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My Dear Daughter Just Got Laid Off. Lord, Give Us More Grace And Mercy!

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God bless you.

Into each life, some rain must fall.

But sometimes, when it rains, it pours. As if my personal health issues weren't

already a heap, another burden has been added to my plate.

"Ijustgotlaidoff," she said in a tear-croaked moan.

That was the first sad sound I heard when I answered the phone beside my

hospital bed Tuesday morning, the day (March 17, 2009) I would be released from the

University of Chicago Hospital. I had spent a week there undergoing treatment to

temporarily strengthen my dying heart which, doctors tell me, will require at least the

implantation of a mechanical pump (a Left Ventricular Assist Device LVAD) real soon if

I hope to live out this year.

At first hearing, I thought I was hearing one word. But it was actually five. I at least

recognized that it was my middle daughter beloved, Noelle Victoria-Renee Banks, 33.

And I also knew it was something bad. But I could not understand what she was saying. I

just hoped she was not saying that something bad has happened to the baby, her son:

six-year-old, high-energy Caleb Emanuel Banks. Plus, I was hoping she had not gotten

physically hurt in some accident or attacked by some criminal.

"Wait a minute, baby," I said. "Slow down and speak more clearly because daddy

can't understand what you are saying."

"I just got laid off," Noelle said.


Yes, it then hit me and it hit me hot, heavy, hard and horribly. It hit home. It hit

my heart. I hit my head. It hit my gut. It hit my lungs and took my breath away. I hit so hard

that it stunned me. It hurt.

"What? Oh no! Lord, have mercy. Oh no," I said in agonizing amazement. Yes,

these economic hard time plaguing our nation finally made their way to my house and

pained me deeply, up close and personal.

I could feel her hurt, his fears, her anger, her anguish, her shock, her horror, her

grief and, yes, her prayers to God for relief and rescue in her tearful voice.

As soon as she reported to work Tuesday, at a nationally famous downtown

personnel consultant firm, she was called in, told that the company's economic hardships

were such that she had to be "laid off." Her year years of working for them had now come

to an abrupt, cold-blooded, heartless, thankless end. So they took her Blackberry, her

laptop, her ID card and promised her a courtesy care package of five weeks of severance

pay and five weeks of group medical insurance for her and her son and threw her out in

the cold to join the growing miserable, multitude of multimillions of unemployed headed

toward pennilessness and homelessness.

Noelle is a daddy's dream. She is sensitive, caring, sharing, loving and kind. No,

no. no.....I am not saying these things because she is my daughter. I'm saying these

things because that is who she really is. And all who really know her know I am telling

the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Noelle is a mainstream, Christian single mother, old-school to a fault. She has

never been married and has never been a party girl. And her love for Jesus, for her son

Caleb and for her church and family are unquestioned. Heck, she may be even more

faithful than me, her preaching daddy, whom she not heard preach in years.

She is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She is beautiful, witty, fun-loving and

very, very family-oriented. She suffered a brief academic setback at U. of I., but righted

herself through summer school and kept working until she recovered and graduated from

the U. of I. If there is anything her mother Joyce and I wanted to see done with each of

our three daughters, it was making sure that you got a college degree before there ever

got married or pregnant. God blessed us to have that happened.

Noelle has always been the most active Christian and the most talented musically.

She has the singing voice of an angel and has been a member of her church's praise

team for years. She wants a boyfriend and husband most dearly. But not just any ol'

boyfriend or husband. She'd love to have a Christian companion or just a decent, good,

hard-working many who will love and respect her and her son and appreciate her love

and her humanity in return.

Like so many of you other, good young women and men, she has played by the

rules, conducted herself as a lady and a committed professional. A couple of years ago,

she moved into a modest condo in the south suburbs, enrolled Caleb in a private school

and was enjoying a simple happy life of praising God, working her job and enjoying her

family. Then came terrible Tuesday.

"I just got laid off" was her tearful utterance. It has tormented me ever since and

will continue to do so until somehow she is restabilized as a gainfully-employed single

mother with restored self esteem and hope.

So what's a father to say to his daughter or son when he hears those words and he

knows that that child of his is a good person, a hard worker, an outstanding parent, a

strong Christian and a responsible, honest American?

"I love you," I told her. "God loves you. Your family is behind you. Please don't blame

yourself and beware of false comforters. Your family is here for you. But most of all, God

is here for us."

I'm sure the first thing she thought of when she got laid off, the thing that made her

cry the most, were thoughts of her son Caleb. You should see them. They are one heck

of a mother-son pair. They are truly a great American family. There isn't a day that goes

by without each of them calling out to the other at least a dozen times from room to room

to say, "I love you."

Her greatest joys are his happiness and good health. His greatest joys are her

happiness and good health.

