What I’m about to tell you changed my life and my values. I changed from having selfish desires to having a caring heart for others. And everything I learned, I learned from faith. The journey was life changing, and my greatest hope is that it helps others.
I’ve learned a lot over 44 years. The trouble, though, was that I didn’t realize I needed to learn anything until faced with two big negative events. Like many others, I thought I had my life together. I was young and naïve and life told me otherwise.
Through the death of my dad and two divorces, my journey truly began.
In 1999, my dad passed away at the age of 53. I was 22 at the time, selfish, and thought it was all about me. My dad’s passing taught me an incredible truth. He had told me to, “find something and stick with it” and that’s what I decided to do. In 2000, I went back to college.
I earned an Associate of Arts degree and completed my undergraduate in a city not too far from home. I was on my way to finding that something worth sticking with. But my personal life was complicated. I walked away from faith in 2002 and in 2004 I went through my first divorce. I began carelessly stumbling through life.
That’s when I found a mentor. This new friend encouraged me and helped me restart my faith journey. I grew and started desiring to help others create hope by building good character. In 2008, I met the woman who would become my second wife. Our marriage lasted five years and ended in a second divorce.
Some might think that my story ends after the second divorce, but that’s not true. That’s not where the story ends. That’s where everything I learned took root. It was an action of faith. And this action has taught me many things.
My heart has transformed from desiring selfish things to desiring balance. It’s a balance that uplifts people, encourages growth, and is based in the gospel message. The gospel message shows God came to give gifts we couldn’t earn: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, generosity, and self-control.
When you have these gifts from God, you’re able to grow and give them to others. These people then grow and make a difference in the lives of more people. But growth doesn’t come easy. It comes with pitfalls and mistakes.
What we do with mistakes makes our journey better. Mistakes create fear, but they can also be accompanied by joy. We embrace the truth in the fear and learn that mistakes aren’t failures, but instead they are hope. And hope is the greatest learning tool a person can receive. Hope changes our past into a positive future. It changes our sorrows into joy. And it gives us the opportunity to grow.
“This is My Story” by Michael Miller
Michael is a published author of Not I Leadership: A Christian-Based Leadership Model Inspired by the Life of Jesus Christ and has a website based on his leadership journey: NotILeadership.com. Michael’s hope for this journey is to point others to Christ so they experience the joy Michael feels and can share it with others.