I Can Only Imagine

Yes I purchased the movie and watched it for the first time and luckily in the privacy of my own home, because I cried like a baby. Yes this stone cold emotionless individual still has tears streaming down his face as he types this. I am numb, yet I am filled with sadness, regret, pain, sorrow, anger.

This movie truly brought out the true pains of my life that I have NEVER truly dealt with in any serious manner. I realize the help I have sought throughout my life has been so superficial. I realize that I have to let so much go. I realize the damage I have done to myself and continue to do by not releasing the terrible pain inside of my soul.

Bart Millard states that dad was the victim of an accident and his mother was a victim of a bad husband. The point is there are many that are victims and character is built from how you react to it. When I look deeply at my character it’s saddens me to how how I reacted and what I became. I never fixed my problem I only made it worse, I became a people pleasure, a placater or calling like it is, I’m a liar. I’m so untruthful to so many, but most of all to my self. Most of my relationships in life have been out of convenience. I realize never having that nurturing true love of a parent has prevented me from being truly vulnerable and has caused me to show a lack of emotion. I watched this movie renewing my pain. Remembering the true loneliness. My imagination being my real best friend and straddling that line between reality and fantasy. I currently care for the dad that was my monster. By no means do I compare him to any parent who continually physically abused their children, but there were moments. It’s the mental abuse. Hearing that you are worthless, never will amount to anything, kicked to the curb in so many situations. Today caring for my dad is a challenge. I’m the only one of his six children that has any relationship with him. He is beginning to suffer late stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. He only still cares about his needs and wants. I know there will be no wonderful happy movie ending to our relationship. My dad will never realize the pain he caused to so many. He will never search for forgiveness from anyone, he has never understood the concept, but that’s not his fault. He was a victim. He was a victim of a father that kicked him to the curb at the age of five when his mother died giving birth. It’s sad. It’s sad of the decades of quality life the I let be robbed from me. The decades of anguish and pain that could have been avoided by knowing and living one magical word, forgiveness. Now by no means I’m saying I watched a 2 hour movie and now everything is blue sky and happiness, not so. If anything it has complicated life. I now have a lot to do to turn my life around. Will some become angry and resentful by my changes, sure, but it will truly be test of who truly cares and loves me. That test will start with myself. I have built a wall of protection around myself. This wall is layer after layer of fat. I became what I was told I was and never strives to be who I truly am. Is it too late, no it’s never too late, but I must start and I must start now. Tonight has been a true revelation. A song I’ve listened to hundreds of times and has been so inspirational to me, comes back full circle. Learning of the songs origin has truly brought greater meaning to me and a new direction. I pray for strength to truly be able to make the changes in life that I need to make. To truly heal my pain once and for all and to be who I’m truly meant to be.

God Bless

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Your Prayers Were Answered, Now What?

Remember the old saying? “Lookout for what you pray for, you might get it.” I have been silent on my blogging the past few months just for that reason. I prayed and asked God to PLEASE give me a sign. He gave me a sign so obvious, my life has been changed forever.

I have prayed as long as I can remember. Every night as a child before I went to bed. I prayed before meals, at scout meetings, 4-H meetings and yes even in my public school. Some of you may remember those days when we had God and discipline in schools.

I’m sure God has answered many prayers in my life that I haven’t given Him credit for, but in October, 2017, God reached down smacked me across the face and said, “Now do you hear Me?” Loud and clear.

So now that my prayer has been answered, now what? I really was not prepared for such an oblivious answer. An answer so obvious so clear that I called my wife to find out what she thought would happen if I didn’t follow through. Will God punish me the remainder of my life on this planet? You guessed it. I didn’t want to find out, so I followed what He told me to do.

I was not prepared for how the situation turned out, but I’m following God’s answer. I have turned my life in a whole different direction and I feel His guidance and blessing everyday. I don’t know how this will all end. I don’t know what His ultimate plan is for me. All I know is life has changed, God is good and He will get us where we need to be.

The power of prayer!

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God IS Listening

I know I have been missing in action. I know it has been a while since I have posted anything to my blog. Well I’m back. I’m back and better than ever. Life has been a struggle for longer than I care to remember. My recent struggle with unemployment has just added to the frustration.

I decided to follow my own words and “If I can’t join them, then beat them.” This week I took my first steps to a life change, I purchased my own business. I’m nervous. I’m excited. I’m blessed. I didn’t make this decision on a whim, I consulted the One that knows.

A couple of weeks ago I was in Connecticut to look at purchasing a franchise. A franchise that would not only be the first in my area, but the first in my state. The night before our “Discovery Day” I was a nervous wreck. I talked to myself. I asked myself, “What are you thinking? What are you doing here? Have you lost your mind?”

I got up the next morning after not much sleep. I prayed like I never prayed before. I asked God to please give me a sign. Please make it obvious to me. Please don’t make it like one of Your Son’s parables like He is known for.

I started my day heading out with a technician to observe their system on how they operate. My tech and I had three calls for that morning. We had two residential and one commercial call to a CPA firm.

My tech received a message at our first call that his second call had rescheduled for another day. As we were leaving the first stop, he received another message assigning him a new call. So off to the next assignment we went.

