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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Blowout (04/28/11)

TITLE: The Girl Who Seldom Cried
By Robyn Burke
05/02/11


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I don’t normally cry. I’m passionate about life, fully embracing its ups and downs but, I just don’t cry. So the amounts of tears I shed over the past week have left me as wrung out as a limp dash rag.

Was it the shock of losing the job? For I truly felt blindsided by the announcement. Or was it the old insecurities rising up to haunt me, whispering the word ‘loser’ that had me in this sorry state?

What ere the case, the fact remained; my job was ending and I was devastated. Even though I know God always has a better plan for me than I could ever imagine. I loved this job. It’s been the best work experience of my life. (And believe me, I’ve had some experiences!) The people were—are—amazing, the work environment positive and satisfying. I felt like I had played a supporting role in an all star cast of a four star movie. And now it was ending.

It was all for valid reasons, and not through any fault of mine or anyone else. Just circumstances and a bad economy. For the first hour after the announcement, I bluffed my way through the pretense of understanding and acceptance; eventually reality kicked in and the sucker punched feeling descended… and the tears came.

Sitting at my desk, I absently twirled my little silver thumb ring. The words engraved on the ring are my favorite passage of scripture from Jeremiah 29.11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” They never seemed more appropriate then at that moment.

I grabbed tissue and blew a most unladylike honk. At the comical sound, a half laugh/half sob rose up in my throat, unloosing another barrage of tears. I was on the verge of going on a bender.

I discreetly made my way to the ladies room where safely locked inside I slid my back along the door making my way to the cold bare tile. Head on knees I sobbed silently as I talked to God. Baring my hurt over the news, I felt His warm presence like a gentle caress along my arms. It was enough to decelerate the storm. I clambered to my feet, went to the sink, splashed water on my face and assessed the damage.

Back in my cubical I compiled a list of things I needed to finish in my remaining time of employment. A rustling behind me alerted me to a visitor and I turned to see my co-worker and friend smiling. In her hands she held two mugs of coffee, one of which she extended my direction. As I accepted, another wave of tears rose up. Darn leaky eyes. My compassionate friend pulled up a chair and listened quietly as I whispered the news of my termination. The stroke she gave my arm was the same comfort that I felt in the bathroom and I thought how gracious it was of God to come in human form and love on me.

I finished my day, along with a whole box of tissues and the secret stash of chocolate in my file cabinet. Ducking out the door, I scurried across the parking lot oblivious to the sunshine spilling from a cloudless sky. The drive home was painful. All those insecurities I had worked so hard to exorcise from my life were falling down around me; Incompetent, Worthless, Unwanted. I could hardly see to drive and wondered why windshield wipers are only on the outside of the car.

In the sanctity of my home, I continued my sob fest. My husband held me, as I released the pain and anxiety that plagued me. “Looks like we’ve got a full on blowout.” was his comment as he handed me more tissue and stroked my hair. His gentle teasing carried no sting but rather gave me permission to grieve as part of the process in the steps to healing.

I finished out my time there, chin up, and a smile on my face, determined to present a classy departure. Yes, I wrestled with the aching reality of this moment in time. Yes, there were more tears, but each session grew shorter and lighter as God worked in me, bringing me to believe once again that there was a rainbow amidst this storm.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst05/05/11
How expertly you took me into your storm and showed me how you dealt with it. Thank you for baring your heart & pointing to God’s. A favorite sentence: "I felt like I had played a supporting role in an all star cast of a four star movie." What a great statement to make about a place of employment. Also appreciated the little burst of sunshine amid the showers, in the humor of this sentence: “I finished my day, along with a whole box of tissues and the secret stash of chocolate in my file cabinet.” :-)

(Tiny 'red ink': “They never seemed more appropriate then at that moment.” I think you meant ‘than’, as in comparison?)

Well-written and heart-felt testimony.
Tracy Nunes 05/06/11
Thank you for letting us in on a painful time for you. I loved this: "I discreetly made my way to the ladies room where safely locked inside I slid my back along the door making my way to the cold bare tile." It made a powerful image of your depseration in that moment. Great job!
Janice Fitzpatrick05/11/11
I think most of us can relate to this whether it has been a job we have been released from, a relationship, or a child has grown up and no longer needs us as they once have. Indeed God is there to comfort, stroke our hearts and remind us that we will make it. Thanks for writing this piece. Well written. Loved the images and display of emotion.