Remnants of Grace

We received an invite to a neighborhood dinner. I accepted the invitation the day before my husband was laid off due to COVID-19 related company reorganization. I would not have accepted the invitation had I known about the unexpected change in employment beforehand. I am not comfortable with the situation we find ourselves in. I did not want to undermine the occasion since the concerns that come with unemployment are heavy in our minds right now. It was with hesitation that we attended the dinner.

Flowers in vase

I walked in feeling exposed. A simple gesture of flowers and leaves clipped from our yard was what I created to bring. I am not very comfortable with who I am and struggle with social settings. I anticipated, even more, worrying reactions once my husband’s layoff was discovered.

One of the first things we did when my husband got the news of his layoff was to agree not to spend money on things that were not essential. As much as the hostess said not to bring anything, I did not want to show up empty-handed. Store brought flowers were out of the question. I still felt the need to “prove” that I provided something that earned me the right to be there. Now, without the funds to make the show-stopping dessert or buying a nice hostess gift, I felt even more unease. There is something about arriving with something in hand. It becomes a shield for me, deflecting the attention off of me and on to what I brought.

My simple offering was sincerely received. I did not walk in with a stunning centerpiece to hide me. I arrived with a willingness to be vulnerable. As news of my husband’s unemployment became known. Words of concern, job leads, and support were offered. The conversation moved on to more pleasant things, like our pets, the flowers in bloom, and how our delicious dinner was. It was an enjoyable afternoon.

Enjoyable dessert

That afternoon I stood up from the table full. Full of good food, good community, and good friendship. I realized that I was invited not for what I bring, but for who I am.



12 Responses

  1. The was great to read. It’s interesting how those things which can be considered “low moments”, reveal so much to us, and show us what’s really important. Enjoyed this 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment. It was our first experience with being laid off. I agree those “low moments” can become precious with the right mindset.

  2. I love this post. This is a good picture of how we can often expect the worst or dread certain situations, only to be pleasantly surprised that it’s nothing like we thought it would be. I struggle with social anxiety too, so I could totally relate to your story. Love that you ended up having a great time and realized that you had a community who genuinely cared and wanted to help. ❤️

    • Thank you for reply. I like your phase “pleasantly suprised”. I grew-up with the training of not to air your dirty laundry. It is so refeshing to know people want to get to know the real you.

    • Thank you for your reply. It was hard for me to share. I knew that I was not the only one who struggles with life’s curveballs and hope my story will be of encouragement to another.

  3. I understand your struggles. My husband has been unemployed since the beginning of the pandemic and we’re still working to get him a new role. He did start a consulting business and he’s stayed busy, but he’s still not happy with what he is providing for the family, so he’s been doubling down on his job search. Hopefully soon!

    • Heather, it is so hard to watch our husbands struggle with providing for our families. Everything about the workforce has changed and that addes to the challenge of finding employment. I admire his commitment to start his own business while looking for a better opportunity. I hope you will be able to find joy in this season of your life.

Leave a Reply

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