The first job-hunting assistance class I took was a profound step in helping me deal with the loss of not just my most recent job, but numerous paid and unpaid jobs throughout my life. The course dealt with identity and loss. We all discussed how our jobs had become not just the work that we did, but who we were. We became “boss” or “nurse” or “officer” and so on. When I lost my position, I became disoriented. I had to not only find meaningful work but also reclaim and recover my way and my identity. God had created me with a particular purpose.
No job or title, no money, no friends, living in a new city with no car and no place to call my own—a scary place to be, but it was just that, a place along the journey of life. My identity was, and is, about whose I was—God’s child. When I considered that I had not lost my core identity, I was strengthened to go forth bravely and act boldly.
This message is adapted from Living from the Heart of God: a journal for life’s stages, published by Women of the ELCA in 2007.