I Was Fired

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.

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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’m dreaming.

I’m building.

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!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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19 thoughts on “I Was Fired

  1. Year of growth! Great post and inspiring to see the possibilities. Looking forward to hearing you talk in Tulsa.

  2. Awesome, Rick. Some people let their circumstances dictate the course of their lives. You’ve taken something that could’ve been crippling and have risen up like a phoenix.

    I had a similar experience…I still remember picking up the phone and calling my wife. “Honey, how’s your faith?” “Strong as a rock.” “The company just closed down. Today.” “We’ll be fine.” She was right.

  3. This is a wonderful post and filled with incredible insights you’ve gained in the year since that day. I love the list of things that you are doing now that you are not working the grind of the job you were meant to leave behind. So glad that God finally helped you out the door and that you are growing closer as you walk into your future together.

    p.s. I hope they tape the talk you’re giving at Launch Out!

  4. oh i love this! it was neat to hear more about your story too! wow growth moments!

    my hubby has being made redundant twice – we have sacrificed so i can be a SAHM. on the first time he was made redundant there were rumours and then we found out in a meeting that i was invited to, on the day that we then gave birth to our 2nd child. yes, i had a baby on the day my husband was made redundant. in a way it was a brilliant distraction for both of us and within 3 weeks my hubby had a new job. the 2nd time he was made redundant though we had our freak out moments, we also knew that i wasnt having a baby that day or any time soon and if we could do it back then, we could do it again. i threw on a cd that a friend had just given me and let the words wash over me, reminding me that God is good, God is great, i can trust Him, all my hope is in Him. my hubby had been looking for a job, knowing the company was dwindling, for about 6 months before that redundancy and had had no replies, no interest, no responses. that day, as i listened to a song about the goodness of God he rung me… and had a job interview. the day he got made redundant he got an opportunity.

    these moments are moments of trust, growth, hope. even joy yes, if you allow them to.

    and i love that what you’re enjoying and celebrating now is family time. dreaming and building.

    yay God for the light and evident faith that shines through your life.

    Blessings, Claire

  5. What a great anniversary update! I love how reading START has changed so many lives and connected so many people. Thank goodness you got fired and read the book! If you hadn’t then we may have missed out on reading your amazing words of encouragement and wisdom. To the #Next3Decades!

  6. Wow, I know those types of tears, Rick. However, I agree, such a day was much more of a “best” day than a “worst” day. So thankful for a resurrecting God to turn such situations around.

  7. I remember that breakfast very well. Weird how things seem so clear looking in the rear view mirror. You’re definitely right though. God was nudging and for awhile. Sometimes we can’t see God’s will until we look backwards.