The next thing I know we pull into a Catholic Church, yes my church home. Not totally convinced that this was my sign, I look at the tech and asked, “Is this a Catholic Church?” He responded, “Yes.” He told me they have a service agreement with them. So I responded, “So you you come and support them often?” “Oh no, I’ve never been here. They usually send John, honestly I don’t know why they sent me.” At that point the hair on the back of my neck stood up. It felt as though all my stress, negative thoughts, doubt, worry and anything else you can imagine, just lifted from my shoulders. I looked at the tech and informed him, “They didn’t send you, Someone else did.”

It was at that moment I realized I am on the right path. He sent me to my home of worship. He sent me to the one place I know I’m supposed to be. He gave me a sign and slapped me right across my face like I asked Him to do. Now I know God doesn’t want me to be a fool with my money, but He let me know I’m heading in the right direction.

I have purchased the franchise. I return to Connecticut for a couple weeks of training, I may even hang out in NYC for a weekend. I once again get to start my adventures. I once again feel the fire burning inside.

The path of my journey has once again changed. My journey takes me in a direction of pure happiness and joy. There is a lot of work ahead, but when it’s a work of passion, GREAT!

My love for my Heavenly Father is infinite. My path has become clear after decades of being lost. Most of all, my faith is recharged to its fullest and I have plenty to share with others.

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When people think of Florida, they think of amusement parks, sunshine and beautiful beaches. A place to go relax and have fun and get away from the daily grind of life. They head there for vacation, but eventually it’s time to pack up and head back to the real world.

Many years ago I packed my bags and headed to Florida to continue my education. I had visited there a few times in my younger years, but only for vacation, not to live. I was heading there after being invited by my aunt to checkout a junior college in their area.

I remember it vividly. The excitement of the adventure ahead of me. This teenage boy from Indiana leaving the Hoosier State for the Sunshine State. I enrolled in school and loved it. Money was a huge struggle, but I was making it. There were some bumps in the road, but I persevered.

The thing I soon realized was how great I felt, just not physically, but mentally. I wasn’t sure why I felt so great at the time, but I was in Florida and that’s all that mattered. Life was good, no not good, it was fantastic.

Things were just moving along, I had school, I was working and I was beginning to make some really good friends. I thought this is it, I found where I was meant to be. But as we learn in life, all good things must come to an end.

I returned home one afternoon and there was a message from my aunt that I needed to call my mom back in Indiana. I knew it couldn’t be good because my parents never called me, but I called them occasionally. I did and as I thought no good news.

My mom informed me that my younger sister that I was close to at the time had attempted suicide. She attempted to overdose on pills but was caught in time. I told my mom I would catch the next plane home. My parents caught me as I was leaving for the airport and told me my sister wanted me not to come. I was given a wide assortment of reasons, so I didn’t go. I was devastated. From that moment on I lost my Florida.

Yes MY FLORIDA! It was no longer just a physical place, but a state of mind for me. It was a place free of my dysfunctional family and all the misery that went with it. This was my place for a new beginning and a life where I could truly be me and not working so hard to be different than my family and doing things just to prove I’m not them.

I was learning what it meant to have true unconditional relationships. I was learning what it meant to be hardworking and disciplined. The were all things I never did back home. Back home I worked hard at being nonexistent. I did what it took to be accepted by others because all my relationships were built on conditions and too many conditions to list.

That moment began a huge domino effect that eventually sent me packing back to Indiana. My Florida was gone. I was once again smack dab in the middle of dysfunction USA. Most of my friends were gone, either off to college or moved away for jobs. I worked whatever jobs I could knowing I needed to finish school. I finished school, got married, had a family and no regrets for that. What I do regret that during this time I never got back to my Florida.

I keep saying I want to go back to Florida, but I hear how it would probably be different now. I know it would be. But as I’ve said, Florida is not a place on a map for me, it is a state of mind.

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Searching for Me

I'm sitting in my car watching the world go by. Confused how the world can act as though all is well while I struggle finding employment. Don't these people realize how much I'm suffering. Don't they realize my daily struggle. How can the world go on without me involved? I know, pretty arrogant words, but so many think that way. I on the other realized years ago that this world will continue without our individual involvement.

I have racked my brain for decades trying to figure out who I truly am. I still haven't found me, but I know that day will come. If my life were a painting, it would be abstract art. I believe everyone that looked at it would have a different opinion, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. I know my life isn't worthless and I have made a difference, but it's the emptiness inside that saddens me.

I have many decisions to make along with many changes. Some of these will be difficult, but I can no longer worry just how it will affect others, but also factor myself in the mix.

I know God has a plan, I just hope I'm not hiding it from myself.

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Where Am I?

As I looked around the sanctuary at Mass this morning I came to a huge observation, I don't no anyone here. Other than one person we ran into that is not a parishioner that I went to high school with, I knew no one. Let me correct that, I know the priest and my wife who was with me. So out of 1,500 people I knew 3. Not much of a comforting feeling.

I then returned home to my house on our little cul-de-sac. I stood in the driveway and realized I haven't had a real conversation with a neighbor in weeks. Some neighbors it's been years since I talked to them. It is just amazing what has happened with my life. I looked around and thought to myself, "Where am I? How did I get here?"

