time that comes with unemployment, I would not have been able to do so many things that have meant a lot to me as well as things that I have really enjoyed.  Some days, I’m not sure I want it to end!

BUT.

IT HAS COME TO AN END!!!!!!!!!!!!

Praise the Lord!  I received a phone call yesterday from an architecture firm that I interviewed with about 5 weeks ago.  I hadn’t completely given up on them as we have remained in contact over the past month but I was beginning to lose hope that this was the place for me.  But at 4:55 p.m. on November 7, 2011, I finally heard the words, ‘We would like to make you an offer!

I don’t have many details beyond this yet but will be sure to let you know as I do!  We have yet to determine a start date but I am pretty certain that it will be sometime next week.

This is such an answer to so many prayers that I’m not sure I know where to start in my ‘Thank You’s’.

I would like to share some verses that have helped me through this time of trials & waiting:

Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)

3 Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Psalm 30:5 (NIV)

5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
   but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
   but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

Ask, Seek, Knock
    7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Luke 12:24 (NIV)

24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)

Praise to the God of All Comfort
 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

To anyone who is going through a time of doubt, transition, or worry, it is my hope & prayer that you find comfort in knowing that you are not alone.  I would be honored to help and/or pray for you in any way that I can; all you have to do is ask.  We are given experiences in our lives that require us to lean on the support of others so that we can persevere, conquer, and, in turn, be the support for someone else.

A tremendous ‘Thank You’ and Hug goes out to every single person, family, and friend that has encouraged me in any aspect of this journey.  Whether through prayer, emails, notes of encouragement, lending a listening ear to my concerns, complaints, & doubts, advice, knowledge of job openings, or lunch, you have impacted and shown God’s love to me more than you could ever know.  I love you and am blessed to call you my friend.  To God be the Glory!

3 comments:

  1. Yep, that's all I have, too -> :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ron and Sherry YoungNovember 15, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Praise God! Ellen, we are so excited for you. I think you are starting today (Tuesday) ... is that correct? We're praying that God will bless you as you start this career. You have honored Him during this "interim time" and His timing is always perfect. All we can say is, "There, that should do it!" (inside joke between Sherry & Ellen). Have a great career!

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