It was the worst day. It was also the best day.
(Skip to 2:22 for the important point I’d like to make with this clip. Or, watch the whole thing because it’s very funny.)
One year ago today, April 30, 2013, I was fired. These words ended my 16 year career with the company: “Today is your last day with us. We are letting you go.” Just like that, I was unemployed.
Wow. Shock. Total and complete shock. I cleaned out my desk like I was in a trance. On my way home, I called my wife. I was crying so hard it was difficult for her to understand what I was saying. (Thank goodness for hands free technology. I could talk, wipe tears, and drive all at the same time.)
I could spend more time sharing the emotions I was being bombarded with during those first few days (worst days), but I’d rather share more about the many days since the shock wore off (best days).
Some may want to ask “How can the same day be the ‘worst’ and the ‘best’?” Easy. Go back and watch the clip from City Slickers again.
The feelings of it being the ‘worst’ day wore off quickly. They did resurface occasionally, but not often.
The feelings of it being the ‘best’ day arrived quickly and have remained. I often tell people the ‘best’ day feelings first showed up within a couple of hours of being let go.
I knew. I knew deep down in my heart. God knew for years. I didn’t feel His gentle nudging. Multiple times, over the course of a number of years, I was blind to His desire for me to leave. So what did He do? He got me fired. I wouldn’t walk out the door on my own, so God shoved me out. He didn’t pull me out, or lead me out with His arm around my shoulders. He placed His foot on my rear and booted me out the door.
It was a Tuesday. 4:30 in the afternoon.
Almost every Friday morning I have breakfast with two friends. Somehow my sudden unemployment became the topic of discussion when we met the Friday after I was fired. My friend Duane recommended a book he had heard about. The timing was perfect. Within a few days I had the recently released, New York Times Best-Selling book, Start in my hands.
God booted me out the door. My friend made a recommendation. Jon Acuff was there to help me START.
Some people may be tempted to call this an Anniversary. I typically associate anniversaries with happy occasions. Getting fired is most certainly NOT a happy occasion.
However, the past year has most definitely been a happy occasion.
I now work 40 hours a week instead of 60-65 hours.
I spend time with my teenage sons.
I’m nicer to my family.
I enjoy life.
I’m reconnecting with my beautiful wife.
I weigh less. (And I’m still going down.)
I’m healthier. Physically, mentally, emotionally.
I’m growing closer to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I’m writing this blog.
I’m writing a book (or two).
I’m preparing to speak in front of a crowd at a conference in Tulsa in June. (Launch Out)
It was the worst day. It was the BEST day.
Here’s to the #Next3Decades!