Just now, the realization became ever so more clear to me of the Divine Hand of Providence that has been so incredibly active in my life.
It was in Indianapolis, Indiana, in June of 1981, twenty-five years ago, that I was first diagnosed with terminal lymphatic cancer, and given not more than six months to live.
However, by virtue of a Priesthood Blessing, administered to me under the humble hands of my fellow Priesthood Brethren (Jim Utterback and Tom Meranda), the cancer not only went into remission, but was completely healed.
And, if that was not enough, and, as previously promised by my Patriarchal Blessing (in 1969), there have been many, many more incredible events in my life, as my "Guardian Angel...has watched over (me) thus far, removed many barriers from (my) way, stumbling blocks from (my) path, and preserved (my) life for a purpose...".
As part of that blessing, I also have "Learn(ed) patience that (I) may be able to withstand adversities...", and there has been a goodly portion of that in my life, but probably no more than experienced by many others.
Even so, those adversities also have blessed and strengthened me, more than I can find words to be able to even begin to express.
To name just of few of those challenges would include, but not be limited to: the burning of my home to the ground in 1996, the untimely death of two fiancee's (one who was murdered, and the other who died in a Chicago post-operational recovery room), the loss of my former employment which was followed by an increasingly long and desperate search for work, the devastation of my personal finances and the long struggle to overcome the subsequent and crushing financial indebtedness, "terminal" kidney cancer in 2002, two major carotid artery blockages, a multitude of other surgeries, and, worst of all, the heartbreak of soul-shattering divorce.
Even my current employment as a prison case manager, in such a dangerous and stressful environment, was first viewed and complained about by me as a terrible burden, but now, in retrospect, is appreciated as just one more opportunity to grow, serve, and learn.
Truly, my life has been full of blessings, but no blessing has been as wondrous and eternal as my youthful conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which is led by Jesus Christ Himself, through His modern day prophets, seers, and revelators.
I may not know much, but I know the finisher of my faith, and that, through His Atonement & Resurrection, all my myriad imperfections are swallowed up in His redeeming forgiveness, mercy, and love.