So I'm sure she wondered, "What about my baby? How am I going to take care of

him, now? How can I now send him to a good school anymore where I can be confident

that he will be in a safe, wholesome environment? How can I make sure he gets good

clothes and food? And what if I get sick or he gets sick? Now we have no health or life

insurance. Oh Lord, what am I going to do?"

Well, thank God that she still has a mother and father who love her and are

committed to doing what we have to do for the long-term best interest of her and our

lovely grandson, who just loves his grandmother Joyce to no end. She loves him

dearly in return. And, yes, I love my grandson Caleb even though he often refuses to

talk to me when I call. My other grandchildren, Nicole's kids--Lauren, David, Timothy

and Nina--they'll talk to me any time.

So I have another burden to bear. And yet, I'm still thankful to God because you

know and I know that things can be far worse than they are and eventually they may

turn far worse. But by the grace of God and through our faith in God, we are going to

make it some way, some how. I pray that all is much better with you and your family.

God bless you and yours. Pray for us, please, and I will pray for you in return.

By the way, my youngest daughter, Natasha, is doing well. She just earned a

promotion and relocation to Atlanta, where she is trying to overcome homesickness.

Tashi is so sweet and caring. She checks on me several times a day. She really loves

her mom and dad.

God bless you.

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Good luck to you and your family. I'm in a similar health + unemployment stretch myself. You already know to take comfort in family, so things will turn out.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Yes, Michael. You are so right. In tough times like these,

strong families loom largest and are real life-savers. ňáhank God for family.

Count on His grace and mercy! He's got lots of it! We are all affected by this season in one way or another and we share the pain it causes. Remind you daughter that when one door opens, He'll open another. Be still and know that He is God. Listen for Him and get His message clear. He will provide. Never, never focus on what we do not have, but count the blessings. SHe is blessed with a loving son, caring and loving parents, siblings, church family, friends, and knows she is a child of God. Though it is sad to say, some are not so blessed. I pray for your continued well being and that of your family and especially pray doors will open for Natasha soon.

BANKS' RESPONSE: As always, thank you Gwen's for your heads-up

encouragement and continued prayers. Surely, God is able and His grace is

sufficient to supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory. You are always

so consistently spot-on in your counsel because it is based in God's word. What

great comfort He always has for us, no matter the circumstances. We feast on

our faith in His word and then we feed each other in times of otherwise famine. I

pray that Noelle's faith becomes fat in the needful times now and those to come. I

believe she is strong enough to suffer righteously and even grow and prosper as

a result. God bless you, Gwen.

Dear Lacy -

It must seem that you've been chosen as the next Job!

It hurts so to hear of the latest challenge for your family. But, going through unemployment myself, I am happy that we have a man in the White House who is aware of the toll families are paying and who is doing all he can to help. My unemployment benefit has been increased, there is a temporary moratorium on federal income tax on the benefits, and the cost of COBRA has been temporarily reduced.

Your daughter, being far more educated than I and, no doubt, having a better resume is in prime position to be hired by some company needing a talented, intelligent person. I join with all the others in affirming that that will happen for her soon.

I also send a prayer of thank that there is still an alternative for you regarding your ailing heart.

I once heard that all of the wisdom in the world expressed in one sentence is: "This too shall pass."

So it is.

BANKS' RESPONSE: John, have you ever fathomed the size of "eternal

life"? That is the essence of our salvation and the size of the paycheck that Jesus

has promised each of us, His redeemed. So great and rich is that paycheck that

it actually spills unstartingly backward just as it extends unendingly forward. As

such, eternal life is already our reward which we are yet in this decaying flesh and

in their temporary time and limited space and it thus serves to soften any savagery

of earthly suffering. Yes, earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal. And any

suffering on earth is nothing compared to the heavenly ecstasy that awaits us

beyond this life on this earth. I pray that you find suitable and acceptable

employment soon. You are a supreme symbol of so many, many worthy workers

who have been betrayed by greedy, irresponsibility, insensitive custodians of the

world's wealth. Too much of it has become locked up in the hands and hard hearts

of too few. And now, you have a worthy stout-hearted comrade in my dear

daughter. I'm been unemployed before and it ain't fun. It is hell! But thank God for

Jesus. What's even worse is to be unemployed and serious ill with no money, no

insurance, no helping relatives and friends, and no hope.

This is terrible--we're hearing stories like this all the time. :( Check out

BANKS' RESPONSE: I did and, WOW! What a profound and timely, must-read

website!!!!! Especially for Americans.

Dear Mr. Banks,

I haven't commented in a while, though I continue to read and be inspired by your blog.

My heart goes out to your daughter and family -- she WILL land on her feet and she WILL find another job.

Both myself and my husband were unemployed - I am blessed to start a new job soon and know that he will find one, too. It has been a big struggle, not only financially but emotionally - but we have faith in our family and most important we have our HEALTH. I know you can relate -- honestly following your story has made me realize the most important things in life, especially on my bad days.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Though we have never met, I believe If any family can get through this, yours can.

