Journal Entry: John Dalaly-11/21/2023-FBI Came Knocking

Journal Entry

As I prepare to face the path that leads me into a 28-month prison term, I find solace in the lessons and blessings that life has bestowed upon me. Each day brings with it a unique encounter, an opportunity to learn, grow, and touch the lives of others. With a heart full of faith and a desire to inspire those around me, I embark on this journey, drawing wisdom from the experiences that have shaped my life.

In the quiet moments of reflection, I am reminded of the profound words of Jesus from the New Testament: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV). These words, spoken with divine compassion, carry a timeless message that transcends the boundaries of our earthly trials and tribulations. They remind us that in times of struggle and uncertainty, we can find solace and strength by turning to our faith.

Time, I’ve come to understand, is a precious gift – the ultimate healer of all things. As I prepare to surrender myself, I reflect upon the moments that have filled my heart with joy and purpose. For over two decades, I made it a point never to miss a Sunday in Michigan without attending church and visiting the resting places of my beloved siblings and parents at the cemetery. This tradition provided me with solace, a spiritual sanctuary where I could find comfort and communion with the divine. The thought of missing these moments leaves my heart heavy, but I carry with me the faith that God’s presence transcends physical boundaries.

In the tapestry of my life, there exists a day that shook me to my core, a day when the FBI came knocking on my door. I had been at the office, and as I noticed two gentlemen walking up our driveway, I assumed they were representatives from SEALs or perhaps religious visitors. Little did I know that this encounter would test my faith and resilience in unimaginable ways. The ensuing heartbreak, fear, confusion, and worry cast a shadow over my existence.

We shielded our children from this harsh reality for as long as we could, but it was Dina, our astute observer, who noticed a substantial check written to a criminal attorney. She recognized all the attorneys we typically used for work and personal matters, and her concern was justified. We had to break the news to our children then. Those initial 90 to 120 days felt like an unending nightmare. I became a shell of my former self, unable to sleep, plagued by constant anxiety, and haunted by the fear of the FBI breaking down our door.

During this tumultuous period, I turned to medication, seeking solace in Xanax and sertraline, and, regrettably, in alcohol. Therapy became a lifeline, but it was clear that my healing required more than external remedies. It was a journey of self-restoration, where I realized that true transformation begins within. My awakening came when I understood that, guided by the divine, I possessed the power to overcome adversity.

The wisdom of Jesus resonates deeply in these trying times. His words remind us that in moments of weariness and burden, we can find rest and strength by turning to our faith. As I share my experiences with others on this journey, I hope to inspire them to discover their inner resilience, to embrace the divine gift of time, and to find solace in the unwavering love of God.

In my next message, I will share stories of remarkable individuals who have touched my life, for they are a testament to the power of faith and perseverance. As we navigate the unpredictable paths that lie ahead, let us remember that “whatever will be will be.” The future remains a mystery, but with faith as our guide, we can find peace, purpose, and the strength to carry on.