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Writing Again

One good thing came about from my unemployment, it is the need to document my story. i have been writing much about my experience both positive and negative aspects and I hope to be able to publish my story. The bad thing about writing this memoir, is the fact of having to relive some difficult moments. At least they are just memories and not the actual experience again.

Writing is something that I enjoyed years ago when I was in college, and now that I feel that I have something to share, I feel justisfied to write with meaningful.

Is This Normal?

A thought occured to me the other day. After all of the emotional struggles i’ve endured in the past year and a half, I thought I would be relieved to have finally been employed again. The truth is, I’m not. In a wierd way, I feel as if I’ve been working all along. I don’t feel a sense of excitement to get back on track financially or a burden lifted off of my shoulders. I don’t know if this post unemployment mental state is healthy or not,but I do know, this is how i feel.

In the spring of 2009, a couple of friends had encouraged me to run a marathon which I never thought in a million years I would even consider. Let me take one step back. Unemployment can be hell on your emotions. The desire to feel validated, wanted, needed, accepted, etc; out weighs the desire to be left alone. The way God designed humans is to be in relationships. I decided to start running again which gave me a sense of belonging. Through the community of other runners, I felt part of something that was better than what I was dealing with. I was around other people with similar goals and stories of failures and victories. To be around other people who had a positive attitude is what I really enjoy about running as well as running itself. I guess you can say it is an escape for me. A temporary healthy escape.

After some consideration, I decided to run a half marathon. The training process allowed me to tackle challenges which in turn strengthened my confidence and motivation as well as developing a sense of purpose. The more I trained, the more focused I became in over coming my circumstance. As I grew to be a confident runner, I ran my first half marathon in August of 2009. That was an awesome experience. I felt really good about my accomplishment. I ran 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 2 minutes. I took a week off and I began training for a 10k run in march of 2010 and then I entered another 10k run in May of 2010. My personal record for running 6.2 miles is 47 minutes an 17 seconds. How cool is that.

Unemployment could have rendered me useless, worthless and possibly suicidal, but it didn’t. I found an avenue to turn a negative into a positive and now I stand in victory. No government, company, agency, individuals, or person can take that away from me.

This Hurts So Much

During this time of hardship, I endured much mental and emotional difficulty, to the point of questioning the existence of God. I eventually came back around to the reality that God does exist but my deeper question was “does He exist for me?” In other words, did he abandon me? I know that the bible says that God will not abandon nor forsake me, but that’s just it. The book in and of itself says that, but does God really hold true to that promise?

Many days have been filled with emotional roller coaster rides of violently plunging into the depths of hell to the highs of heavenly bliss. Such transitions on a daily basis did a number on me psychologically speaking. For instance, I thought about the process of this part of my life.  Life is hard, but how much deep intense difficulty can I handle. It’s not the quantity of hardships that’s in question, but the quality of the deep brutal pangs of pain.  In other words, when you twist your ankle, sometimes it hurts worse than other times. The fact remains that the ankle twisted, but the degree of intense pain varies from one experience to another.

Jesus said “take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The problem with this passage is Jesus doesn’t say he’ll take away the struggles, he will simply give us rest to get up and keep going.

keep on keeping on

One of the hardest things that we as people struggle with is the fact that we relate ourselves with our occupations. For example, when someone says “this is Frans DeRoos, he is a writer, musician, carpenter, etc, all that tells the recipient is what I do as a hobby or profession. The reality is who I am is not directly connected with a profession. It is merely an extension of who I am. Who I am is a human being with emotions, feelings, dreams, goals. strengths and weaknesses. I am a person that God has created with many abilities and talents to offer to my fellow man.

When being unemployed, we feel robbed. The tendency to feel useless and unvalidated is like cancer. It spreads thought out the wide range of emotions that we embody. There have been many days where I felt like I was in hell and other days where I felt hope and encouraged. I learned that the days of hell where the feelings of being needed and wanted. I needed a sense of accomplishment and a forward motion in my life. With that need or desire coupled with a void or emptiness, it becomes a killer on the emotions.

To keep yourself from self inflicted emotional turmoil, try to remember that who you are is not based on what you do for a living. You are a person that God created. He loves you and wants to bless you as well as transform you into the man or women He designed you to be. Transformation can be hell. Jesus knows that oh so very well.

As you go on through out your day today, try to remember all the things you can do like, clean your home,read, run,walk, talk, cry, laugh, swim, drive,etc. Thousands of people can’t do these things and more, but you can.

Hello. In the next few days, I’m going to attempt to post my experience of unemployment that lasted for a year and a half. My goal is to share with those who are willing to listen to my journey as well as offering some thoughts from a biblical and an experiential perspective. I hope my story will be of encouragement to those who are deeply in need of motivation to press on. Until next time, keep keeping on.