Over the last few months change has hit me in waves of joy and reflection. It began upon the arrival of my bride in January and progressed with each milestone in the months that followed. On a cold weekend in February I traveled with my fiancé to my parents house in my small hometown in Gray, TN to pack up my childhood in boxes that might one day be passed on to my children. Every old yearbook, video recordings and photos told stories and reminded me of the dreams and hopes I harbored through my college years. Strangely, it hurt to pack up my memories. I mourned the loss and then sat by my father’s grave to bare my soul in solitude as I often did during my visits. When I took one last glimpse of my bare boyhood room and pulled out of the driveway to return to Los Angeles, I felt like I was leaving behind a part of me forever. For the first time since I left my parents house 13 years ago to go off to school, I realized that coming back home would never quite be the same again. Nevertheless, a new chapter was waiting…
A month later, I celebrated 30 years of my life. After my initial panic of the major life changes that were hitting me all at once and the realization that my years of singlehood and youth were rapidly vanishing, I stopped and reflected yet again. And as my lifesong sang my story, I realized that though my three decades on this earth I had been blessed to live a full life. Weather or not I am always successful I realized that I wake up each morning and live out my calling. It was with this new perspective that I woke up to welcome the sunrise of my thirtieth birthday, and what I believe was the happiest day of my entire existence.
I watched the golden sunrise with my bride on the beach, spent a meaningful afternoon with my roommate celebrating the sunshine on the mountainside, and then soaking in the crimson sunset over the ocean from the top of the Shangrilla hotel, surrounded by my friends who had dressed up in New York fashion in my honor to celebrate me. There were gifts and words that told stories of my new life. I was drunk from joy that night.
The weeks that followed seem like a dream fueled by my positive outlook and the new songs my life was singing. Following a glorious Easter celebration, I boarded the plane with my roommate and best man to my beloved New York City. Despite the high stress of wedding week and the challenges that have met me from every end, I have cherished the joy of an anticipating bridegroom. Every place of my past in this glorious but harsh city has reminded me of how far I have come.
“I once was lost, but now I’m found.
Once was blind but now I see,
I don’t know how but when He touched me,
I once was blind but now I see
And now my Lifesong sings to Him”
It’s quite simple… I was met by grace in the most profound way. No matter where my journey took me, my creator never took His hand away from me. So beneath all the life changes and rapid pressure, there is pure joy.
I write this at the wee hours of the morning while people gather in Times Square to witness the royal wedding in just an hour. It is the eve of my own wedding day. Tomorrow I will continue the legacy that was left for me and embrace the joy I waited so long for. Tomorrow, surrounded by those I love and standing in front of the woman I love, my lifesong will sing once more.