This week my husband was informed his job will be ending in sixty days. This will be the second time we will experience life without employment in less than three and half years. The second time we will be thrown into what feels like vast, deep, and freezing waters. Where you frantically kick, doing all you can to find a way to hold your children and obligations above the crashing swells, but the frigid numbness of hopelessness grows. The desire to simply succumb is strong, and it increases with every passing day. Having already experienced it once, the knot in my stomach right now is twice as large as before. And I’m not even in the water yet.
I bounce between a calm inevitability, “Okay, we have sixty…fifty-nine…fifty-eight…fifty-seven days”, to sheer panic, “There are so many people out of work. What are we doing to do?” I smile for my children and tell them, “Everything’s going to be fine.” The younger two are pacified, but my ten-year-old is not buying it. It’s difficult to watch him sit by himself, his forehead furrowed in concern (He’s too young for wrinkles like that). He keeps asking, “How? What’s going to happen?” He wants specifics. Specifics I can’t give him, because I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know! Then I check my computer for job postings for the fiftieth time that day. “We have a plan,” I remind my husband. A plan that won’t last long I’m afraid, since we still haven’t fully recovered financially from the last time. We’re both trying to be strong, but I can see the worry in his eyes. And no doubt he can see the moments of desperation in mine.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.”
That is where I am—driven to my knees.