Saturday, April 18, 2009

"You're fired."

I just had a conversation with a long lost friend over yahoo messenger a couple of minutes ago. If not for the lousy internet connection that just got disconnected, we would have still been chatting. Anyway, it breaks my heart to know that a very close friend of mine is going through her toughest time in life and I'm not there to at least give her a hug she deserves.

She just lost her job from a prestigious university in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines just because they didn't have enough enrollees for the summer. The company had to lay her off for a while just because of the lesser load of students in the campus at this time. It surprised me to know that even in a big university where she has worked in, the number of people being laid off from work is still high. The American economic crisis has not really failed to seep into that of our country's economy since we are so much depending on them for so many things. It truly has a global effect and sadly, a friend of mine has been one of the many unfortunates.

It is already tough to live paycheck to paycheck in this troubled economy but I couldn't imagine the torture of losing the source of income that will make your ends meet. My friend was asking the big question "WHY?". I would have wanted to give her the rational explanation of why things happen the way they should, but I didn't have the answer. All I knew is that everything is going to be alright if we lift it up to God. I was able to say so since I was once in the same boat as her when I lost a job here in the U.S.! 

I still remember the day I walked into the HR Office one morning in May of 2007. I had a queasy feeling that morning about the call I received the day before but I hoped for the best. At that time I was into my 1st month of Orientation with Christus Health Rehabilitation Hospital in Texarkana, TX. My cousin-in-law, who was the lead P.T. of the rehab, has encouraged me to apply for the available RN position and I did for the rehab instead of the Acute Care in the hospital. As I walked into the office that morning, the manager directed me into the conference room and we sat down to what seemed to be hours of recaps & evaluation of my performance so far. To make the story short, the people in that rehab didn't think I would make a good nurse to work with them. A preceptor was said to have made an evaluation that I didn't help other members of the team, or I didn't know what to do and so on and so forth. My head was floating already at that time and I was just snapped back to reality with the statement they threw at me in the end - "It's either we fire you or you resign... you chose." As much as I wanted to break down and cry in front of the HR Manager that morning, and as much as I wanted to wail out my confusion on WHY this came to be, I remained my composure and took a deep breath and smiled. I told her that with all due respect, her employees may feel that I was incapable of working in the Rehab hospital, I didn't agree with the reasons they have drafted down in my paperwork. I felt and believed that I was still a better nurse than what they have summed me up to be. And so with a shaky hand I wrote down on a yellow pad of paper my resignation letter. "Respectfully yours..." - and that was the end of my RN career in their rehab. 

The moment I walked out of the building, I exhaled and walked to my car at the parking lot. I looked up to heaven that morning and sighed and told God that He promised that He has a purpose for everything and that I am holding on to that hope that He will see me through this troubled time. I have kept all that had happened from my husband Ryan for 2 more days because I waited for us to attend the mid-week fellowship in the Church of the Rock, where we attend church. It wasn't after the service that I blurted out to him that I don't have a job anymore. He was beyond surprised that night that he didn't even know what to say to me. He just sat there on a chair and stared blankly into the seats in front of him. We eventually had our pastor pray for us and he has given us a proverb that I have held on to up to this very day.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

That was all I needed. Trusting the Lord in times of trouble was so difficult especially if you lost your job and you were the only one working full time in the family. On top of that, you were 5 months pregnant, your rent is due & you don't have any job offerings anywhere! But God said to trust Him, and that's what I did. Little did I know that His purpose would always prevail in our lives. To make the story short again, God has later sent a cheque amounting to $1,000 as Ryan's last paycheck from the hospital he worked part-time in back in Odessa, TX allowing us to pay our rent! He had the postman leave the Healthcare Traveler magazine of a previous tenant in the apartment we were in and that's how I got introduced to travel nursing! He later gave me my first travel assignment in a city in East Texas called Tyler where I worked as a travel RN in an orthopedic floor (my specialty at that time) of East Texas Medical Center! He even restored my faith in my capabilities as He had allowed me to work as a Charge RN in various medical-surgical units in this hospital! I don't know about you, but that is one BIG comeback I never thought I would have! Truly, His ways are never our ways. 

So, with all that's happened, I told my good friend that if God closes a door, He is surely going to open a window. All we need to do is to trust in Him with all our heart and not on how we perceive our circumstances. After all, He is Sovereign... and HE IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL.

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