Not that long ago, I was half-joking when I said to a friend of mine,
“My kids spell dad, A-T-M!”
But as I said, I was only half-joking….
It often felt as if they either needed or wanted something, and if I couldn’t provide it, I felt like a failure.
And the two times I was out of work, unemployed, I felt that all the more keenly.
In this season of many people being literally locked out of work, unable to earn their regular income and stressed, that joke I told has become a nightmarish reality unfolding before me in the lives of many people I know… the slip comes out of the ATM “Insufficient Funds.”
And so I offer this for you – You are much more than an ATM or a walking paycheck.One of the great tragedies of our society is that we have fallen into a terrible trap in which we are led to believe that our value is directly tied to our income.
Our bank account should not be our report card or score sheet. Yet for so many of us it is.
Don’t get me wrong…
I know, you have:
- Mouths to feed
- Heads to cover with a roof
- Bodies to clothe
- Illnesses and injuries in need of care
- Bills to pay
And if you’re in business you also have other people’s livelihoods in your hands as well.
I get it.
And you’re saying to yourself, “But I need to provide for them.”
I know you do!
We also know, that you are already doing all that you can, and it may not feel like enough. But people know, that you are doing the best you know how in a very, very trying time. It is not all on you, even if you feel that it is! When I was out of work, I felt like a failure, and I pulled away or would lash out at people around me.
But for your sake and theirs, stop and consider all the ways that you do provide and all the things that you still provide for those around you, even if underemployed or unemployed right now. You are neither a failure nor are you measured just by how much money you’re bringing in!
Are you really only a bread-winner?
You are not!
You’re so much more.
For your spouse/significant other you provide:
To your children and/or those to whom you are parent-like, you provide:
- Dreams and Goals
Your worth cannot be spelled out merely in dollars and cents. In these difficult times, I beg you to consider, not your value, but your worth and not the value your family brings, but their worth…
Think about this for a moment, please think about this!
Why is it that you give up things for your spouse, significant other, kids, family and/or friends. It’s not because of their value; that’s not what you say…You say, “I did it because it was worth it.” It was worthy of you time an… the cost to you compared to the benefit of the other…
And here’s the thing… all of those things I’ve listed above are totally have cost that cannot be calculated in financial ways… neither can their benefit.
You are far more than paycheck…
You are a priceless, a gift whose worth far exceeds any possibility of estimation or calculation.
You are loved and needed – and your presence in the lives of your family in friends is recorded as an asset in their ledger.
I know that times are very challenging for some, for many.
So I ask you one more thing:
Realize that you are not alone… even when being socially distant. Let those who love you, love and support you.
Now is not the time to withdraw from family and friends – even if we are social distancing. Now is the time to draw closer to them, closer than ever. We will make it through. With family and friends you are already richer than you imagine. This is but for a time.
Please know that I am praying for you as you go through this disturbing time. In the mean time, if you are stressed, reach out… there are plenty of people, including me, here to help.