Recently I ran into an old friend from High School. When I saw them I felt immediately embarrassed but went up to catch up anyway. We talked for a little while and felt the need to apologize for the way I used to be and if I had ever offended them. High School wasn't that long ago for me but a lot has changed.
I wonder what people remember about me. I was a totally different person into totally different things. I wasn't a very friendly guy and I am sure that I have wronged a lot of people - some purposely and some unknowingly. My wife and I moved into an apartment complex a bout 2 years ago and when we went to church I saw a girl who lived across the street from me growing up. I was really good friends with her sister and my friends and I were always over her house. This girl knew A LOT about my past and I every time I would see her I would feel really stupid that I used to be the way I was.
So I would like to inform everyone who knew the yesterday's Joey or Joe is not here today. I am continually trying to improve myself everyday with finding better ways to say and do things. I apologize for anyone that I have hurt in the past and wish I wouldn't have been such an idiot but I guess that is process of growing older - learning from your mistakes.
One major event in my life is the day I realized that God has a plan for me, and if I follow it I will find happiness. I realized that there is a way to erase the past through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Today I am changed man because I have hope for my family's and my future. I feel very grateful to God in snatching me from pit that the devil lead me to fall into (I of course chose to fall in though).
There is a story in the Book of Mormon about a young man Alma, and his father was the head of the church in their area. He went around town doing some terrible things and persecuting people who believed in God and who tried to serve and be good people. He lead many people to do wicked stole their hearts away from God. So one day while his friends were going around rebelling an angel appeared to them and rebuked them. The angel said "...go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more...and this even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off." Meaning - if you feel like destroying yourself don't bring other along for the ride.
Alma was so shocked he lay in a coma-like state for three days. When he woke he was a changed man. He described his experience during those three days as remembering all his sins and all the pains he had caused people. He wished that he could hide from God and be destroyed so he wouldn't have to face the pains and guilt he felt. Then he remembered what his father had taught him about Jesus Christ and how through him we can be forgiven and cleansed. He started along a repentance process and was filled with joy and went about doing good from then on. Later in his life he even led the church himself like his father.
For me I feel a similar way to Alma. I didn't see an angel or have anything huge happen. I did however have a change of heart through several experiences and I now feel joy and have a different outlook on life. In the words of Alma "yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy."
I have found a better way and more hope for life. It has not been easy reprogramming my brain but through prayer, faith, and reading true teachings in the Bible and Book of Mormon I am on my way. I had another friend say to me one time "I wish you were the way you used to be, you have changed". I have always resented that the wanted me to regress back to ol' Joe Macedone but to them I say THANKS FOR THE COMPLIMENT I AM A WORK IN PROGRESS! :) Sorry to anyone who knew me back then I am a much happier person now.