“What do you mean my unemployment claim was denied?”
The woman on the phone, went on to tell me,that I had not responded to a letter that was sent weeks ago in the mail. Because I didn’t respond in the time frame alloted, my account had been frozen.
“So you’re telling me I did nothing wrong?” I asked.
“Yep, well you didn’t call us to verify your current progress by the November 1 deadline.”
“Yet, now that you have adequately verified my status, confirmed that I’ve been consistantly seeking employment and tracking my job search correctly online-that I will not be reimbursed for this week for another 7 to 10 days?”
“And I have no money available this week to feed my children or put gas in my car?”
Hot tears, waiting all day for permission to fall, began to flow.
She waited for me to collect myself. It was too much.
How many times did she make this call today? Is this what people experienced when our government shut down. What about that single-parent-momma who’s food stamps are denied because of a hiccup in the system-simply trying to survive-denied?
“I’m sorry ma’am, there is nothing else I can do.”
She was talking ,but I wasn’t listening. I just responded with “ummhumm’s” when I was suppose to- quick and short “yes” or “no” answers.
Did I forget to mention that before this conversation, I drove 40 miles roundtrip to the Unemployment office, played “ring around the roseys ” (with all the other unemployed no-claimers of the week) in search of a parking spot, put on hold for two and a half hours, only to be told….”
“Due to the heavy volume of calls, an unemployment advisor is unable to respond at the moment. Leave your number and we will get back to you as soon as the next consultant is available. Thank you for your cooperation…”
“Cooperation”..this was chaos?
After a long cry, (yesterdays post) a long prayer, and long SOS text prayer request to my village-I dug in corners of my house and pockets, found quarters and headed to my nearest Starbucks.
I needed a drink! Praise the Lord, I’m saved and I was choosing coffee.
You know that instant connection you have with a person, the very first time you meet them? Within moments, you sense you’ve found a kindred spirit-that’s Leisha. We are currently, attended a Beth Moore study, David, Seeking A Heart Like His.(INCREDIBLE by the way,Beth gets down, she is a theological,God-fearing, teaching alive AND living out the word diva-LOVE HER!!)
Leisha was at the cafe, enjoying some quiet time for herself. We spoke casually about the study and what we had on our agendas for the day. It was nice to have somebody else to focus on instead of myself for awhile. Her smile and soft eyes drew me in. Her spirit steady and knowing.
“So why are you here?”She asked.
“Ahh welll…” Did she want the real answer or was I going to give her the casual “I’m fine.”, fake answer.
Before my mind could decide, my mouth started speaking for me.
I didn’t mean to. But I told her everything about my discouraging job search and unemployment situation.
Leisha listened carefully,tenderly to what I was saying, but most importantly what I was not.
“And what do you need?”
That was kind of her. It’s one thing to listen to a person going through a difficult situation, it’s another thing to roll up your sleeve, reach out a hand and help pull out a person in a difficult situation. I knew I liked her. Hope I didn’t sound to desperate?
I told her I was fine for now, but that I would keep her updated.
(Leisha would later send me an email-repeating her offer and identifying the specific ways ( money, gas or grocery)-she wanted to be a blessing if my claim for the week did not go through. She also shared that she and her family had experienced tough times too. And that she had been on the receiving end many times before.)
“got a groupon for Starbucks today.” The text read.
Even though I had already had my first cup, the day I was having, automaticly required me to endulge in another. I also knew emotionally, I was on empty and that both Nya and I needed a playdate today.
I’ve known Shaqwonna for over seven years now. Our daughters are close friends, we love to craft together, share Pinterest ideas, sit on my porch and eat chocolate, and we hold each other accountable, to a radical and beautiful life of simplicity with style (even on a shoestring budget).
We are Sistah-friends who decided a long time ago, together, not to allow the challenges of being on a, one-income-and-blessed-to-be-a-stay-at-home-mommy lifestyle, demean our worth and quality of life.
“Girl, you are going to be okay.”She said confidently.
God’s going to work it out, right? Hang in there, and enjoy your Carmel Macchiato on me.”
She was right. I didn’t know how, but the warmth of her heart and warmth of the creamy, sweet cup I held was making everything “all right”-right now.
“Is this Velynn Brown?”
“This is she.”
“I was able to speak to a Manager and your claim has been reinstated. Like I told you earlier, it usually takes 7 to 10 days, however we are going to make an exception. Your claim, will be granted today-manna.
Manna (Hebrew: מָן) is an edible substance that, according to Abrahamic doctrine, God provided for the Israelites during their travels in the desert-(and a substance he continues to give, for those of us going through a season of our own kinda-desert).