That’s a fair question. If you’re a close friend or family member, you obviously know the answer, but for those of you who haven’t seen or heard from me in a while, let me bring you up to speed.
I’ve been living – and living for the past few months in one of the most peaceful communities in the south. To say the last year, or rather the last eighteen months have been eventful would be a bit of an understatement – yet for each stream that contains more than its share of twist and strong currents, there is always a little gold buried somewhere under one of her stones.
Eighteen months ago I was a husband, father, financial advisor and State Senator in Germantown, Tennessee. In a series of unfortunate twist and turns, most of which I was responsible in directing, my life came unwound like a ball of yarn dropped from thirty-thousand feet. Sometimes God carefully reshapes our lives with laser precision, just as an artist chisels small details on a statue. Other times He simply takes a sledgehammer and with one fast and furious blow, burst everything into a million pieces with the intention of just starting over. He chose the latter in my case.
In February of 2009, when the financial services firm I worked for was closed by government agencies and the top executives charged with various counts of financial irregularities, it was a huge blow to those of us who worked so hard to service our clients. That’s a story that will most likely take another few years to play out. Although none of my colleagues or me had any knowledge or role in the wrongdoing, it really took the wind out of our sails.
Then in late July of 2009, the affair I had with someone in my legislative office became public and made state and national news as a result of a failed extortion attempt. Knowing my political career would most likely come to an end for the time being, I went to our states top law enforcement agency with information which led the an arrest and indictment of one of the responsible parties. The trial is scheduled for February of next year and I bet this one may even make Court TV.
Two weeks later I resigned from the Senate and a week later my wife of ten years asked me to move out and filed for divorce. It was at that point my ball of yarn had completely unwound. Most everything I had known for the previous decade was now dismantled; and I was the one responsible.
I spent the next nine months looking for other career opportunities in Memphis and spending an incredible amount of time with my two wonderful children. While difficult in many ways, it was time I used to grow closer to them and God and learn what grace and unconditional love looked like. For that I am eternally grateful. I traveled to Haiti on a mission trip three weeks after a destructive earthquake rocked their nation and was quickly reminded that whatever I thought was so difficult in my life paled in comparison to the pain and suffering those people had and will endure for some time to come. It was a trip that will forever change my outlook on life.
Around the end of the school year I needed to make a decision on where to live since the house I was living in was about to be sold. After a ton of prayer I felt led to move to a town I had always wanted to live in and on June 15 of this year became Franklin, Tennessee’s newest resident.
So what am I doing in Franklin you ask? I’m now a writer. Not so much by choice initially, but rather by circumstance and wanting to share the part of my story that was never told. I lived through an incredible period that when I finally complete will make my manuscript read more like fiction than the narrative non-fiction memoir it actually is. The funny thing is I believe I have found my calling in life and have literally fallen in love with the written word. When strung together in the right order and with emotion and feeling, such words can transform lives, take people to places that have never been, and uncover emotion that may not have known existed. It’s really an exciting time.
As I travel through the maze of the publishing world I’ll post my thoughts on writing from time to time. In the meantime, enjoy the fall weather that is quickly approaching and today – I’m just proud to celebrate my daughter’s seventh birthday.
Happy Birthday Mary Morgan! I love you very much.