Thankful in a time of loss

I lost my job as a hospital nurse on Friday. I am not the second income in the house, I am the main income and I carried the health insurance as well as all the other benefits that covered our household. My husband has cancer and gets treatments periodically so we need coverage. This is just the time to give joyful thanks so here I am because I told Ann Voskamp that I would take the Joy Dare and be joyful even in the hard times. I just didn’t know my last day at work would be January 1. He didn’t give me much time to test this, did He? I am thankful for all these things in the midst of an unjust dismissal from my work:

#442 the many colleagues who have called to lend their support. This has been overwhelming to me. I didn’t know so many cared.

#443 a chance to volunteer at the neighborhood medical clinic.

#444 no mortgage on my house.

#445 no car payments.

#446 husband having a complete physical and both of us having dental appointments this week before health insurances run out the last day of this month.

#447 a Civil Service job I applied for 9 months ago, and that I really want, just opened up again.

#448 big savings in the bank.

#449 my mother-in-law’s house to sell.

#450 children and grandchildren cheering because I am free to be with them more. I didn’t know they cared either.

#451 God giving me strength to bear the assault to my person-hood. A nurse is not just a profession, it is who you are.

#452 the Scriptures, especially the memorized book of Colossians. When I’m about to panic, I go to and type the book of Colossians. It focuses me so much that I am able to calm down immediately. I think of the movie Temple Grandin where she builds herself a cattle calming devise she saw used on her aunt’s ranch to put herself into when she felt out of control. I put myself into scripturetyper!

#453 my friends in cyberspace.

#454 my dogs who huddle close to me in the night when the thoughts of rejection weigh in heavy.

#455 being able to pick up more of the housework to relieve my tired, but perfectionistic, husband.

#456 supportive church friends and a Pastor-Parish committee who want to bear some of the high cost of providing out-of-group medical insurance for their pastor.

#457 a most helpful and kind woman at the unemployment office.

#458 my health at my age is good.

#459 my sister, Debby, who is encourager supreme as she just went through a similar situation and knows what I need to do and is determined I am not going to feel like she did.

Wow! I had no idea I had so many things to be thankful for through all this! I am REALLY REALLY blessed. I wouldn’t have known how much if I hadn’t made this list. Dear ones who read this. If you haven’t started making lists of all you have to be thankful for, please begin. It will knock your socks off.

Much love because all is grace,



18 comments on “Thankful in a time of loss

  1. Dawn,
    I know that we have talked, but I thought of something else.
    Shortly after my rejection from the profession, from who I was,
    I found a plaque at Winstraw. It said, “I asked for a miracle. I
    didn’t get what I asked for, but I got exactly what I needed.”
    Your list is a great start on your new journey. You will discover so many more blessings as you travel this path that you had not anticipated traveling. God is with you – and so am

    • Dear Deb,
      The character of those who place their name near mine in these days of rejections encourages me in this dark place. I have not lost my way. I have but only turned onto a different path. I think one that will ultimately lead to peace. I was on a highway to hell. There was no way I wouldn’t have been booted out anyway. I just would have liked to have been dismissed for something that was true.

      Thanks, Deb, for standing with me and helping me with your expertise and genuine concern,

  2. Dear Sweet Dawn,
    You go girl!! I knew it would not take you long to discover the “bridge” across this “valley.” We are with you and looking forward to watching what God has planned. It will be awesome.
    Hugs, NancyBee

    • Dear Nancy,

      Last year at this exact time, I remember waiting impatiently for Ann’s book to arrive. I had ordered it as a pre-release and it seemed everyone was reading theirs and mine had not yet come. Ann’s book is the bridge. It teaches everyone who reads it there is a way to be with God in every circumstance, and that way is to see Him in His sovereignty, give up any ideas that you have of taking control of a situation and let Him lead you out, but only after you have learned THE lesson in it for you or been conformed a bit more into the image of His son through it.

      My how I hate the fire, the chisel, the sanding off, but I long to be conformed to the image of His son. I am thankful that He has not abandoned me, but still thinks I am worth the effort. My goodness, He had me in His mind as they nailed Him to the cross. Some of my sin put Him there and I really, really, really want Him to know it was worth it.
      Thanks for cheering me on, and if you’re watching and notice I need a tweek or two, please come back and give it to me.

