Pep Talk: “What A Blast”

May 8, 2017

A recent day found a man and woman discussing life’s crappy moments. We all have ‘em, right? A mother and son talking about the importance of trying to become students, not victims, of lousy experiences.
The drill is common. Life rarely goes as planned.  A Stronger Cord’s work in serving the isolated, vulnerable and displaced reveals horrific stories of dealing with life’s crap. The latest is a 40-something dude who has struggled with anxiety, depression and addiction. 
It’s not surprising considering, as a young man, an impressionable child allegedly had a father who: physically abused his mother, sexually assaulted a sister and locked the current Denver Rescue Mission’s New Life Program participant in the trunk of a car. “He didn’t want to see or speak to me so he’d lock me in the trunk until about ten minutes before mom got home. I’d play with toys in there.”
Is life challenging right now? Probably. Thoughts turn to folks met during this ten-week sprint for Leukemia & Lymphoma’s campaign to raise money for blood cancer research. Young and old fighting cancer and wondering, “Why me?” Let’s get real. We’re human and have those “Why me?” moments.
I think back on two marriages, subsequent divorces and the impact on two (one from each) grown, beautiful and healthy children. It wasn’t easy shuffling between two homes, having their parents’ new “significant others” introduced and dealing with the familial “stuff” divorce creates.
The stories of our lives. Always the defining question is, “How do we react?” Just the opinion of a simple dude from Missouri, but it seems often, once the dust settles and the pain subsides, we realize change brings things into our lives worth keeping no matter what.
Your knucklehead scribe’s second marriage meltdown opened a door for something magical to happen. It didn’t manifest overnight. Few worthwhile things do. However, once this blessing arrived about 15 years ago in the form of a beautiful, fun and generous woman, what a journey it’s been. This aging jock has become the envy of many who joke, “You’re a well-kept man.”
Guilty as charged.
In working with those on the comeback trail from addiction, incarceration, bad military experience or whatever, a foundational principle ASC pours forth is believing, “God has a plan, to prosper and not harm, to give us hope and a future.”
I’m grateful to be living that truth. An incredible human being walked through the door opened by another closing. A vivacious brunette has captured the heart of a guy who,  after two strikes, wondered if he was gonna whiff in the marriage game. Darling, happy birthday.
LIfe disappoints. Yep. However, don’t lose hope, it makes the heart sick. We never know when faith facilitates good fortune. I get it, simple, not easy. However, that spirit, on this roller coaster we call life, leads to beautiful blessings arriving in ways least expected. 
It took three trips to the matrimony platter to hit it out of the park. Married to the successful staffing executive? What a blast it’s been.

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