In 2008, the Patriots went 18-1, my mother passed away, and I began recovery after hitting rock bottom in acting out, and again with a suicide attempt. On that incredible, miraculous eventful day, however, Jesus finally got through to me, and completely changed my life.
This is my journal entry for Thanksgiving 2008 [with a few minor punctuation edits, some comments in brackets, and some emphasis in italics]:
“Slept in – awake 8:30! 2008 what a year. I still miss my Mom. I’ve got a scar I can’t [see]. A memory that will never be forgotten. I’m 100x closer to my wife and trying to get that close to my children. I’m breaking forty-year-old habits. And making something happen. [My motto had always been “waiting for something to happen”.]
“A year of pain, terror, great love. And the biggest change (although, maybe not, because He has been with me all along – I just didn’t realize it): God and Jesus in my life. 2008.
“I feel amazed at how much I’ve been through this year – how many moments I don’t think I’ll forget. Awestruck like a child, but with a tinge of sadness for what has been lost and what still has to be lost – for what had to be necessary to bring me to this day. ‘It’s that in me which wants to run and hide’ (Nov 24 [see my previous post]). To change. To learn. To fix. To improve. And to take time to rest and reflect (like today) and to play, too. But to keep moving forward, no matter how painful – because there will be joy again.
“God, I’m so sad right now, writing this. The next few years will be emotionally the hardest for our generation, because the previous generation, their time done, will all be called home. My Mom was just the first. And the world will look to us.
“But let me not focus on sorrow.
‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.’ Psalm 30:5
“Joy. Joy to simply be here, able to write this today, able to write on this topic, given this year 2008. I am alive, and I have a reason to be alive. A reason to be thankful.
“I am blessed. Blessed to be who I am, a very interesting series of thoughts and experiences am I! Blessed with enough – despite the ‘hardships’ and extravagances of this decade. I sit here in warmth, with a pantry full, in a happy home – knowing that we will continue to move forward, having learned [the meaning of] ‘enough’. What a word! Blessed with family, unique each, full of potential, capable, and loving, (although, a challenge 🙂 ).
“I am blessed. I am awed at that. That Jesus – even the mere concept of Jesus – (who in this world would conceive of Jesus – it’s unlikely; it’s so unlikely so it must be true) – that Jesus would consider me bless-able. That is what – more than anything else – inspires me to want to fix, learn, improve, CHANGE.
“Change. The only unchanging thing in this existence. Change… chain-ge… Bound by it, we are. Consider a sports team [yes, I’m a lifelong Patriots fanatic]: the players change, come and go, but a well-managed team succeeds despite; the sum of its parts. For a brief time, so brief; so brief we are not even aware of it – aware that we are ‘there’, in a time of joy; a time when all seems well, fun, simple, complete, at peace, operating smoothly. But, change.
“Even in a family. Children grow, expand, become more each day. Even each of us, growing, learning, fixing, improving, changing. But, so often, we find a spot in time, and try to hunker down in it. I think I realize that now – the no time will ever last long – long enough – in this existence. That’s the concept of heaven: all those times of joy, lasting. I feel understanding about this. I’ve always been resisting of change, working to stay in those joyful times. Not accepting that need for opposites: no joy without sorrow. A thing has no meaning without its opposite – no distinction. So change in the pendulum’s swing between opposites, left/right, right/wrong.”