Not gonna lie, I have been wanting to write about this for quite awhile, but felt as though it might be like playing a game of chicken with an oncoming freight train. At what point do I leap for the sidelines after starring down the barrel of this fast moving machine? Let’s be real here, I would never stand in front of a moving train. I know better. And, I’m also the sister of a railroad engineer. But, that’s what this feels like, talking about getting fired. It’s the sore spot of rejection in my life that has taken many years to heal. And, I wonder if it ever will be completely restored.
If you have ever been fired, let go, given a pink slip, forced into early retirement, or told that 'this industry' is not for you then you will be able to relate to everything I am about to share with you. But, on the off chance that you have never had to go through this kind of pain, well then good on ya. Hopefully you never do.
My parents instilled within me great work ethic. In fact my mother had me cleaning the house top to bottom before I was even allowed to hang out with my friends every weekend. They insisted I start baby sitting at a young age, and because I was a pretty responsible kid, it seemed to them like a great idea. I hated it, and yet still managed to be asked to babysit every Friday night. By the time I was fifteen, I was taken out of my misery, and hired at a department store where all my friends from church worked as well. It was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. And as life would have it, tops the list of my longest held job to this day.
It was the summer after my sophomore year when my dad got me hired (yes, you heard right) at a gas station. It was as awful as you would imagine it to be, and I was not there six weeks before I was fired and asked to turn in my polyester uniform. Who gets fired from a gas station? This girl. Although it was a huge blow to my fragile ego, I was so ectastic to never have to pump gas again. But this was not the only time I would be ‘let go’ from a job. Over the next two decades I was terminated/let go/fired from four more places of employment. This may come as a shock to some of you who know me personally. It has definitely shaped who I am.
You may be wondering what can someone possibly learn from getting let go that many times. It was a long time before I would admit to those closest to me, how painful each and every experience had been; every hard conversation, the devastation of leaving a position I had valued, and the feeling of rejection. There were a lot of tears shed in those seasons, my belief system shaken, and a new levels of humility experienced. All of which shaped me to be the woman, coach and friend I am today. It has made me more empathetic, and given me the ability to help others live their lives with purpose.
But here's the best part; it gave me a strength I never knew possible. And, today I am going to share with you the biggest lessons I learned from getting fired. Trust me when I say, it has made me a better person.
1) I developed perseverance when the road seemed uncertain. And let me tell you when the fog rolls in and you have lost your bearings, it can be hard to navigate the journey. For me it took a significant amount of perseverance to believe that God had a purpose in all of my suffering
.2) I discovered my true value and identity and learned there will never be anything that I can do, or not do that will determine my worth. And, although I may want to see my value in a position or title that I have been given, that will never determine who I am in Christ.
3) I had to forgive and move myself forward. This one was a tricky one because I had to fight to not only to forgive those in authority over me who had wounded me in this process, but also forgive myself. There will never be another person who can hold your destiny in their hand.
4) I learned to get up every time I fall. I fell so many times that it felt like I should just lay there and give up. But, even with a bruised spirit, I had to get up and keep going. The fight was more about my character than what I would do with my life.
5) I began to trust that God has a plan, a hope and a future for me. It would have been easy to fall into the trap of belief that I am not enough, that I am a failure, and that God will never use me. But God’s plan for me is quite the contrary. He uses every mis-step, every failure and every disappointment to build and refine my character. He has a plan for my life, and I believe that he has a plan for your life as well.
Are you facing the sting of rejection in your life?
Maybe you have been told by someone in authority that you are not good enough, or that you are not the right fit. Can I just tell you that YOU ARE ENOUGH. And, God has something for you that fits just right. His purpose for your life will bring you joy and peace. This may be a season of your life of learning and growing. Stand tall, and keep moving forward my friend. You got this!