A New normal 2, podcast notes

Today we are joined by comedian Brian Apprille. For more information about Brian click the link below


You can also find Brian’s facial paralysis podcast Unique Smiles on iTunes


Brian does comedy and impersonations so we gave him this challenge. If the conversation got too deep we challenged him to say the same thing in one of the following voices.
Homer Simpson (plus about 25 other simpsons characters)
Family Guy voices (Peter, Quagmire, Cleveland, Stewie)
Alan Rickman
Morgan Freeman
James Earl Jones
Christopher Walken
Kermit The Frog
Sylvester Stallone
Keanu Reeves (Ted from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure)

This is the second time we’ve done this topic because a new normal looks very different to different people.

Let’s talk about some of them.

Marriage presents a new normal. How did your life change when you got married?

Here’s a questions I’ve wanted to ask Jonathan forever. How did you life change when you realized your were going bald?

These are all fun new normals that we are talking about but there are others that are way worse.

What are some new normals that you have heard about people going through

As a pastor I have a unique vantage point to see people who are walking through a new normal. A couple of years ago I had a conversation with a guy who used to go to our church. I invited him over to watch a football game with several other people and the conversation got intense really quick. We had a pool and so he used that as an opportunity to tell me about his 5 year old son who had drowned in a swimming pool. Since that time his wife had tried to self medicate with drugs. This wasn’t the kind of football conversation I had anticipated. But it was good. I felt privileged that he had included me. It really turned out to be a good, healing conversation. So much so that when he left he made a very generous offer. His job was running a pet cemetery. As we were sitting there he noticed my dog Bleu and said to me, “Bleu’s a good dog. You know when Bleu dies I’ll bury him for free.” So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice. What bothered me about that is that he said it right in front of my dog.

As a pastor I get in conversations like that. Jilane and I are heading out to Colorado in January to see some friends of ours. Their son was a month away from getting done with his residency to become a doctor when he was found dead in his room. When I texted them to say when we are coming they told me that was their sons birthday weekend.

So Brian you’ve faced a new normal. It was right after you got married. Take us down that path

Details of face paralysis story.

Where was your relationship with God when you started down this path?

Was there a moment when you realized that God was in the middle of your new normal? (I can only be inquisitive)

Homer Simpson (plus about 25 other simpsons characters)
Family Guy voices (Peter, Quagmire, Cleveland, Stewie)
Alan Rickman
Morgan Freeman
James Earl Jones
Christopher Walken
Kermit The Frog
Sylvester Stallone
Keanu Reeves (Ted from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure)
Plus a bunch more I’m blanking on at the moment. lol

How can a new normal help you find your purpose in life?

A few years back I had a friend tell me his story. He was raised in a jewish family, but his parents didn’t really practice anything and by the time he was 17 he was over it. In fact, the sense of despair reached far beyond his disillusionment with his faith. He felt like he had no purpose. No reason for living. So one day he made up his mind. He was going to go for a walk and then come home and take his life. After his walk he came home and there standing in his driveway was a young christian woman from his high school. And she wanted to talk with him about Jesus. Two weeks later my friend Dave gave his life to Jesus and now he leads mission teams all over the world.

Do you know what the genesis of you making a difference in the lives of people around you? The genesis is your storm. You’re pain. You’re new normal. You were able to help the friend dealing with their parents divorce because your parents got a divorce. You are able to help someone walk through a storm because you’ve had golf ball sized hail rained down on your life. You’re able to find compassion with someone who’s hearts been broken because you’re hearts been broken.

There is a bond between those who’ve suffered deeply and similarly Andy Stanley

It can be as simple as going through the same surgery or having the same car problems, but that difficulty binds you together.

Those who’ve suffered are uniquely qualified to comfort those who are suffering

Comfort from those who have been comforted is life giving to those who need comfort

Those who suffer can help those who are suffering
Those who have been comforted are uniquely qualified to help those who need comfort
Our biggest hurt and pain and disappointment turn out to be the only item on our resume that counts when people go though rough times.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3–4

God comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble

You battled with a parent who drank, so that
You’re parents went through a divorce so that
You lost your job, so that
You had a health issue so that
You’re heart was broken so that

It’s as simple as this statement. “I’ve been there. I get it. I know what you’re going through.”

Someone from our church wrote me her story. “I used to think that I was a pretty cool mom. I was the “chill” mom. A friend of mine once said how impressed she was with how calm and relaxed I was with my kids. I never wanted to be that mom who coddled or babied her kids too much, it just wasn’t me. All of this changed in ways I never could have foreseen.

It started with one of our happy go lucky kids, suddenly wouldn’t stay at practice, wouldn’t go to school, got hysterical during showers saying that she couldn’t breathe. Things escalated and spun out of our control very quickly. Our silly, funny girl was becoming this panicked, aggressive, physical kid. An argument about soccer practice ended in her trying to jump out of a moving vehicle. I didn’t know what to do. I was scared.
Fast forward a year, those stormy skies had calmed a little. We knew WAY more about clinical anxiety than we ever thought we would. I saw God in the changes I went through. I am a different mother because of this storm. My relationship with my kid couldn’t be more different. It forced me to be sensitive to what my kids are going through, and to see how I can help or how we can learn from it. Instead of being Judge-y I understand that you never know what another person is going through…your job is just to love them up.
Fast forward another 6 months…
I get a text from an acquaintance that her child was struggling with anxiety, so they may not utilize our carpool for a bit…she would just drive her child. Three weeks later, I hear that her child hasn’t been in school since then. She is pretty private, and we are not that close. One morning I convince her to come over for coffee.
She came in and I recognized what I looked like during our storm months before. I didn’t ask her questions, I didn’t probe or push. I just told her our family story. I was honest about how we struggled, and continue to struggle. I told her the good, the bad, and the very ugly. I told her “This Sucks…This is REALLY hard”. I told her what we did that worked for us. I told her that I understood.
I sent her messages and dropped little things off at their house. I asked her for updates. I gave feedback and tried to give her a different perspective. I gave her a safe place to dump all her frustration and share her struggles.
I think that God put this situation directly in my path for a reason. I am not a medical expert. But I am a mother with a unique perspective. Who better to help her weather this storm than the person who was starting to come out the other side.
Who wants to have their child deal with clinical anxiety. This mom didn’t. But she had to. So that she could make a difference. So that she could understand. So that when she heard about a mom in need she could say, “I get it.”
Let me tell you another story. Several years back I heard that a family young boy in our church got in a accident on his bike. The long and short of it is he had a head injury that would ultimately take his life. What wisdom can you give a parent going through that. Where do you even start. I would visit the family but had no idea what to say. I didn’t, but my friend Scotty did. He showed up at the hospital weekly. He prayed for the family. Then when the boy died and went to be with Jesus Scotty had the right words to say. Scotty was perfectly equipped. Because when his daughter was in high school she was in a car accident and he lost his beloved Chelsea. He understood in a way that I never could. He had the words to say that I could never say. Scotty walked through my scariest nightmare so that he could care for this family