Journal Entry: John Dalaly-11/25/2023-Life’s Lessons

Journal Entry

As I embark on the final days before my surrender to the Hazelton federal prison camp, I find myself reflecting on the journey of life and the invaluable lessons it has bestowed upon me. Life’s struggles, be it mental, financial, familial, or even illness, serve as catalysts for personal growth. They are the stepping stones of our evolution and education. Today, as I prepare to work through the final days before I leave my family, I am thinking about my last religious silent retreat before my surrender. It has filled me with a sense of peace and tranquility.

The serene ambiance of the retreat center, where I spend my time in quiet contemplation, uplifts my spirit. The sun shines brightly, serving as a reminder that the divine presence will always be with me, guiding my path. In the face of adversity, we must hold onto our faith and trust in God. It is through these trials and tribulations that we are tested, to see if we will stray from our spiritual path. Temptations may arise, but in those moments, we must close our eyes and turn to God.

Behind every happiness, there may be moments of sadness, but it is during these challenging times that our true strength is revealed. As I sit here, pondering the days that lie beyond the prison walls, I realize that I have a choice. Yes, a choice to either let the prison control me or to take control of every aspect of my mind while I serve my sentence. 

I will approach this chapter with a positive mindset, keeping busy, focusing on personal growth, and planning for a brighter future.

God has blessed us with one mouth and two ears, a reminder to listen more and speak less. Each day within the confines of the prison will be treasured, as I seize the opportunity to better myself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The prison environment, whether it be a camp or a cell, can serve as a think tank for personal transformation and preparation for a better life outside these walls. I am confident that everything will be okay.

Throughout the years, my family has been my rock, and their well-being has always been my priority. In recent times, I have made it a habit to text my two eldest granddaughters. These messages are a combination of prayer, wisdom, and respect, instilling in them the values of strength and righteousness from a young age. I continually remind them that they are leaders, not followers. 

Amen to that wisdom.

Today, I offer a prayer:

“Father, I thank You for granting me the ability to control my own atmosphere. Though I cannot control the words or actions of others, nor the negative circumstances that may surround me, I can govern my own spirit. I choose to dwell in peace and reject anything that seeks to poison my atmosphere. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.”