Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | April 30, 2013

The dreaded question….

I was recently at a meeting with some of the most creative and innovative people in the Milwaukee Archdiocese, the Technology in Faith Formation Committee.  A committee member and I were discussing some of the movement of DRE’s and Youth Ministers in the area when my friend and colleague said, “There is a lot of change this year and I don’t like it!”

No one likes change, whether its good or bad, we just don’t like change. I go back to the gospel reading from 2-weeks ago; John 21.1-19, Peter went back to what he knew fishing and he took the rest of the disciples with him. Fishing was something familiar to the group; it was something in their comfort zone.

Alas, change and transitions are a part of life. My family and I are in the transition process. After  eight years as a Director of Youth Ministry, I left my position; for the first time in more than 12 years, I am unemployed.

Its a strange feeling to go through each day and not have any real expectations for each day.  The one constant to each day is that someone will ask the question, “What are you going to do” or “Where are you going to go?”  Its as though your unemployment at this particular point and time is the one and only thing that defines who you are and what your worth is.

I have come up with some creative answers to “What are you going to do” and “Where are you going to go?”  My first response is:

  • I’m going to alphabetize the spice-cabinet. (this is something I actually do want to do).
  • My second response is that I am going to find a way to Walk, Build and Proclaim
  • My last response is that I am going to walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor. 5.7)

For this period of unemployment does not and will not define who I am. My family defines that already. I am the mom of 11 year old twins and a wife.

This time of unemployment is a time of change. I will take time to sit with the potter and be remolded, refashioned, re-purposed  (Jeremiah 18. 1-4)  This is really an exciting time in our life’s journey. Its an opportunity to spend some time listening to God and seeing what it is He has in store for us, and how we are going to be remolded and refashioned and put back into the world to Walk, Build & Proclaim.

When you hear of someone that is newly unemployed, don’t ask “What are you going to do”?  Rather, ask:  What is God doing in your life?

IF you happen to be someone who is in a time of employment transition, then I offer this prayer to you from the book Praying Our Lives. A Woman’s Treasury of Catholic Prayer.  Elanor Bernstein, C.S.J

God’s Call Into the Future 

I pray to trust God who calls me into the future. A future I do not know. I pray for openness to what is new, believing that God will never test me beyond my strength. 

God of our lives 

you are always calling us 

to follow you into the future, 

inviting us to new ventures, new challenges, 

new ways to care, 

new ways to touch the hearts of all. 

when we are fearful of the unknown, give us courage. 

when we worry we are not up to the task, 

remind us that you would not call us 

if you did not believe in us. 

When we get tired

or feel disappointed with the way things are going

remind us that you can bring change and hope

out of the most difficult situations  

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Responses

  1. I understand. When the economy slipped on its sharp slope 7 years ago, my husband was laid off – with a pregnant wife. He was SO stressed. I don’t know if it was the intolerable nausea or faith but I didn’t worry. Things worked out amazingly. Not that they always do. Not that those women will all end up holding their own child – though this year we’ve known many Abe-Sarah couple friends in Mother Land. But God remains good.


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Gary Neal Hansen

Theology. It's good for you.

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