Job Loss

Job LossHe said, “I don’t want you to lose your head about this, but I just got laid off.”  My mind was going in a million different directions.  He continued, “We aren’t going to cry about this because we don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves.  I need you to be strong, we are going to be okay, and we are going to hit the ground running.”

I hung up the phone and totally ignored his advice.  I was crying.  What were we going to do?   I imagined the worst.  I couldn’t carry us financially on my income alone.  We had virtually no savings and a lot of credit card debt.  The company my husband worked for had taken away his truck allowance and forced him to take a company vehicle just 45 days ago.  We had just sold his truck (and took a financial hit to do so).  He didn’t have a personal cell phone (he used a company phone) or health insurance.  What if he couldn’t get a job for months?  Would we have to sell our house?  Yes, we would have to sell our house and move in with our in-laws.  OMG, I’m going to have to live with my mother-in-law.  I started having trouble breathing and my arms and face were tingling.  A doctor friend of mine later on explained to me that I had a panic attack.  I had never had one before and still haven’t had one since.

This scenario happened years ago.  I want you to know that we got through it, that we learned from it, and that we became stronger and better people because of it.  Plus, we did not have to move in with our in-laws.

Some of us are going to get that phone call this year and some of us already have.  Some of you are having panic attacks.  Some of you are lying awake at night worried about that phone call and wondering if it is coming.  I want you to know that if it does happen, it is going to be okay.

First, there is a purpose.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plants to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11.  God has a purpose in what you are going through.  He doesn’t say that it is going to be easy, or that you will always enjoy the journey, but there is purpose.  Oilman losing that job opened up the door to opportunities we would never have taken otherwise.  There is so much good that came from that job loss that I can’t even begin to describe it all to you.  At the time, I didn’t know that.  I was just incredibly scared.

Which brings me to my next point, which is do not fear.  Change is scary and the unknown is scary.  In an instant my entire 10 year life plan went into the trash.  I was staring into unknown and I responded by having a panic attack.  Donald Miller penned it well in his book, “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”, “The most often repeated commandment in the bible is “do not fear”.  It’s in there over two hundred times.  That means a couple of things, if you think about it.  It means we are going to be afraid, and it means we shouldn’t let fear boss us around.  I used to think of fear as a subtle suggestion in our subconscious designed to keep us safe, or more important, keep us from getting humiliated.  I guess it serves that purpose.  But fear isn’t only a guide to keep us safe; it’s also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.”  I often will repeat John 14:27 when I feel the fear bubbling up in my chest.  We will feel if from time to time, it doesn’t mean that we have to stay there paralyzed in it.

We have to move past the fear and embrace the change.  The only thing constant in life is change, it is inevitable and it is going to happen.  Admittedly, this was and still is a struggle for me.  Change and I are mortal enemies.    For me to be enemies with change is being stupid.  I have wasted a lot of energy trying to avoid it when it is going to happen whether I want it to or not.  The nice thing about change is that when we are required to do things different, beautiful stuff happens.  You know where AWESOME lives?  I can tell you that it does not live on the couch watching old reruns doing the same thing day after day.  Awesome lives in those hugely uncomfortable moments, when we are backed in a corner and fighting our way out of something.  Awesome comes out of scenarios where we are forced live different.   Our awesome didn’t come the day of the dreaded phone call, or the next, or even in the next 6 months.  Dark and challenging days were ahead of us.  I can tell you that the months that followed the phone call were some of the most difficult times in my life for a variety of reasons.  Slowly and surely greatness evolved from it.  I wish I could go back to the fearful girl from then.  I want to give her a hug and tell her that good things are brewing and awesomeness is just around the corner.  I want to tell her to stop fighting the inevitable and embrace it instead.

Ladies, if you have gotten the dreaded phone call, I’m sorry.  For those of you that think it is coming, I know you are scared.  We are going to get through this and it is going to be okay.  Families may go through some difficult times this year.  We often talk about what it means to be “oilfield strong” and how super we are as oilfield wives or girlfriends.  This is the time when we prove it.  Buckle up ladies, let’s do this.

About LC

Howdy! LC and her Oilman live in the ‘burbs north of Austin, TX. She is a real estate broker, but you won’t find her face on a bus bench and she doesn't drive a Cadillac. Oilman works in Texas as a Completions Consultant. Don’t worry, most people don’t know what that title means either. LC calls him frac guru, for short. She may be the only woman in America that hated both "Twilight" AND "50 Shades of Grey". Oilman and LC like wine, good music, their two dogs, and cervezas in Central America. Follow the adventures of LC and Oilman at: www.LivingOilfieldLife.com or on Instagram at: living_oilfield_life

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