Lately I’ve been saving my deep thoughts from you all. It’s nothing personal, frankly I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a cocoon with my faith and sobriety and am just in here learning and waiting to share when I can wrap my head around the amazing things God does every day. Sometimes I need to just sit and be with God…apparently for long periods. I’m funny like that. Sometimes I get all hyped up and feel this deep, niggling need to get my fingers flying over the keyboard to share with you all and then other times my internal Julie is screaming at me to wait…that something is coming. I’m like that with laundry too…I type as I ignore the kabillion towels that need to be washed because my children don’t reuse towels…
So now I’m here amidst a house in chaos, with boxes piled around me from the trailer we emptied, my parents moving and oh and yes the bathroom renovation which is underway. Why would now be the time to share a story of faith with you when my life is in upheaval? Because God said so and no matter how much I’m bucking at His task (like a toddler) he’s telling me to pull up my big girl panties and write a weekly post telling you all about one of the many miracles I get to experience weekly. This is a commitment to give to you all a bit of me weekly, to stop going entirely silent when it comes to heart matters. Sigh..yeah add something else to the list God…growth right?
Here we go, The Miracle of the Week
To begin a long story in a shorter way I’m going to summarize some of it cuz we all know I can lament when I’m comfy in my yoga pants, with a coffee at the computer. We have a friend who we’ll call Chuck whom we’ve suspected has issues with alcohol and drugs over the past few years. We have gently tried to mention it but believe me when I say that the fastest way to end a friendship with someone struggling is to be an openly recovering alcoholic who they think is judging them…so it’s been a delicate process. Rather than confront him, we’ve been open with my life hoping he’ll see the amazing changes in it.
So the day came just a little while ago when he rang us up and asked if we could all have a chat. Sitting on my deck with his partner we listened to him pour out his heart with those ugly tears, telling us that he needs help and he’s an alcoholic. This is never an easy situation but within our hearts we were singing praises to God. Keep in mind these folks aren’t Christians so we couldn’t exactly jump up immediately and grasp them in prayers of thanks..funny how non-believers think public praying while in a hug is odd..ha.
So Chuck has been sober for over a month and rang me up yesterday to fill me in on his week. Earlier this week he’d gone back to a job which he’d been absent for during the beginning of his recovery. He’d had to take a lesser position and held some resentment about it, but knew he was lucky to have a job at all. His week rolled along, he was getting used to the routine again but still there was a feeling in his heart that he was alone while at work and being punished for being “different” .
When you’re newly sober this is a pervasive feeling, you can feel so isolated and alone because you’ve just killed your best friend. No longer can you turn to the bottle/drugs to help you deal with stresses or disappointments and Chuck was feeling emotions he hadn’t felt clearly for years. Each day he talked himself out of being angry the best he could and showed up to work, performing his job in his usual professional manner while stewing inwardly.
Chuck was doing the right things, he wasn’t drinking, was going to meetings and trying to pray. It was a tough week and he was really down by the time it was drawing to a close. On Friday he arrived at work feeling dejected and as he was entering the building his manager who had been away called him over. The manager is a friendly guy and they had a good rapport so when he asked Chuck what had been going on, Chuck let loose for the very first time and told him the whole situation. He didn’t gloss things over and said to me that it felt “freeing” to tell someone outside of his family that he’s an alcoholic, that he’s getting help and showed off his one month sobriety chip. Of course as soon as the words were out Chuck realized that he’d put himself in a frightening position, one where he could have been judged but God had his back.
His manager put his arm around Chuck’s shoulders, took the chip from his hands and said “Yeah, it’s a bitch…I have enough of these chips to decorate a Christmas Tree!” Turns out his manager is also a recovering alcoholic and offered his help to Chuck anytime at all.
Now my friends if that’s not an example of God’s miracle I don’t know what is! Chuck took a very big leap of faith by being vulnerable (something he had not done in YEARS) and sharing his truth with another person. He chose to live in the light, not knowing what the repercussions could be. When I asked why he did this after years of hiding, Chuck simply said he was tired of being that guy and it felt like it was time to finally begin to trust his Higher Power.
The miracle here is that leap of faith, trusting that he could face anything as long as he is sober and willing to do as God guided him to.
The joy in Chuck’s voice on the phone was palpable, gone were the resentful undertones and the sarcastic comments. He could truly feel joy for the first time in ages…because he was willing to actually feel and see God at work.
That’s God’s miracle for this week…do you have any to share?
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