I'm not sure what to call this one so I'll start writing. Maybe it'll come to me. Today, September 2, 2010, has been unlike any day I've experienced in some time. First, it represents the 27th month anniversary of the last time I ingested alcohol into my body. For the record, that's EIGHT HUNDRED-TWENTY DAYS. The reason I capitalize it is this. Each one of those days was taken ONE day at a time. For many who suffer this disease and have been sober for much longer than I, I'm sure they understand my thought process. And though I can appreciate and admire those that have gone 5, 10, 15, or even 30 years without so much as a drop, for me I am still amazed at how long it has been. I'm humbled yet at the same time, I gain great strength from this accomplishment and that strength continues to grow each day, especially in a spiritual sense.
Why spiritual? Here's what I mean. Today, of all days, the 27th month anniversary of sobriety, I received a phone call. It came from my new employer, the one that offered me a position well over a month ago but, because of "background issues" with respect to my record in Kansas, they required me to obtain special permission from the State of California to represent their company. This requirement has been on-going for nearly a month, culminating in having to send the State of CA. all of my court records from Kansas, fingerprints, photographs, and my own personal statement explaining in graphic detail what I did in Kansas over 2 years ago. What I discovered through this process was none of it was necessary. What I did had nothing to do with violating any laws that would lead one to believe that I "breached the public trust" or was involved in a "dishonest" act (Granted, one could argue a third DUI might be considered a "dishonest act" but that's not the point, especially in this instance). Consequently, over the past week, I began digging further and further into this issue, eventually corresponding with a high official at the State of CA. via email arguing my case. Finally, late yesterday afternoon, this official determined that I did NOT need special permission so I forwarded this information to my employer. They, in turn sent it to their home office legal counsel for further review. And then this morning came the phone call. I've been approved by their counsel to proceed without getting State consent.
So, that's two blessings, right? There's more. Late last night I sent a text message to my children. I've been praying for their safety and to have people come into their life that will provide them with a sense of peace and serenity. In other words, people of faith. Here's what my text message said: "I just want you to both know that I'm not perfect, in spite of being TOTALLY alcohol free for 27 months. I still make mistakes and am doing the best I know how to be the father you deserve. You may disagree with my actions but trust me when I tell you this. What I do, I do with my heart, soul, and with prayer. And I pray for your well being, too. In every way you deserve. I love you…..Dad."
My daughter responded this way: "That's so nice!" Then she gave me her new address in Virginia. You see, she left Tribune with her mother over two weeks ago because she was unhappy with her life there. And unhappy with me since I disagreed with her decision and would not support it financially. So unhappy that as recently as a week ago, she refused to tell me her whereabouts. Now I know. That makes THREE blessings I received from God, all just today.
Now to the topic at hand. The power of God and prayer. Think about what I've just written. Today, of all days, the 27th month anniversary of my sobriety, I receive all these blessings. Why? What did I do? Because I've been praying, and praying for a very long time for good things to happen, not just with my life but also for my children, their mother, and many others. More importantly, it reminds me of my FIRST post in this blog. The one written on April 20th, 2010:
Greetings friends. Over the past two years, I have had experiences nothing short of life-changing. It's quite a story, in many ways. I have developed a new life, a new way of living, made many new friendships, and as a result of those friendships, I have been told countless number of times from many people that some of what I speak and write about have been a source of inspiration for them. I've even been told I should write some sort of book, though that has never been something I could see myself doing. The funny thing is, I never intended to be an inspiration to anyone. It just happened. Then again as I look back, many things "just happened" during this time, most of them good in my life. And as I reflect on all those good things that have happened I have asked myself these questions. Why? Why me? Why me of all people? The one who has made so many mistakes in his life? And every time I search for answers there is always one thing that was a common denominator in every answer. Whether I had anything to do with these good things, or if it was just blind luck, the work of God, or whatever you choose to describe it, it still comes back to just one thing that I can't seem to get out of the equation. That's where this story begins and ends and what I've just written is just the start.
Up until today, I used to think that the "one thing that I can't seem to get out of the equation" was not drinking alcohol. In other words, something I did, not something anyone else did for me. But now I realize I had nothing to do with it, other than exercising the one thing God gave me: Free will. The right to choose between right or wrong, good or evil. By choosing right, by choosing good, God has rewarded me over and over again with many blessings. And today, September 2nd, 2010, he bestowed some big ones! There's no one who can tell me that the power of God and that the power of prayer doesn't exist. It's real my friends. My life is living proof and a testament to that statement.