I almost titled this post, The Day a Bank Broke My Heart … because this story begins with heartache and job loss. Two months ago, one of my bosses asked me if I could spare a few minutes to meet with him. His voice, chipper on the other end of the phone, didn’t hint to the solemness of the occasion. Because of a “strategic change in the direction of the company,” my position was deemed unnecessary.
I was not the only person in the company to lose her job, but at the moment the news was delivered I felt completely alone.
Discarded. Unwanted. Unworthy.
The fact that the decision was strictly a business move provided little solace for my ache. Instead, my mind reeled backward to a moment from my teen years when I was dumped by my high school boyfriend. Even my boss’ good-intentioned words “Angela, we all think the world of you,” reminded me of the clichéd “it’s not you, it’s me,” that often accompanies the ritual of ending a relationship.
I think that what makes breakups of any kind — even the corporate types — especially painful is the act of being let go. I remember that shortly after my 17-year-old heart was broken, a song came on the radio with the lyrics “I’ll never get over you getting over me.” Oh how I sobbed when I heard the song that summed up my sorrow. The pain of the arrow that pierced deep and severed the relationship didn’t hurt as much as the poison of rejection in which the arrow was dipped. If not treated, that poison can permeate and destroy.
What also hurt near intolerable about being let go was that I didn’t want to let go. I enjoyed my job. I adored my teammates. I saw a season of opportunity on the horizon. I wasn’t on board with being cast off. I simply wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Yet ready or not, the word goodbye eventually escaped my dry throat.
Honestly, two-months later, my heart still aches … even though I’ve moved on. And though I didn’t find any comfort from my former employer, I am daily reminded of the love that surrounds me.
There are many to whom I tightly cling … a community of loving friends who have comforted me with loving prayers, encouraging cards, listening ears … and … chocolate. I also find respite in my Savior … in a God who created me for so much more than a job at a bank … for so much more than this tattered, battered world.
“For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” – 2nd Corinthians 1:5 (NASB)