God, grant me the serenity…
Hi, my name is Jessie and I’m an alcoholic. Today my friend sent me this meditation: You should never doubt that God’s spirit is always with you, wherever you are, to keep you on the right path. God’s keeping power is never at fault, only your realization of it. You must try to believe in God’s nearness and availability of his Grace. It is not a question of whether God can provide shelter from a storm, but whether or not you seek the security of that shelter. Every fear, worry, or doubt is disloyalty to God. You must endeavor to trust God wholly. Practice saying: “All is going to be well.” Say it to yourself until you feel it deeply. I am a firm believer that God gives us the right words to hear just when we need to hear them. This is something I have been really thinking about a lot lately, and every word of that meditation rings with truth and clarity to me now more than ever.
Each day when I wake up I look at the first three steps of AA:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.
- We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
I think about that meditation when I think of those three steps. You must try to believe in God’s nearness and availability of his Grace. In admitting powerlessness and believing God can restore me to sanity, and I am wholly believing in God’s nearness and availability of His Grace. Without God, I would not be sober today. I constantly seek the shelter God provides from the storm that is alcoholism, and I trust that He will keep me safe from any temptations I may face.
Some days I think to myself, “I can’t do this, I can’t stay sober. I did such horrible things in the past that its not worth all of this work. I could just go back to the way things were because things aren’t going to get better.” I know, of course, that none of that is true. I know this because of my faith in our gracious and loving God. Every fear, worry, or doubt is disloyalty to God. That is absolutely true. God put us on the path we belong on. Some people walk on a perfectly groomed sidewalk for their whole lives, never having to step a toe in the mud. Others, like myself, might have to trudge over some bumps and branches on a poorly cared for trail before we find that step up to that groomed sidewalk.
My friend once said to me, “How do I forgive myself? If I don’t forgive myself it’s a slap in the face to Jesus who was crucified for MY sin in advance. If I don’t forgive myself, then it’s me saying what Jesus went through isn’t enough to help me.” Whenever I think that I am not strong enough, that I can’t make up for the mistakes of my past to why try to make a better future, I remind myself of this. Jesus already died for MY sins. He loves me no matter what, and He only wants me to have a better future with Him in my life. He endured the worst pain, He suffered and died for ME, and to not show strength and courage is letting Him down.
When I first started the Alpha course, which I’ve talked about in previous posts, the same friend gave me a bracelet with the Hail Mary prayer on it. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, I stop and say the prayer. When my friend gave me the bracelet, she explained that Mary never asked to be given such a responsibility to be the mother of God, to bear the life of Jesus Christ, but she did so because the Lord had chosen her and it was her duty. She endured such pain and suffering having to watch Jesus be crucified on the cross, but despite her suffering, she lived a great and blessed life. I think often about the Blessed Virgin Mary and how she provided the world with the gift of Jesus Christ. We ask Mary to pray for us sinners in the prayer, and I trust that she does so that we may live our lives as closely to Jesus as possible.
“All is going to be well.” All is well. Each day I wake up happy, alive, sober, and healthy is a day that is going to be well. Each day my loved ones and the people I care for wake up happy, alive, and healthy is a day that is going to be well. In my daily prayer I of course ask for health, happiness, and sobriety. I ask this not only for myself, but for my loved ones. God provides. He is the foundation of my sobriety, and I do keep His spirit with me to keep me on the right path, just as the meditation says to do.
My friend said to me the other night, “Our God is an amazing and all loving God. We are so lucky to know a love like His.” I lived twenty-four years of my life not knowing His love could be so amazing, and I never want to go back. Trying to tackle my sobriety without God would be an impossible task. Knowing I always have God by my side, and that I have His love and forgiveness, its all I need to keep me going.
Our father, who art in Heaven…
I’m very grateful to be here with all of you on this 22nd day of sobriety, and I look forward to many more.