by Terri Wagner
My state of unemployment has been a misery to me. I try hard not to show it or talk incessantly about it or complain to God too much about it, but it's always there, underneath everything I say or do or think about regularly. It's like that albatross Samuel Coleridge spoke about in the Rhine of the Ancient Mariner. It didn't help that after considerable fasting and prayer, I basically felt I was to trust Heavenly Father and ride this out. There was a joyful ending.
I wasn't too sure about that since I couldn't really decide if I wasn't just depressed and consoling myself with the idea that this was a trust situation. I talked it over with a few treasured friends who prayed and told me that although they didn't get a specific answer, they did feel I was on the right track. But time went on, the unemployment money ran out, the sub jobs slowed...and I know I am so not alone. Don't be fooled when they tell you the unemployment figures went down; it just means that many like me ran out of benefits and so "dropped" from the rolls. That does not mean these folks are employed.
I kept praying, working when I could, and spending time with my dad who has been very sick. Probably nearing the end of his life. We have been able to spend tons of time together, driving around, talking, just being there for him. You would think that might be enough...but for the longest time it was not. Then I began to wonder if maybe being able to be here was the thing, and a job would materialize later. In the past month, I have had to time my subbing with his health for the day. That has been gutwrenching. I could only hold to my heart the words of President Harold B. Lee, "Walk to the edge of the light, and perhaps a few steps into the darkness, and you will find that the light will appear and move ahead of you"
This past Sunday confirmation came that I was indeed taking the right step into the darkness. I still have no idea how long this will last, how much longer I will have my father with me, when gainful employment will come my way, but I feel calmer about it. A new couple in the ward gave talks and she said something that seemed to tell me just wait when you are not sure, wait for that confirmation. Then my sister told me as I shared my fears just a few days ago (I'm good at pretending I'm ok when I'm not), you will never regret spending this time with dad.
As if on cue, the closing song was Be Still My Soul. I know now only this much: I am moving in the right direction. It gives me enough courage to take another step into the darkness.