My husband lost his job. Before that, many changes were happening within his company, and we knew the layoff was a possibility. Possibility quickly shifted to reality when he received a meeting request from HR. At that moment, one of my worst fears came true. You see, I quit my job almost two years ago to stay at home. When I made that decision, I feared this would happen. I had so many questions. What would we do without a second income to fall back on? What about health insurance? What would life look like for us now? What about the kids? What do we tell them? How long will this last?
Thankfully, I can share that we are on the other side of the job loss. After the layoff, my husband immediately hit the ground running, applying for jobs and working his connections. He worked hard every day, and it paid off. He secured multiple job offers, accepted a new position, and was back to work. I can’t say how grateful I am that he found a new job so quickly. In the midst of the uncertainty, it was often hard to imagine such an outcome. As I spent time reflecting on our experience with my husband’s job loss, I was reminded of these truths.
This is why we save and budget.
As I mentioned, I was terrified of not having a second income, but I am grateful for our ability to save and budget. Our practice of using a zero-based budget and creating an emergency fund provided some comfort as we lived in the uncertainty of job loss.
This is why we practice self-care.
As all the “what ifs” began to pile up in my brain after my husband lost his job, I became increasingly anxious. I knew that I needed to make sure I was still taking care of myself. To manage the anxiety and panic attacks, I am prone to. I tapped into the tools I learned in therapy. I continued my usual routine of waking up early and moving my body. I talked with the people closest to me about my feelings. I leaned into my faith. I took time to breathe deeply. I read books. I cried when I needed to cry.
This is why we have community.
Sharing about the job loss with those closest to us was important. On any given day, multiple people were checking in and praying for us. We were blessed with meals, gift cards, and opportunities to do fun activities. Others helped my husband make connections as he continued his job search. All of it helped to ease the stress of the moment.
Beyond meeting tangible needs, my friends were my emotional support system. A few weeks into the month, I became overwhelmed and fearful about what it would be like to re-enter the workforce. Watching my husband apply and interview for jobs left me feeling terrified of having to do the same. I began to question my skills and abilities and, ultimately my worth as a woman who has been out of the workforce for almost two years. As I shared these thoughts with friends, they reminded me of what is true. My time at home is valuable. I have a broad skill set. Plenty of women return to work after being at home. If I needed to find work, I would find it.
This is why we have faith.
As I reflect on the last couple of months, I can see that I was often operating from a place of fear. I believe that fear is a very natural response to the circumstance we faced, but as a person of faith, my desire is for my faith to be greater than my fear. My husband may have lost his job, but I gained so much more. This experience reminded me that God is faithful. He can be trusted. He will provide.