How A Devastating Experience Gave Me A New Life Purpose

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
One year ago today, I was suddenly fired from my job at a church. The experience was devastating and embarrassing. But one year later, I'm living a bigger purpose than I could have imagined.

Numb. That’s the word I would use to describe the feeling I felt when my supervisor looked at me and said, “We’re releasing you from student ministry.”

Actually, numb communicates a feeling. I had none. No expression on my face either. After the HR Director finished his spiel about what I had to sign, what I had to agree to, and what I had to leave behind, I shook their hands, and quietly walked out of the office we were meeting in. In my right hand were severance papers. Never in a million years would I have dreamed I would carry severance papers!

It took me a few minutes to reach my office but in that time I had already sent a text to my wife, and my two best friends. All sent back prayer offerings and encouragement. For the next hour I wrapped up important details my team would need upon my departure which, by the way, was the end of that day. Over the next few weeks, I struggled to find my purpose. I had spent 17 years working in the church. Seventeen years! It’s all I had known in my adult life. Ask anyone who has spent anytime working in a ministry context…. it kinda sorta becomes your identity. Try as you may to not let it, it just does.

So there I was, jobless, purposeless (or so I thought) and searching.

The search didn’t last long. A few weeks later, I sat on the side of a mountain (actually on the side of a mountain in Colorado) and heard a voice speaking to my heart, telling me to write and speak full-time to parents all around the world. I was terrified but excited, dumbfounded but assured. I climbed down from the mountain and began my career as a writer and public speaker. I’ve never looked back. As I think back to that experience, and this past year, there are several valuable lessons getting fired taught me.

  • It taught me how to fight. I decided I would not be defeated by this. Frankly, when you go through devastating moments in life, there’s a part of you that feels directionless and that leads to feelings of wanting to quit. I learned how to beat this feeling- change direction! That’s what I did. I changed my direction and, in the process, decided that I would never stop fighting to overcome adversity. Nothing, and I mean nothing, would stop me from succeeding!
  • It brought my dreams into focus. For 3 years my dreams of being a writer had been, well, just dreams. Nothing more. I had even had several people look at me over the years and say things like, “You’re supposed to do something bigger than work in a church. You’re supposed to write and speak to families like you do in your blog.” I ignored them. But suddenly this dream came into focus and I realized it was more than a dream…it was my calling!
  • It showed me the power of silence. It’s been said a billion times, “Silence is golden.” Silence is actually way more powerful than the most eloquently spoken words. Let me tell you what I mean by this: I could have gone on the defense and spent my time and energy trying to make a point after I was fired. Frankly, I could have shared information that I had learned in my time in ministry there, that would have been damaging to the reputation and credibility of the church. But I didn’t. I chose silence. I literally said nothing. It wasn’t easy but my reason was simple- Silence is power. Silence, especially in the midst of turmoil, shows character.
  • It reminded me that integrity wins. There is also power in maintaining a high level of integrity. A long time ago a friend told me, “They can accuse you, blame you, even try to ruin you! But if you have integrity, they don’t have a leg to stand on.” True! When I was fired, a letter went out to the congregation saying that I had been let go because of “Job Performance Issues.” Honestly, it stung a little when I read that, but then I realized something. My job performance wasn’t bad. In fact, it was really good. I had done an exceptional job in my two years there. Many others confirmed this. As hard as it was to not speak up, I said nothing, and I did nothing. I wanted to though. But integrity said no, keep your mouth shut. That proved to be a good move.
  • It made me better. I’m a better person, better father, better husband, better friend, better writer, and a better human. I won’t give up on the dream that God has placed in my heart. As long as there are overwhelmed, tired or weary parents in this world, my fingers will tap the keys on this laptop. You see, you can let tough circumstances make you bitter, or you can let them make you better. I don’t have any bitter or hard feelings toward the church, the people who pointed fingers, made accusations, or even delivered the news of my termination. I have gratitude, actually. They made me stronger, more resilient, and more determined than ever before. They made me better.

The month after I was fired our blog soared into the stratosphere, with 185,000 visitors from all over the globe. The month after that… 541,000+ visitors. We’ve never looked back. We receive emails every week from people looking for hope, searching for one thread of encouragement. They’re looking to us! I’m overwhelmed and humbled when I think of this. Never underestimate the dreams that God has placed in your heart.

The future is bright, there is hope, and I have a clearer purpose for my life than ever before. I have one devastating experience to thank for this!

Have you ever had a devastating moment show you a bigger purpose in life? Share your story with us.

I’ll be back on Periscope today at 12:45 pm EDT to discuss this post and more. To join in live download the app here. Once you’re in search ‘Mike Berry’ or @ConfessParent. #DailyParentingHope


Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.