I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. This is often a difficult philosophy to embrace, especially when seemingly bad things occur. In many ways, my life is proof of this scriptural passage.
First, I was deathly ill when I was first born. I was baptized in the hospital because I wasn't supposed to make it home. At the time, doctors couldn't even identify my illness. But, I survived.
Many parts of my adolesence, especially being picked on during middle school (but who wasn't?), taught me many lessons about treating all people with respect and dignity.
Much of my athletic career set me up for becoming the first athletic director of Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School - from getting cut from the basketball team, to joining the wrestling team (both in high school), to walking onto the football team at the University of Notre Dame and actually seeing the field. Even my first two years in coaching at St. Petersburg Catholic helped to shape my vision for what athletics should be in middle and high schools http://www.bmchs.com/canesathletics.cfm?subpage=743682.
My wife Emily and I grew up about 15 minutes away from each other in suburbs of Cleveland, OH. She went to an all-girls Catholic high school. I attended one of the three all-boys Catholic schools. We lived in dorms next door to one another in college and even had mutual friends. But, it took joining the Alliance of Catholic Education and randomly being placed in Florida for us to meet and become best friends and husband and wife.
I could go on and on about the connections between and among the many aspects of my life and how I have seen God's hand through them all. I haven't always been able to see It in the moment, but have been able to see Divine Providence at some point afterward.
It's what gives me the courage to believe that God has a plan for me and for all that is happening to me. He has plans for my welfare, for my future hope! It's not always easy, but trusting that God can take ANYTHING and make it work for His good is our challenge as believers. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans (8:28), "We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose."
In other words, I can see and I truly believe that right where I am in my life - no matter the storm, no matter the curve ball - is exactly where God wants me to be.
I can see and I believe that everything that's happened has led me to this...whatever this may be.