I heard this phrase at the first sales seminar I attended – If you did it once, you can do it again. The speaker was speaking to those times of success followed by those times when failure or hardship strikes.

Over 38 million people quit their jobs in 2021. In December my son was part of that number.

In the post, It Should Be a Rule that Everyone Gets a Standing Ovation, I wondered what it would be like to have your child celebrated in front of hundreds of thousands of people. I know how personally proud I am of my son Stephen. He deserves a medal for sure.

I don’t talk about Stephen much because I wish to respect his privacy. But I asked his permission to share this story with you.

My Asperger’s Son

Stephen was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was around eight years old. Asperger’s is on the autism spectrum. He is extremely high functioning earning his degree with a dual major in history and mass communications. His mind is wired for research and can quickly spot problems and opportunities.   

Life had been difficult for him. He was bullied through grade school. After graduating from college, like for many Millennials, he couldn’t find any work in his major.

A Rocky Employment Road

He is a brilliant writer (insert his mother’s beaming smile) making each cover letter he sent unique and personalized his resumes for each position he applied for. You’d think he would have received a call back or email. But his online resumes fell into black holes.  

Bob, our neighbor, works for a major hospital chain. He enquired about Stephen asking how he was doing. I told him that he was struggling. There was an opening in his department. He told me to have him contact him.

Stephen followed up immediately and blew our neighbor away with the research he had done on the position and the company. The position was for a forklift driver. With Stephen’s degrees and talent for detail, Bob called HR to find him a position based on his credentials.

He landed a position as a supply tech. As with any job he’s had, he learned quickly. The vision for this initial position was to get in the door and advance.

Into his second year COVID happened. He had one of the most critical jobs – making sure the various departments had the supplies needed. Stephen also cares for his 100 year-old grandmother with a heart condition. Added to his stress was the possibility of catching COVID and bringing it home.

The doctors, nurses, and employees were stretched beyond their limits. People quit left and right. Stephen hung in there, working overtime and picking up the work of three people. The strain became too much for his health and well-being, so he resigned. He has no job prospects lined up.

With only three days left, he called me after working another twelve-hour day. He was giddy. With the added supply chain issues, the situation was spiraling down. He was so happy with his decision.

He Reminded Me How He Did It Once and Would Do it Again

On the call he reminded me of the time he entered his fourth year in college. It was the only time he had quit a job without having another. He had been working for a photography company that took him sometimes on a three-hour drive to cover a sporting event. His grades had been suffering because he was exhausted and couldn’t concentrate to study as he should. So, he quit the job and focused on his schoolwork.

In his final year of college, he had a 4.0 average and made the dean’s list. He said, “Mom, I did it once. I can do it again.”

He’s been taking some time off to recharge before he starts his search again. He was so stressed at Thanksgiving. I could see the toll the job had taken. When I saw him at Christmas, he was back to his perky, cheerful self. He did the right thing for his health and well-being. He chose life.

Moses gave these words from Deuteronomy before his death. “I have set life and death before you. Choose life.” The chapter from verses 11-20 in my NRSV Bible is entitled Exhortation to Choose Life.

Maybe you are part of the 38 million people that left their jobs. Or, perhaps you’ve had to make some tough choices to choose what brings you life.

Know that you are capable in your choices. Remember my son’s words: If you did it once, you can do it again.

This post is a good example of my Monday email that offers a scripture verse along with stories and encouragement to live life with joy and flow by abiding in God’s love. You can receive this weekly email and the short guide called The Four Steps to FLOW. I love interacting with my readers and hope that you will be one. If you have any thoughts to share, please comment below.