BANKS' RESPONSE: What a great time, Ami, not just for Americans to come

together against the evil in high places that has wreaked economic havoc on

countless common people, but for God's priesthood of believers to rise up in

defense of the downtrodden, the underdog that may become the lot of us all if

their aren't radical revisions of how Americans live and are governed. The horror

of this is that we are victims of forces and individuals who are invisible. We're

talking about a system turned sinister or one that was false from the start. I say

"system" because so many previously hallowed and highly-respected and

successful institutions have been exposed as frauds. But thank God for such

revelations as that exposing the continued greed of AIG execs who want to cash

in on a defaulted contract that promises them undeserved multi-million-dollar

bonuses for mismanaging their company into multi--billion-dollar deficits or losses.

Such greed stinks and equals robbery of genocidal proportion. To steal money that

could feed, house and save the lives of millions is among the most dastard of

crimes against humanity.

Job loss...Been there. Done that. Yep, still 'there'. So my heart breaks for those getting "pinked".

Losing a job is one of those defining moments in life. We can choose to lose our way (our mind), or we can rise to the challenge and follow what our Spirit tells us to do.

I try to remember that I am more than a statistic on the news, and This too shall pass.

I'll share with you what Spirit told me the day I got "set free" (laid off) from my job: "This is a new chapter in your life. WRITE ONE HELL OF A CHAPTER!" And I did just that!

If you need a break from the doom and gloom, then allow me to send you a FREE (no strings) book download. Sign up at: www.noexpertsneeded dot com. ...Simply my way of 'giving back'...

I send up a prayer for you and your family...Keep a strong heart!

take care, Louise Lewis, author
No Experts Needed: The Meaning of Life According to You!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks, Louise, for reading my blog and emaling your

comment. I trust that my blog supporters will log onto your website as I have

already done and receive some helpful information.

Dear Lacy,

I am a former co-worker who worked closely with your wife Joyce. I too was called into the office and told that I was being let go. I was totally surprised and caught off guard. The day your daughter was laid off Joyce and I were planning to meet for lunch in the loop but Joyce e-mailed me very upset and told me what happened to Noelle. My heart totally went out to Noelle because I knew how devasted she must have felt. I called Joyce to let her know how sorry I was to hear Noelle lost her job and to give some encouragement. I pray and hope that Noelle and myself are blessed with another job that we enjoy and of course making more money would not be bad either. Things in the job market and the economy are really gloomy right now, but I've managed to keep things in perspective and definitely stay positive. Whenever I talk to Joyce, I always ask about you and one thing I told your wife many times is that you are one heck of a fighter and I admire your strength. After your surgery, I hope you are here many, many years to come because your wife and your daughters truly love you. Take care Lacy and I wish you all the best and I will continue to stay in touch with Joyce and check on your progress.

BANKS' RESPONSE: It's so eerie, Sandy, the way adversity occasionally

shrinks our worlds so that we are drawn together dealing with common miseries. I

thank God for your selfless sensitivity and I touch and agree prayerfully that you

and my daughter find new and better jobs in spite of the fact that these are tough

times. Thank goodness that God is custom-built for the toughest of times and is

able to deliver us from doom and destruction. And while you and other sisters and

brothers of God's Kingdom are waiting on Him, I pray that your faith increase and

that your joys become full in the grace, mercy and glory of God. Be not dismayed

whatever betied. God will take care of you.

Your daughter should contact The Career Transition Center in Chicago about their services. CTC is a non-profit providing a comprehensive outplacement/job hunting program. Website

And good luck with your medical treatments

BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you and thanks for reading my blog.

The chickens has came home to roost,in every life rian must fall
But GOD is there to pick you up and dust you off,and carry you the rest of your life!!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank God for His delivering powers. None else can

deliver us bu the Lord when all else fails.

Well, not to underestimate the pain, but 5 weeks of severance plus whatever emergency savings your daughter has saved up (I assume 3-6 months given that you say she has played by the rules and has been a committed professional), means that she is in fine shape and shouldn't be panicked at this point.

The national average to find a new job is 11 weeks, but let's say it takes her 16 weeks (four months). She should still have savings to see her through comfortably without burdening you further.

Plus, Congress passed benefits to cover 65% of Cobra medical benefits which DRASTICALLY reduces the cost, so she and her son should be just fine with medical coverage too.

So come back off the a land of boundless opportunity, there are many roles for talented young professionals and I'm certian your daughter will find one.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks Ryan for reading my blog and emailing your

comment. If only everybody's situation could be explained so simply and truthfully.

I pray that my daughter's situation is as least as good as you suggest. But I always

find that when other people count how much money I have made and saved, they

always end up with a whole lot more than what I count. Far be it for me to even

suggest that you have a whole lot of money based on your implied frugality. But I

believe that most people are not as prepared to deal with flash unemployment

as you might think.

