“It is necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live.” Alexandre Dumas
“…instead give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life.” Romans 6:13 NLT
This past year has been spent falling into step with the Lord and learning to trust His wisdom and accept His love and grace. All daunting tasks, one would think, especially anyone who might know me and know how I have lived my life and conducted myself for the last 40 years.
I am a man now.
Not a better man, mind you, for I was far too immature, self-indulgent, irresponsible, impulsive, and immoral to dare call myself one to begin with.
It has been difficult, at times, to stand before you – most of you unknown to me – and peel away layers of myself to reveal what lay beneath.
It wasn’t always pleasant to see, and it was often painful to do, but I have felt comforted, and guided by the strong hand of God and I truly believe that my words have reached out to at least one person and affected a change.
All I have wanted is to feel that someone has stopped to think about who they are and what they are doing and caught themselves before their world collapsed and their life – and the lives of everyone around them – was forever altered in a truly horrific way.
It has been a year of giving thanks to God for every new day I have, for without His intervention I surely would have died on that lonely shower floor, washed in my own blood, to be buried in my sin and shame.
I found the best of years in the worst of all possible places and the joy of discovery of my manhood, my life, my love of God and my hope for the future at least partly made up for missing the feeling of my arms around those I love and living a “free” life.
For I know now that when my arms do – finally – embrace them, they will love who I am and will welcome this new person into their lives and their hearts.
And at that time I will really be free – finally free from the darkness I wrapped around my soul; and free of the inability to forgive myself for mistakes I have made; and free to love who I am.
And who I am is a child of God who once was lost but now has been found.