I am actually to the point that it really doesn't matter where I am and how I got here. I know I want out and I'm the one that has to do it. Daily I work hard to get a job in a line of work I don't want to do in a place I don't want to be. I understand that in life we have to make sacrifices. Well that's all my life has been a life of sacrifice. A life of working hard to get to a place I don't want to be.

I emotionally battle everyday the loss of time in my life. The time I have given others hoping to be loved, accepted and a part of something, It is hard seeing your spouse and feeling that loss of connection. The treatment that makes you feel incompetent and useless. The look that everything you say or do is wrong or scrutinized. The daily feeling that you have lost so much and have no one to blame but yourself because you never wised up to your own shortcomings.

You never realized the hurt and pain brought on from parents that never showed not only unconditional love, but no love at all. You find yourself swimming in a sea of regret because you have never been able to find that place in life where you have felt wanted and accepted.

Time quickly passes and those moments of uncertainty and self doubt turn into a lifetime. Those that weren't there for you are the ones that you are now bending over backwards for and you realize nothing has changed other than they expect more and more from you,

I find myself digging deep into my memory to hopefully find that moment or time in life that I was truly happy. A time where I could be the authentic me. It's a place hidden deep in my past, that many don't want me to return to. If I would return to that place some would be bothered for that fact that I would actually think about caring for myself. It's a place of happiness because everyone there wants to be there. Existence is not an obligation but a privilege. You enjoy doing for others because it's appreciated and guess what others do the same for you.

I know this post may appear to be self loathing and quite the pity party, but it's not. I ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN. I blame no one else. I have the ability to say no. I know right from wrong, but still lack that true feeling of being. But you know what, I can change that. It won't be easy. There will be some tears and hurt feelings, but I can no longer continue down this path.

Change is good. Change is hard. But change can allow me to know, where I am.

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Yes, so many questions, but I have no answers. It's even hard for me to decide where to start this post. Not to offend anyone, but my life is just shit right now. All the decisions that I need to make only have choices I don't like.

My situation has many different variables. I know there are people in worse situations, something I hear a lot, but I always remind them there are people in better situations. Life at this point is intolerable. Nothing is right, nothing is easy. There is no enjoyment. No happiness. Love, trust, hope, relationships have all been lost and shattered.

The largest issue is unemployment. I have been without a job since last March. Daily I hear how unemployment is at its lowest and officially state there is no unemployment. REALLY!!!!! I can testify I am, so there IS unemployment. You place on top of that the I have been under employed for the past 10 years, it makes it that much more difficult.

Then there is my dad whom I have been taking care of for the past seven years. He has Alzheimer's, dementia, micro vascular disease on top of the layers of emotional crap he has suffered since childhood. I'm the only one of his 6 children that cares for him. I have a younger brother that occasionally visits, but that's it. His apartment at the assisted living facility he lives at has a bed bug infestation, a really bad one. Now on top of that, I took him to the state fair yesterday. He left in an ambulance after collapsing, I caught him, while walking around the fair. He is fine, it was dehydration and I think one too many corn dogs.

Dad #2: My father-in-law is legally blind, macular degeneration. He lives by himself, widowed in the past 18 months. Severe grief, depression and loneliness are overwhelming him. His confusion is becoming greater by the day and is seeking constant attention from my wife and myself. She has four siblings that are absent from helping him.

My wife is overwhelmed with work, her dad and the stress of an unemployed husband. She is at her wits end and can no longer enjoy the success and good things happening to others. She is at such a point she is unhappy with everyone including God.

I am at my wits end for the fact of all the interviews that I've had and the canned response, "OVER QUALIFIED." I'm out of answers and can only now to begin looking out of state. My wife will NOT move as long as her dad is alive, which means if I take an out of state job, I'm on my own.

My wife and I are worn out. We have cared for others for the past 25 plus years. We have NEVER looked for anything in return, but have been saddened by the lack of support that we have received from others. Emotionally we are crushed. Spiritually we are hurt. We don't know why we are going through this, but whatever the reason, I blame no one but myself.

I'm the one that trusted. I'm the one who has always believed in being a good person. I thought that being loyal and honest would go a long way. I now realize I have done nothing but fool myself. Yes fool, the way I truly feel about so much of my life. What I've believed. What I've bought into. What I have trusted. I seems it is all gone. What was once a dream is now only a nightmare. Life is now about just survival and nothing else.

I don't know where God really plays into this. I know I turned all over to Him. I don't blame God, He has bigger worries other than my problems. Mine are self induced issues that stem from my blind trust and faith. Faith that I have been attempting to recharge for years now.

I don't know how this will all end. I don't know where I'm headed. I don't know anything other than I'm lost. I'm confused. I keep following a light that I'm not sure is a light or just a reflection of my imagination.

Trust me this is a tough post to write. It gets harder and harder by the day. It is easier and easier to become so numb to everything. Right now I don't see any happy ending to this, but I will keep going. I may lose it all tomorrow with so many unanswered questions, but I will know one thing. I did all of this with faith and a servant heart.

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