I’ve found that the saddest part about being laid off is when you have to tell your coworkers, who became some of your best friends, that they won’t be hearing from you much anymore.
On Monday morning, I had to do this with one of the best construction managers I’ve ever worked with; it was not only heartbreaking, but really sealed the deal on how much I missed my company.
Last Friday, around 2:00 PM, I got a call from the CFO of my company telling me they were laying me off “temporarily” due to COVID-19. They were hoping to rehire me by the end of all this, but they just “didn’t have it in the budget and didn’t have the work” to sustain keeping me on board.
It feels strange being laid off. I was one of the only Electrical Engineers at the company, so it makes me wonder how they’re going to get any work done. Our other electrical designer is working full time right now as the IT manager, so it makes me concerned that he’s going be even more overwhelmed than he already is.
What also feels strange about all this is I have a weird feeling my boss, who is the Director of Engineering for the company, does’t know I’ve been laid off. To make a very long story short, he has a son that suffers from Cerebral Palsy and has not been doing very well. He’s been spending more time with his family because of all this, and after talking to his other son who also works for the company, it seemed as though neither one of them were aware of what has been going on recently.
Now that reality is finally starting to set in, next steps seem practically impossible. I could look for another job, but my current company said they would pay for my Aflac policy to ensure I get paid maternity leave. I don’t want to give that up, but at the same time, can we really afford to have me simply not be paid for the next three months? We honestly aren’t sure. Before I was laid off, my salary and hours had been cut by 40%, and even then we were struggling to make ends meet. Now without a job, we have no idea how we are going to have enough to pay our mortgage, let alone prepare for our daughter’s arrival.
You see, I don’t think a lot of companies take the time to think about implications like that. They don’t take into consideration the fact that Joe and I literally had to crunch numbers for HOURS just to see if there was ANY way possible we could keep our house.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: we are trusting the Lord A LOT right now.
So this week, I’m laying here in bed thinking about what to do instead of working. Many people would tell me it’s a blessing in disguise; now I get to relax during my third trimester and get excited for our daughter making her appearance!
And while I’m tempted to do that, it’s incredibly difficult. Behind all the joy and giddy feelings I get every time I step foot into her adorable nursery, there is a twinge of pain and sorrow. We went to the grocery store yesterday and couldn’t even afford to buy diapers or formula even though there were some on the shelves.
It terrifies me that we may not be able to prepare for her like we wanted, but this I do know: God is faithful. He always provides, and always brings joy, comfort, solace and relief with it. He takes the heavy yoke off our shoulders and replaces it with His own: lighter and easier to carry (Matthew 11:28-30).
Friends, believing in God doesn’t come without a little struggle. It’s not always easy, especially in times right now where we have no idea how we are going to make ends meet. But 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says it more perfectly than my heart could ever muster:
God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.
I know I’m not the only one who’s going through this. My heart breaks for anyone else who is experiencing this; no one deserves to be dealing with such anxiety and worry. But we can get through this together. As we share our burdens, the load slowly softens. Our shoulders ache a little less, and we can begin to breathe again.
I may not be able to fix the dilemma you’re in, but I can tell you you’re not alone. God is for us; who can be against us? It may feel like the banks, or our bills, or even unsupportive family members.
But it’s not; the Lord’s desire is to be good and loving and provide for His children. The more we trust in Him instead of ourselves and our own strength, the more we can see Him working.
So look for His power this week. I’ve found that the more I look for it, and the more intently I seek it, the easier it is to find Him (Jeremiah 29:11-14).