Status Update: Choosing to Sing

I’ve been job searching for 13 months.

I’ve been unemployed for 8 months. 

I’ve applied to over 50 jobs nationwide. 

Less than 15 of these potential employers have contacted me in any way.

Most employers want you to send your resume and cover letter by email.  They request that you do not call with inquiries but they never email you to confirm that they received your materials. 

One of the few rejection letters I received told me I was 1 of 2,000 applicants. 

(I estimate that postage for the rejection letters cost this particular church more than 900 dollars.) 


I’ve interviewed with 4 potential ministries. 

I made the top 5 in a national search, but did not get a second interview.

I made the top 2 after a second interview in a local search, but did not get the job.

I made the top 5 of 170 applicants nationwide, had three interviews, but did not reach the top 2.

I’m in the middle of an interview process for a job I am overqualified for and am not sure I want.  The interviewers said they were very impressed with me but I know better than to assume I will get an offer.


After every interview, my contacts tell me how gifted I am.  They are very affirming and say they are impressed with my skills and strengths.  Then they say that they are going with a candidate that has more experience. 


Today, there are over 15 million unemployed Americans.  I am just 1 of them.  My brother’s job contract, which was supposed to extend till the new year, was terminated a week before Thanksgiving.  He has 4 children to support.  Unexpectedly, my father was laid off last Wednesday, just 4 months after his company paid to move him from Ohio to Arizona. 


Unemployment doesn’t make any sense.  I stopped trying to make sense of this mess months ago.  I imagine that most cases of unemployment today are not personal but are a reflection of our abysmal economy.  But when you spend countless hours job searching, reworking your resume, writing good cover letters, networking and interviewing, only to receive rejections (or, even worse, silence), unemployment feels personal.  It can make confident people doubt their abilities, wise people question their decisions, joyful people deflated.  Even people with a great sense of direction end up lost, circling an endless, crowded cul-da-sac.  All that doubt and frustration and disappointment is difficult to deal with. I’ve been there. 


My experience has increased my empathy for the millions of unemployed people in our nation and our world.  It’s led me to pray.  (See my recent post, Prayer for the Unemployed.)  My imagination has been engaged.  As bad at this is, I think that things could be much, much worse.  I could have no money, but I have a little.  I could be hungry, but I have food.  I could be homeless, but I’ve been welcomed in.  I could be alone, but I have many supportive friends.  I could be hopeless, but I clutch the belief that good will come.  I could despair, but I choose to sing.    

Please join me in supporting the unemployed.  In any way that you can – help.  Look to your right and your left.  Your brother or sister, your own neighbor is in need.  Offer shelter, donate food, give encouragement, listen well, pray unceasingly, sing loudly.


“Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
towards home, a land that I’ve never seen
I am changing; less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when I began
And I’ve sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day

when the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and the mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I’ll be found in you

There’s distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it’s easier to stay
but I’ve heard rumours of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way

when the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and the mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I’ll be found in you”

lyrics from Brooke Fraser’s “Shadowfeet”


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