A Retrenchment* Observed


Has it really been only  two month since I stepped onto this merry-go-round? Time flies when you’re having chaos!

Well. Last week I interviewed for one of the jobs that will be replacing my own.

It wasn’t a perfect fit, I knew that going in, my boss knew that too. But, it was a job I could do, a job I could find value in. And, well, it was also A JOB.

Which, when facing the end of my current position in 3 weeks …. you know how that goes.

This week I learned that I did not get the job. The feedback on my interview was remarkably complementary, I am grateful for that. But that fact remains that this job wasn’t a perfect fit, and they hired someone they hope will be a more perfect fit. I hope so too.

And I hope a more perfect fit for me awaits.

I know that if this has to be one of those awful tales of going from  a great job I enjoyed to a series of terrible jobs I do to pay the rent, I can survive it. But I don’t want that.

So, the real adventure starts here. Should be a good test drive for my newly rebuilt faith!

The most unexpected thing about this little crisis remains the blessings within it.


The extraneous falls away. 

I can’t remember the last time that my job was focused on so few things! And all of them legitimately high priority! I love having my work focus narrowed to only the essentials.

Also, the little frustrations – a technical term that we routinely misuse, a policy I disagree with – they don’t matter anymore. Any change I will make in this organisation, I have already made. Now my only job is completing the essentials.

At home too, the extraneous at least recedes. So many projects, concerns, and decisions must be on hold during this ‘mean time’ that is my current life.

Faith grows. 

As I’ve said before, I’m so I am grateful that this came now, not during the LifeWreck, or in the time I spent recovering from it. But I was worried: Would this be too much for my so-recently-rebuilt faith? So far, no.

If anything, this has brought a lot of clarity about God, my relationship with him, and my place in him. I have had remarkable peace, all things considered.


One of the things that I did several weeks ago, to try to ensure that my faith DIDN’T crash again with this new storm, was to reach out to my wonderful friend and pastor, Pete, and that has been a huge blessing.

Pete has of course helped me in practical ways, like the excellent pastor he is, but also it’s just been a blessing catching up on his life, his ministry (while he remains my pastor, because that’s what he is at heart, I’m not technically part of his congregation, since I live some 800 miles away) his family, and his ever new understandings of God’s work in our world.

I also had the opportunity to reconnect with a colleague who is going through his own retrenchment process. I wouldn’t wish this on him in a million years, but it’s been a blessing to be able to share this journey with one who is going through it too, but not in my own team.

The ever amazing kindness of friends.

I’ve talked before about how amazingly my friends have come through for me in this crisis, with offers of places to live, of help, with prayer, etc.

I have a dear friend named Greg whose beloved brother died just days before I found out about my job, so I didn’t mention the job crisis to Greg.

Well, this past week I finally had to ‘fess up’, and immediately Greg responded asking if I had savings, and what they could do to help. “We would not leave you stranded.” he said.

I stand amazed that I have this many friends who would sincerely offer so much. I hope with all my heart that I live up to that class of friendship!

So, I am interested to see where this adventure will take me, but I’m grateful too, to see where I’ve been, and what richness I possess.


Be well. 


*  I’m still not clear if ‘Retrenchment’ is a term commonly used in the US, or only by fussy international organisations who use British English in their business. In case the latter, Retrenchment means the process of being laid off. Sounds so much more elegant though, doesn’t it?  🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *