Can I be a witness

I spent Saturday afternoon with my best friend in this world. This is nothing new, as we have done this literally a thousand times over the 18 or so years I have known him. From 100 bonfires at his place, to a few dozen visits to the Pizza Cottage, we get together as we can. Heck we even worked together and were friends before either of us had any kids (there are now 6ish between us). But this is the first time we ever got together to have a Thurman Burger. And while that in and of itself is pretty spectacular,, the day presented us a chance to catch up, reflect, and get back to where we need to be.

As we drove the 20 minutes or so to the restaurant, Ralph and I talked about recent trials that we have been experiencing. He went through a rough couple of months and had to deal with a lot of issues that I had no idea he was facing. And while his struggles ran deep, he was able to change the things he needed to in order to start anew.

Likewise, he did not know about the issues I faced in the late part of last year either. I did not seek his counsel when a blow to the gut came in mid December and nearly crumbled the life I had built over last few years. The shoulders I did seek out were rock solid as always and helped me focus during the storm. As I was reeling, the advice was given to seek out a song (music is the soundtrack of life you know) and I did. I parked my radio dial on the station that played Overcomer a couple times a day. I got back to the music that reminds me that I am never alone. As we turned the new year, I spent many a morning in tears on the way to work, asking God to show mercy and help me to understand, forgive, and build a stronger life out of the wreckage. And, as he always does, I felt him put his arm around me and he guided me through. The song I needed to hear was always on the radio at exactly the right moment. Friends witnessed to me and reminded me to turn all over to him, let him take control of the situation. And the storm of rage that tore through me was calmed by a single lyric: "What if trials in this life are your mercies in disguise".

 I realized they are. And that this time, when confronted by adversity, I could find my answers in prayer rather than in a bottle or something I could smoke. The hurt I felt was replaced by hope, and I found that the forgiveness I sought was more about me than anyone else. And to this day, I feel refreshed in life, in my marriage, and in my relationship with Christ.

So when the opportunity arose on 2-22 (my mother's birthday, coincidentally enough), I shared this story with my brother Ralph. As we exchanged the details of our recent struggles, I relayed where I found peace. And how I felt so strongly that turning this situation over and letting go was the reason I didn't look for my friend Jack Daniels again. And that I had come to realize that even when we are at our furthest point away from God, he still holds us in his hand. How great of a feeling is that?

It was a beautiful day. A day that I felt re-energized once again. Not since the 8th grade have I felt so comfortable sharing my testimony with someone. Don't get me wrong, I have always had my faith. I never stopped believing in my savior, nor did I go out of my way to forsake everything I was taught growing up. But I also never have been an in your face, REPENT OR FACE HELLFIRE AND DAMNATION kind of guy. However, the opportunity to say to my best friend "Hey, don't forget, Jesus loves you" felt pretty good.

Ralph and I have a lit of things cooking. And as we move forward and make a few dreams come true, it is good to know where the foundation lies. As long as we stay focused on who we are and what we believe, then we will be led where we are supposed to be.

Day # 361. My Mom would have been 60. Wish we woulda had that party. But it is still good to be me.

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