      Accepting hugs,

  3. Oh, God bless you! And He will! It will just not seem like it sometimes, but those will be the times when He’ll come through in the 11th hour (and maybe the 59th minute!) with just what you need right when you need it and not a moment sooner, to make it clear how He’s with you, how He was the one who did the helping, providing, bringing about the blessed outcome.
    My first reaction (to your first sentence here) was a groaned “Oh, man!” And then I wanted so much to get together with you, over lunch or something, and just talk and talk. And I would give you a big hug, even though I still haven’t even met you, because I got a taste of what you’re going through. I know that panic, the sense of rejection and loss of who you “are” through what you do. And other things…
    We prayed for you together this morning, Husband and I. And one thing he prayed was that God would guard you from doubts about having done the right thing. (Amen! There will be those who will press them on you…)
    I am so impressed with your choice of reaction: to pursue gratitude! And so joyed to see where that choice led: to realizations of all there is to thank God for, even now — and to end up in such humor at the end as to add that goofy dragon illustration with all the socks.
    Much love in the Lord, dear sister. And many prayers. I will be emailing, too, if that’s okay.
    May God “knock your socks off” with wonders of His love and care!

    • Dear Sylvia,

      This is such a powerful comment from a disciple who is a force to be reckoned with in the Kingdom of God. I would do well to come back to this every morning (Hey, it is 4:23 am, are you up yet?) What a centering piece! This says it all and with such love and concern. I could feel you say each and every word.
      I had one of those doubting times yesterday. Someone I deeply respect implying that she would not make such a big deal of something that really is a major big deal legally when practicing nursing. This person is a business manager and I still wonder how she could even take such a nonchalent stance. Because of my respect for her, I was thrown completely off center. I had to re-orient by studying the law again. And after I did, I thanked the Lord for human parameters for practice that keep the practice safe and minimizes harm.
      In your wee morning hours you heard from God what I would need for yesterday and you placed them within my reach. I thank God for you.

      We will do lunch someday,

  4. Dawn, I am sobered by what has happened to you in this long, drawn-out work trial. I did not realize in my last comment that you had lost your job. I will definitely pray for you in all this…and I rejoice with you in your list of gratitudes. I can understand your statement that your identity IS that you are a nurse. It wasn’t just your job. It is part of who you are. I am praying, then, and trusting to see how God continues to bless you with work that is part of who you are, work that utilizes your gifts and talents-and they are many.

    Hugs and prayers,

    • Dear A.,

      You have been with me a long time with this. You realize that I have been on the marked list for almost a year. Like I said to an esteemed colleague who reached out to me yesterday, “Someone who points out irregularities of a situation to those who don’t want to hear them are a real thorn in the flesh. If I had a thorn in my flesh, I would want it gone as soon as I could get it gone.” I thought I had found my way to get the irregularities attended to (through Crystal) without me, but I had discovered her too late! or just in time if I were going anyway so I would know someone is there who is listened to and who may make a real difference!

      I covet your prayers for work that is part of who I am. I pray that for you, as well. I do have some talents, as do you. Let’s make a pact to really seek our places together.

      Bless you, A.,

  5. I did not know this either, Dawn. And why do I find myself relieved and almost happy for you????? Perhaps it is your list of gratitudes and your beautiful spirit that tells me all will be well and that you will come through this stronger, refined by the fire, and a better person for it all. Several thoughts come to mind here: The first being a definition of grace that I have clung to for years —- All that God is made available to me in the hour of my greatest need. Secondly, when I went through some of the darkest times and wondered how in the world I would make it through, someone sent me a wooden sign for my wall that said, “All that I have is all that I need.” Sort of an interpretation of “My God shall supply all your needs. . .” The third thing I thought of last night as I read Craig’s posts about darkness. Sometimes, we have to hold on very tightly in the darkness to everything we learned in in the light. It sounds like you are doing just that! I’ll be praying for you, Dawn. I already know the Lord has plans for you and is making a way for you to get from here to there.

