Ever since my dad passed away, I’ve been fortunate and blessed enough to be able to reconnect with some of my family that I haphazardly set by the wayside many years ago, due to my own selfishness and foolishness.
My cousin Tess is a prime example. She graduated with me at Brookfield High School in 1981, when we were both fresh-faced and ready for the glistening world that was staring us in the faces at 18 years of age. Our two families were close during our school years; yet when graduation was over, I chose to go one way; she went another. Months turned into years, and years to decades. We lost touch for various reasons, the majority of them my fault.
Then, a scant few weeks ago, the ties that bound us together were renewed, and it was as if NO time had passed at all. Tess and I picked up our conversations and actions right where we had left off, just like the early 80’s was yesterday. And I, for one, was not only relieved, but part of me also felt as if the circle of my life was nearing completion even more.
You see, for too many years I was lost; aimlessly drifting through a world of destruction that I had made for myself. My gods were drugs and alcohol; I was ensnared by the wickedness of this perverse, self-gratiftying generation. Yet, when I was in the “pig pen” and could do nothing but look upwards, God still loved me enough to save me from eternal damnation. So He put a ring on my finger, and shoes on my feet, and set me back on the path of righteousness for His Name’s sake. Salvation was mine only when I decided to stop seeking after my own fame and fortune and give my heart and life over to the Lord Jesus.
And, even through all the hurt and pain I had caused, my family and friends were still there, waiting for me, with open, loving arms. Hollywood could not have written a better ending to my story.
The amazing thing: all of my loved ones had always been there….it was just me who had moved away from them.
So now, many years and gray hairs later, I am back to the place where I learned the most; I am back to the place where love was felt the deepest, and the most…I am back home to stay.
So for my family and friends….I love each and every one of you more than words can say. Thank you for praying for me during my long, painful descent into hell; and thank you for waiting at the crossroads of life while I chose the right one to take.
And for you, my dear Tess….a better cousin no one could ever have, because you always told me the truth, no matter how painful that truth was. 🙂