Blessings Rev.

I'm still here! You haven't heard from me in a while but believe me I still read every post, every comment and still lift up prayers for you daily. Where as I have always prayed for the strength of your family, I will now pray for Noelle. She will be just fine. I am a single mother with a son (now grown), but I went through two layoffs while he was growing up. I just held on to my faith. I know how devastating this can be. I know how embarassed I was to have to tell my son that his mother no longer had a job. But God is faithful. He always makes a way for his children. Now that my son is grown, he is facing his own potential layoff. He works for Citibank and you know the story with them. I tell him the same thing that I would tell Noelle, "Don't worry about it. Don't fret. Just as God has been there for you in the past he will be there for you now. Remember the song....Be not dismayed whatever be tied. God will take care of you." I also continue to pray for your recovery Rev. I am so glad you are still here. I occasionally
receive job leads in my inbox. If it is OK with you I will forward them so that you can forward to Noelle.

Peace and Blessings,


BANKS' RESPONSE: DONNA! Is this really, really you? Jes joking. Glad to

hear from you again. I thought I had said, done or written something wrong. Thank

you so very much for your testimony about your experience as a single,

unemployed mother. You are an example of the strong women I've tried my best

to raise. You are the backbone of our race, the anchor of our nation and the hope

and strength of our future. You are so right about our God and how He delivers us

over and over and over again from all manner of adversity. Your so is so blessed

to be the son of a rock. You obviously stabilized him well in faith and all the other

positive attributes that make for good survival.

Sorry ms banks,,,,,,praying for you

BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you E Rodriquez. Thanks.

This is to Lacy Banks:

Your daughter is not the first nor the last.

Your daughter can continue standing on her two feet even if she is unemployed by proactively looking for a job & not accepting charity or money from anyone. I am certain she won't become a moocher or freeloader, because as you say she is a strong & self-reliant woman.
A strong, self-reliant woman does not want to be indebted to the slew of people who will offer her money or quick fixes.

Please ask her to stay the she is & continue walking with her head held high.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks for reading my blog and emailing your comment

Jacoma. Hope all is well with you and your loved ones.

Rev. Banks
The devil is a lie, he tried stealing your joy through sickness, now he's stealing from your daughter. I want you to know the forces of evil will be defeated. God will never allow the devil to win. Keep holding your head up, and keep God first place in your life. He's working wonders in your life and the life of Noelle. Noelle will be alright with the master on her side. She's a child of God, who made the heavens and earth. She has a pillar of strength for an earthly father and she has God Almighty as her heavenly father. So, be not dismayed, help is on the way, all you have have to do is hold on, just hold on to God's unchanging hand, for I don't believe he's brought you this far to leave you now.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you so much for your words of divine wisdom.

Rest assured that first and foremost Noelle's hope is in Jesus, the rock of her


"You are an example of the strong women I have tried to raise." WOW!
From one of your responses I have quoted you. Coming from perhaps the last generation that raised young women to be dependent on men, it warms my heart to know that men, too realize the importance of strength in women. My generation just sort of picked it up because it was exhibited in our households, because really we were to leave our fathers and go to our husbands, etc., etc.. When I read Noelle called you at the hospital, I knew your daughters were Daddy's girls. How wonderful! Not to play Joyce cheap, it's a good woman who encourages such a wonderful relationship with her children and their father. And God continues to watch over you all. I'm concerned because you haven't posted in a while. Are you okay? I continue to pray for you.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Stay tuned, sweetheart, because I'll be posting again

either this evening or tomorrow morning with some good news and perhaps some

bad news, too, in terms of a tentative decision I have made regarding a potential

life-saving option. Yes, you are the kind of strong woman I've tried to raise three

times and you're just going to have to live with the fact that you are one mighty

mama, baby. You are the foundation of our nation, the anchor of our past and our

hope for tomorrow. What good are we black men without the love, support and

sacrifice of our black women, who just may be the most unappreciated,

disrespected and misunderstood women on the face of the earth. But no woman

has stood up for her man better than you and the other sisters. I thank God for

the black woman everyday. She need not apologize to any other woman under

the sun because, as far as I am concerned, she is no No. 1 ONE. Now, I have

nothing against other black men choosing to marry white women, Chinese women,

Japanese women and women of whatever other race and nationality of religion.

But as for me and my house, we will serve, admire, adore, uphold and love our

own black women first anf foremost. Thank yiu, Jesus!

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Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on March 19, 2009 1:57 AM.

Imagine Yourself Having To Say Farewell To Your Heart.....Great God! was the previous entry in this blog.

DOCTORS TELL ME I HAVE EIGHT MONTHS TO LIVE UNLESS...... is the next entry in this blog.

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