Advice for those ‘no longer required’

August 24, 2016 | Feature | Volume 20 Issue 17
© April Yamasaki |

Since I shared my husband’s painful job loss through no fault of his own, I’ve received many emails and other private messages from people who have also experienced difficult endings in their employment. Some have changed churches or denominations, or left ministry all together. Some have been close to suicide and still struggle with depression and anxiety.

At the same time, some also report that God surprised them with something even better. They didn’t exactly “get over” their painful termination, but for the most part it’s simply become a part of their past, part of who they are today, and no longer a defining event or preoccupation.

So how do people manage to grow beyond a painful job termination? Here’s the advice that I’ve collected so far:

  • Look to those who love you, and hold on to them. The loss of a job may seem devastating, but you are much more than your paid employment.
  • Exercise. Your body was made to move, so don’t give in to inertia. Work up a sweat, and work out your anger and other hard feelings.
  • Allow yourself to vent. Tell your troubles to God. Write out your heartbreak and then burn the pages. Read individual psalms of lament or imprecatory psalms that call down judgment.
  • Assess your situation. Consider all aspects of your life. Consult trusted friends who can pray with you. Get professional financial and legal advice, and don’t let yourself be rushed into any decisions.
  • Seek out other avenues for your creativity. Have you always wanted to write? Play a musical instrument? Be involved in your community?
  • Find things that feed your spirit: Morning coffee on the deck outside. An evening concert. A walk by the ocean. A long bike ride. Fresh-cut flowers. A favourite book. Be gentle with yourself.
  • Accept offers of help, and look for the good. Cherish every card, every email of support, every word of encouragement.
  • Know that there is healing. Have a sense of humour. Get a good night’s sleep. Pray. Look for God’s open door, window or tunnel into the sunlight. Walk with Jesus, and be guided by the Holy Spirit.

Excerpted with permission of the author. To read her complete July 13, 2016, blog post, visit

See also “When your services are no longer required”

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