We all have an idea of what it means, but it still remains a mystery.
To me it’s the unseen hand that directs my life. It’s gentle enough so as not to suffocate my own sense of control but firm enough to keep me from wandering too far away from my purpose. For me that hand belongs to God who I believe created me.
When you picture your destiny, what do you see? Close your eyes for just a moment and focus on it.
I’ll bet you see something glorious. A completed and successful novel or a business idea that takes off; or you on your wedding day so bright and beautiful that people talk about it for weeks. Whatever it is, I’m confident it’s something grand.
Most likely what we don’t see is the journey to get there. The road to destiny isn’t made of gold, it’s paved with tears of hardship. Columbus didn’t discover the Americas by simply sailing across calm waters and stumbling onto its shores. No, he and his crew had to brave the fear of the unknown and the unseen storms that lurked in the open ocean. And that is how he discovered his destiny.
The same is true for you and me.
I’ve written many articles on this blog about destiny but always in an abstract way and I thought they were creative but they lacked something. They lacked real life. My intention is to help people find their own purpose and for that a little reality is a necessary addition. So, here we go!
I’m a little nervous. Okay, give me a moment to take a deep breath.
I am an insanely happily married man to my beauty queen wife Marianne. To me she is the most spectacular woman who walks the earth. When people see us together they often think that we’re newlyweds because we are still so in love with each other. However, we’ve been married for 22 years and been together 23. I know in my heart my destiny was to marry her but to reach that destiny I had to take a journey that was an extremely painful one.
No matter how many times I tell this story, I still hesitate a little about talking about it. But I feel it deep down that someone who reads this needs to hear it so… another deep breath.
When I was eight years old, living in California my step-brother came to live with us and we shared a room. He was thirteen I think. But the idea of having an older brother was exciting to me, that was until one day he decided to molest and abuse an eight year old boy.
From that day on, I struggled with my sexual identity. Was I gay? Was I straight? At the time I didn’t understand all of the feelings I was experiencing so pushed them down where they could fester and corrupt. I didn’t realize it then but I went on an unspoken quest to prove I liked girls. That singular event spun my life completely out of control for years after he was forced to leave.
By the age of sixteen I was a violent and unstable young man. I was at odds with my parents which sparked physical confrontations. I resorted to cutting myself to deal with my rage and near suicidal and homicidal thoughts. Under today’s standards I’d been put in a mental institution and medicated heavily.
All of those physical altercations and the deep emotional scars led me to enlist in the Marine Corps with a single purpose. I wanted to give my life for a purpose greater than myself, my country. I figured since no one else valued my life, including me, at the very least I could die for something else that mattered. I wanted to go to war.
So I signed up, went to boot camp and was sent to Guam to watch the grass grow at a naval communication station there. My struggle with my sexual identity continued there too. I frequented strip clubs and other unsavory establishments. I also hung out in dance clubs to pick up girls, mostly Japanese girls, who were only there for three to five days at a time. My cutting also continued although not nearly as often or as obvious.
In early 1991 Iraq invaded Kuwait and my opportunity to complete my plan of suicide by war was now a real possibility. I volunteered to go and was on the list to leave. I was ready for it too, almost excited about it. But Destiny intervened and at the last minute my name was removed from the roles. I was extremely angry about their decision and made it well known that I was.
However, it was just a few months later on November 2, 1991 that I met my now beautiful wife Marianne and am now the happiest man alive. It took her love, God’s hand and a long time but I’ve finally let go of my past and I haven’t cut myself in nearly 20 years. I have a solid and safe relationship with my wife and my kids (all five of them). I am loved so much that it’s easy to love even the most unlovable people in my life.
But here’s the point. If I hadn’t been molested and my life hadn’t spun out of control; I seriously doubt I would have enlisted in the Marines which led me to my wife who was half way around the world on the tiny island of Guam is the South Pacific Ocean.
I never dreamed I could be happy or feel loved and every day when I wake up I’m still thankful for my life, the good and the bad that led me there.
Let me leave you with one thought: Destiny’s road isn’t an easy one but the journey reach it, in the end, is one worth every tear.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!