Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Waiting to Work? ~ Pt. 1

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the national unemployment rate was 9.4 % in July. The most recent update will be announced this week on the morning of September 4th. For many families, though, they don't need to hear national statistics to know this year has been hard, even devastating. Joblessness can plunge the unemployed into depression and create marital and family stress. Rates of family violence tend to increase with the unemployment rate.

When Jeff started graduate school I left a job I loved to move to a different state and search for a job that seemed impossible to find. The months of waiting stirred up fear, confusion, and disappointment, eventhough we chose to leave our jobs. Months passed before God provided the right job and taught us much about trusting Him. The imprint of "Waiting to Work" deeply marked us both, as we did what we could to make ends meet and protect the savings we had. It felt long. It felt lonely.

The September issue of P31 Woman magazine includes my article "Waiting to Work". (Yay!) P31 Everyday Life online includes my list of how to pray. Having some idea of the struggle joblessness can create, I pray the article will encourage others who are in the midst of these deep waters.

Today I want to share Part One of an interview with a friend of mine, Pam, who is walking through a season of "Waiting to Work." She gives some great insights that may resonate with you or help you understand and care for someone else who is longing to see a paycheck. Hear some of what Pam shared:

"Robert was the Executive VP & Treasurer of a local family owned company. It came as no surprise to us when they finally had to shut down. Fortunately, we had set aside money for that rainy day. We are now entering our 8th month of no income. We have several months of unemployment checks yet, but our savings account is quickly dwindling. I have to be honest and say this is a little scary."

When I asked Pam how this has impacted each of the family members, she shared that her 10 yr old daughter really doesn't understand, but knows that Daddy doesn't have a job, and no money is coming in. Children do experience stress as they absorb the concerns and stresses of unemployment.

Pam is not the only one I know who is dealing with unemployment or with impending job loss. For those of us blessed to have a job, we have an important role to play in prayer and encouragement to those searching for work. Please pray for Pam and Robert, and I hope you'll come back tomorrow for Part 2 to understand more of the struggles people face and what friends can do to help lift the load while someone is "Waiting to Work."

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