Lost a Job and Found Direction

Posted by Kaylee K on Monday, March 14, 2016 Under: Faith

One year ago I lost my job. And, it was terrific! Seriously, I have been laid off twice in my life and both worked out for good. The first time I ended up being able to pay off my debt (that’s a God-story for another day) and this time I was freed up to move into the ministry role I’d been preparing for for a long time. What I learned is that situations we are quick to label as bad, can often turn out to be good if we allow them to. 

Before I get too far into how this came about, let me share that although I have not had full-time work for a year now, God has provided. Since the time we gave up our lovely but expensive apartment in Jersey City last June, we have gotten to live with friends and family and even strangers who became friends. We have had a roof (actually multiple roofs) over our heads, food (sometimes really yummy food) in our tummies, a car to drive (thank goodness as we took some major road trips), time with friends and family around the country (hence the road trips), opportunities to make new friends around the country, and the time to grow into our ministry roles (check out our recent blog entries for details). So here’s the back story… 

When I was let go last March I will admit my ego was bruised. I’d worked really hard for this company and had been truly excited to grow a team and launch new marketing programs. And, honestly, I hadn’t done anything wrong to justify losing my job. In fact, it was the most productive six months I’d ever spent in a position, my team was terrific and worked well together, and we had numerous programs running across markets. But, the truth was, none of that mattered because at some point the owner of the company had chosen a different path and began down it without us. Soon, the marketing team he’d been so excited to build just nine months earlier, was the team he was dismantling. While it was disconcerting to have no control over how it played out, it was fascinating to quickly experience that bruised ego feeling morph into complete peace. Quickly, as in: as I drove out of the company parking lot for the last time. 

Driving away I had this sense of freedom and joy. As John had lost his job only two months earlier, I didn’t actually know how we’d pay our bills once our fairly small savings ran out. But, I recognized that although I’d loved my team, I had actually been in an unhealthy environment and was beginning to develop some unhealthy habits and attitudes to deal with the pace and stress. The layoff allowed me to let those go and take a step back. When I awoke the next morning, I sensed very clearly from God that I was to reach out to International Association for Refugees (IAFR) and volunteer my time to do some marketing for them.

Although I did put some feelers out for new work opportunities, my obedience to God in volunteering my time with IAFR had the effect of clarifying this new season in John’s and my life. We soon realized how our call eight years ago to ministry in Italy, along with our hearts for refugees, had been preparing us for this time. Sadly, what truly raised our awareness to the timing was a horrific boat accident in April on the Mediterranean resulting in the deaths of nearly 900 migrants. We realized that we were seeing the beginning of a movement of migrants into Europe that was unprecedented. As we recognized that doors were not opening for me to continue my marketing career and knew that we were now in a season where two of our boys were in college and one had his own career, we saw that we had no more reason to not “go”. And so began our journey to become full-time missionaries working alongside churches in Italy seeking to help refugees survive and recover. And, too began a faith journey to truly rely on God to provide and direct in ways we’d never had to before. 

It has been an amazing year that has deepened our relationship with Jesus and with each other. I’m so grateful that I didn’t see the layoff as “bad” but instead sensed a quiet voice inside me offer peace and direction. I pray that you can take a step back and look at whatever is going on in your life right now that seems bad, and allow yourself to consider it through new lenses. God doesn’t let anything go to waste and He can work all things out for good…we just have to be open to seeing things differently. 

In : Faith 

Tags: faith  refugees  ministry  holy spirit 

Blog Authors

John and Kaylee Kolditz Kaylee founded Refugee Connect in 2008. John joined the work in 2011 as we investigated the refugee situation in Europe. But our faith and cross-cultural journeys have been a work-in-progress for many years. Much of this blog reflects that. ************************************************ We met in Austin, TX, while volunteering at a serving event at Gateway Church and have been married since 2002. Marriage, parenting and ministry all require a great deal of intentionality, humility and true reliance on God for strength, wisdom, and grace. It is a journey we are grateful to be on together. Ultimately, what matters to us is building into meaningful relationships in ways that, to the best of our ability and by God's grace, demonstrate the love and hope Jesus freely offers to us all. ************************************************ We bring both business and ministry backgrounds into our current work. John started a business in his 20's and helped build several other businesses. He has also served with churches in a variety of roles including as an assistant pastor, director of community development, and missions board member. Kaylee left her marketing career to become the global missions director for our home church in Austin, TX, then founded a local refugee ministry, and became TEFL certified (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) in order to prepare for our work overseas. We have led short-term teams domestically and internationally, and served with a variety of cross-cultural ministries. In 2008, we sensed a call to build into the church in Europe, which was also around the time when God broke Kaylee’s heart for refugees. Since then, God has continued to weave together this heart for refugees, desire to serve alongside the church, and focus on His call to Europe.

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