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How Did John Smoltz Wind Up In MY Story??

8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

14 God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.

This is my eternal name,
my name to remember for all generations.

Exodus 3:13-15, NLT

Each day is a gift.

As I sit to write this blog, my life’s direction is becoming more focused with every passing moment. I am a writer. I am a nurse. I am a leader. I am.

My life has transformed before my eyes. That’s a time-lapse video of flower blooming before your eyes, a red Gerber Daisy to be exact.

Let me tell y’all something. You know a few weeks ago when I wrote a post titled “Lighting a Heart on Fire“? In it I had an image of an orange rose. I simply Googled “orange rose” to find a picture to use. For some reason, God just put this image in my mind’s eye.

Week or so later, while taking a walk with someone special to my heart, the question was asked..

What does an orange rose stand for?

Google search reveals that an orange rose signifies “Passion, Intensity”. This is important WHY???

It is me.

Passion is who I am.

OK, so NOW what?

This is how I understand addiction, myself, and my role in the world. I promise I will answer the question about John Smoltz soon…

From birth, I had a calm intensity about me. A passion, a fire within. I loved my mother intensely. I loved to have fun. I had a vivid imagination, and when I got interested in something, I pursued it at all costs.

Obviously as a child many in my family were entertained by me. This led me to excel at life through childhood. What a gift to the world I was to be…

Then came adolescence.

To keep it short, just know I was the golden child, entered a school where I was the “new kid”, but not only that…I was strictly “average” – at best! Coupled with a serious case of social anxiety, its clear why a developmental crisis erupted through my teenage years, which turned into addiction as an adult. Luckily, this little gift of “passion” is why my flame extinguished itself so quickly.

I have learned in the last 2 years that everything that was said about “sobriety” was true. It truly is a gift. This way of life will surpass your wildest dreams.

Why is this?

That thing called passion that I talked about…

It MUST be directed somewhere. Whether this is alcohol, social status, relationships, cars, money, sex, love….the list can go on ad infinitum.

It took me 18 months to realize this fact. A failed relationship initiated the process. I was putting my passion in my ability to love. In a relationship. When that went sour, I thought I would be crushed.

When I redirected it, EVERYTHING came full circle.

I am at a loss for words for how to describe it. Miracles continue to happen on a daily basis. Let me share just another example for you. You can call it “coincidence”, “synchronicity”, or whatever your heart desires!

I have been a lifelong baseball fan. I have been a passionate follower of the Atlanta Braves as well…having been raised in the Southeastern U.S., that is THE team to root for.

I have yet to write about the first miraculous gift that sobriety brought me – an honest and fruitful relationship with my father. I will one day, and I promise you it will be a tear-jerker.

Needless to say, my father and I had a broken relationship from late adolescence all the way through my drug use. Approximately one year before entering treatment for addiction, I purchased tickets to a Washington Nationals game for him and I. The Boston Red Sox were coming to town, and my boyhood idol, John Smoltz was going to be making his season debut in Washington. The Braves couldn’t afford him for one more season, so for his final year, he was initially signed by the Boston Red Sox.

Living in Virginia, we weren’t able to regularly attend Braves games. I have been to perhaps half a dozen or so in my lifetime. John Smoltz, my personal favorite of the legendary “Big Three” (Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz), was actually the only one I had yet to see pitch in person.

So in 2009, my Father and I finally got to see the old wily veteran pitch in-person. I had no idea my life was about to change one year later.

Smoltz was “Old” at that time, at least in reference to professional ballplayers. But he was still able to reach back and throw a mid-90’s fastball here and there. He was still able to throw his notorious slider for a handful of strikeouts. I was able to create a memory with my father, to be able to say “Yeah, we saw him pitch a game.” Beautiful, right?

Do I have to mention that Smoltzie has won every “Good Samaritan” award that MLB has to offer? Oh…here is an article I wrote over 4 years ago about him as an athlete, on the website “Bleacher Report”.

Well, John Smoltz has authored a memoir. It is titled “Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith, and One More Year“.

Any-who…in order to brief with words here is the link to Barnes & Noble’s website with information on his book. And I will let Mr. Smoltz himself reveal the “kicker” here (PLEASE WATCH – you will notice the significance and the role it plays in my story once you see it):

You see…on Sunday I wrote about Faith and Perseverance. On Tuesday I found this news via “Facebook“…John Smoltz will be at a book signing in Virginia Beach. A close friend of mine is a literary publicist. He got me in touch with Smoltz’s publisher. I am sending her an email now with a link to this post.

I have no expectations. A handshake would be awesome in my book. What is there to lose?

The point is this: maintain focus, seek a greater purpose, and your life will begin to transform before your eyes. I have a direction and a purpose today.

The fact that John Smoltz was my favorite pitcher growing up, that he is a man of God, a testimony of perseverance, and that I will at the very least be able to shake his hand…

Coincidence?

Keep it coming, God.

Oh…one more thing. That post I mentioned earlier, the one I wrote back in 2008? Exactly 2 years later was the date of my intervention at work. 2 years after that, God plants a woman in my life that will most likely be by my side for the rest of my days. April 17/18 2008 – 2010 – 2012.

I can’t make this stuff up, folks.

Here are some images from the day my father and I went to DC to see Smoltz pitch (CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE):

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2 comments on “How Did John Smoltz Wind Up In MY Story??

  1. I believe there are no coincidences, just a whole lot of things we miss. Great blog Troy!

  2. GREAT POST TROY! We all need people to lead the way for us and when those people are people of fame it makes it Bigger and Better! Funny you posted this… This morning I was listening to an online radio show and they asked callers to call in on “Who had been their biggest Inspiration in Life.”

    Coincidence? We are going to Smoltz – ! and I listen to this radio show this morning and your post is on the mark!

    Keep up the Great work! I’m going to post this on my Facebook pages that have the 10,000 followers if you don’t mind……………

    J

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