Been a Dislocated Worker

According to Encyclopedia of Counseling by Howard Rosenthal, a “dislocated worker is a term that describes a person who is unemployed due to downsizing, a company relocation, or the fact that the company closed the business” (603). 

This is the book that I’ve been compulsively reading/studying in preparation for my Competency Exam in order to graduate from my Professional Counseling Master’s program. I take the exam this Saturday the 20th at 8 am. I hate these types of tests so please be praying for me. 

This quote hit home for me. Many of my blog posts have been about the amazing organization known as Xtreme Impact. We would take high school and transfer students on missions trips overseas and they would earn a college scholarship equal to the cost of the tuition. It was honestly a really sweet deal and I had an easy time promoting it.

I received my first acceptance to Xtreme Impact to be a college mentor on the Thailand trip on my birthday in 2008. For the Youth Ministry program I needed an internship and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to travel (and work with youth) again since I was getting married the following October and likely would have to quite my traveling. That first trip was a ridiculously hard trip for me, showing everything that I didn’t know about Youth Ministry.

 In God’s humor He allowed me to continue with this organization volunteering in the office doing filing and finances and earning trip credit towards the Jamaica and Italy trips in 10,11. Then in January 2011 I was offered a position as an office supervisor i.e. a student worker! I was so grateful to God for the opportunity to do His work throughout the world, learn about youth, and to be involved in such an incredible ministry. After graduation and getting married I really struggled with the “what next” phase of my life, but being able to continue in Xtreme Impact God showed me purpose and meaning. 

This job has been one of the most difficult that I have ever faced due to the amount of work, lack of workers, and limited resources. However, I have been blessed to be surrounded by some of the best people in the entire world. These people have taught me the true meaning of working at everything as if working for the LORD. It is them that I have to thank for teaching me amazing skills that eventually led to me finally finding an internship. This job has by far been the most meaningful of my life so far.

In May, right before our beach vacation I found out that the program would likely no longer be continuing. Throughout the summer I had to troop and not say anything to some of my very best friends while processing bitterness and a broken heart. August 31, 2012 was the last day that I worked at this beloved organization. 

Since then I’ve been at home trying to figure out how to be a housewife, desperately trying to find and internship and struggling with various things. I miss seeing people constantly in the office, I miss feeling productive and realizing that my self discipline is less than ideal. I miss that feeling of absolutely rocking at something.

In Sunday School we were encouraged to participate and help out more in class by talking to new people, and I was depressed by my initial reaction. I didn’t want to talk to anyone else, I just want to sit with my Xtreme Impact friends and be a click. I wanted it to be my safe zone. This lead to more questioning of myself wondering why I don’t feel the drive to participate in their Saturday ministry to a local apartment area. Its just simple “show up” play with kids, talk with people, and I’ve had no real desire to go. It makes me feel bad wondering if I’ve kept up doing missions trips because I care about ministry or if its just because I care about traveling. Questioning is painful, but questioning is also good because self discovery means that we can change. 

I’ve found a way that I think I can make all of this better. One of my close friends from middle and high school years has recently launched an Etsy business called The Running Stitch. This opening week she is offering a 50% deal on ordering a tshirt quilt. I’ve been dying to do this with my old tshirts for years, but have no idea how to sew and do not own a sewing machine. If you place an order between now and Friday and pay with paypal you can order a tshirt quilt with 25 shirts for only $80. Trust me that is a great price, starting prices for 20 shirts can often be $100-$150 dollars if not much more. 

I thought that I’d get her to quilt my oldest shirts since they’re the ones I’ve been saving the longest. However, I realized that I want my Xtreme Impact shirts to be memorialized. I’ll hate not wearing them as much but I have several duplicates. This is a way that I can hold on to them in a more tangible way, and they can cuddle me in the cold months ahead. :0) This is an example of what my quilt could look like. She’s even promised to send me pictures of her quilting process to post in a future blog! (call me sentimental ;0) )

I really like these verses Isaiah 43:18-19
A)”>“Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
19 B)”>Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
C)”>I will make a way in the wilderness
    D)”>and rivers in the desert.”

God is so good, and I know that He has a new future for all of us. There will be other ministries, and we can be proud of the work that we’ve done. We’ve invested our hearts, time, tears, sweat, and probably blood into something eternal and we’ll never regret that time spent. 

In the meantime my new thing is my internship that I’m set to begin in December or January (depending on when the office approves me). I may be starting with 8 clients. I’m so excited and scared about this new thing. After the interview I actually was semi certain that I may have gotten the position because I became afraid of the fact that I’d be working with people and hoping to actually help them with their problems. Crazy!

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