    • Dear Cora,

      He is already making a way for me to get from here to there. Yes, He is. I can see the next plank in the bridge. I cannot see the whole bridge or even where the bridge is connected, but I feel secure walking on the next plank. Today’s plank is my sister, Debby. She is like a rock under that plank. She is like a pit bull ready to go after whatever keeps me from resolution. I am so thankful for my sister.

      Last year I met you when you commented on my blog about black raspberries. I was telling you how I was losing mine to an orange rust and you told me about your experiences with them. This was all in a discussion of we become what we are planted in. Kind of a plant kingdom you-are-what-you-eat type talk, I was reading Mark Buchanan’s book “Being with Jesus every season of your Soul”. It was about using the summers of life to really pack in the word of God for those winters that are bound to come. Thanks for reminding me. I really made a conscious effort to store up last year, and boy am I using it! The interesting twist to the seasonal analogy is that winter is the time of biggest spiritual growth if we have the food to survive. I thank God that He prepared me ahead of time for this season. Speaking of Craig, I told him to read that book. I think it would really help him. I reserved the one that you and A had read about the darkness at the public library. I hope to pick it up today.

      Thanks for taking the time to give me your always-wise counsel and reflections,

  6. Running barefoot with you dear friend!
    Your list is amazing! It is evident that God has good things in store and this is just an open door into a new adventure that God already has chartered out. Grace to you dear friend as it all unfolds.
    Hugs to you and your dear man and four legged buds!
    love you much
    I am so blessed for all the support people God has gifted you with!

    • Dear Susan,

      One young nurse I know posted on Facebook something about “a new adventure” as she talked about her upcoming wedding and passing from single status and living with her family of origin to being married and starting a new family of her own. To frame this termination as an open door into a new adventure is much better that seeing it as a forceful boot out into the alleyway, even though that’s how it was done. To see with God’s eyes. To see with God’s eyes…

      The support of God’s people has been amazing and not all of them realize that God sent them, but He did. I am thankful for each and every one. I will run with you barefoot into this Susan, but I stop at the swimming hole (if you know what I mean, ha!)

      Love you,

  7. Dschondog’s Blog . . . the story of a child of God in process . . .
    A new chapter in the story being written . . . with tales of how His goodness and mercy follow you everywhere, how He is with you in trouble, how He makes His face to shine upon His servants, how the joy of the LORD is your strength and how a saint grows in grace and in the knowledge of our LORD, Jesus Christ.
    Praying for you and your hubby with the others in these hard days
    So blessed to be one of your cyber-friends,
    Andrea Dawn

    • Dear Andrea Dawn.

      You have just been through your own pain and trials, still navigating them. It is fresh what you say because you have freshly lived it. Reading your post is like going to the farmer’s market to get fresh produce. There it is just spread out everywhere all you have to do is make the selections. That is how I feel replying to your comment. It’s all laid out for me here, I just have to pick it up and make it mine. It’s a priceless pile paid for by the blood of the Lamb. Thanks for showing me what is mine if I but pick it up and live it out. I also note that you stuck coupons in my pile, prayers for my husband and those who will come alongside me. Thanks for praying for their readiness when I go to cash them in.

      Blessed by your loveliness and knowing,

  8. I just had to come back and tell you, Dawn, that I love the new look of your blog. I just scrolled up and down, and down and up, and realized how much like a brand new sunrise this all looked!!!! Dark on top, but the sun rising higher and higher on the horizon. Sort of symbolic of a new “Dawn” for you. I love it!!!!

    • You know, Cora, this design is called dusk to dawn and I loved it from the moment I saw it (months ago), but it wasn’t until now that I believed it was time for me to make the change. Now I see why….
      Thanks for noticing!

  9. Oh, Dawn. I am so sorry. I haven’t been snacking on the web as much lately (a desire for discipline) and missed this post of yours. I will begin immediately interceding for you. Praise be to God for the prompting you received to count your joys. To seek the grace. To pursue the God-gifts. What a testimony you are creating. What a legacy you will leave!


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