I recently sat in awe and amazement at Roswell (Ga.) United Methodist Church as they threw open the doors to hundreds of hurting people who are caught in the misery of being unemployed. This church near Atlanta holds a job-networking ministry every second and fourth Monday and unfortunately, it is really needed.
I sat at the table for young adults and heard the heartbreaking story of one young man who thought he had a job that would be starting that very day. He got a call at the last minute and the company retracted their offer. I really know how that feels. A travel agency once hired me and after my first day, they called me early the next morning and said they were taking it back. It wasn’t my dream job, but it still felt like a punch to the stomach.
But the worst was yet to come.
Among all the people without jobs these days are many newspaper editors, reporters and photographers. My husband and I were way ahead of the trend: The Louisiana newspaper we worked at closed down their afternoon edition years ago.
We didn’t see it coming. I still can’t really let myself think about that day. It wasn’t just us; it was many of our best friends. I remember one of the women who didn’t get laid off crying just as hard as we were. “Well, just remember it wasn’t their intention but they just did you a big favor,” she said. It took a few years for that prediction to come true, but it has.
I was lost for a long time. We lived down the street from our two best friends, we had just bought our first home and I never really wanted to leave my home state. I’d never even thought about it.
Emily, my daughter, had just graduated from kindergarten. Ethan was 3. My husband found a job in Nashville, a whole world away from the place I loved and felt comfortable.
Luckily, things have worked out. We both have good jobs at the moment, but we have watched a few rounds of layoffs come and go at our places of employment. There is always that feeling of an ax hanging over our heads, just a little out of our line of vision.
My heart aches for those who are suffering and are out there every day looking, looking for a job.
May God bless and bring comfort to us all.