After just a few days of sharing my gratitude here, I have to say that I think this might be my favorite Healthy Habit so far. All throughout the day I am conscious of the things for which I’m grateful. It is often little things, like taking an early nap today, helping my husband make pies this evening, or talking to my good friend who just returned from out of town. But being conscious of my gratitude also brings to mind much bigger things. Tonight as Austin, Benjamin, and I had dinner, the conversation rolled around to the book of Revelation in the Bible (a nice change from the usual dinner conversation with the two guys in my life, which usually has to do with some type of bodily function). It was an interesting, hopeful discussion in which Benjamin heartily participated – he is a preacher’s kid after all, even if he is only 9. When dinner was over, I began to think about something that I am grateful for, that fits into the ‘bigger’ category.
I am beyond grateful for my faith. When I look back at the person I was before I knew God, I am truly amazed that I was able to make sense of anything. Or maybe that’s just it…I wasn’t able to. I know that not having any spiritual direction or faith in anything contributed greatly to my alcoholic drinking. I was missing something. I was looking to fill myself up with something that was going to ‘make sense’ and make me feel purposeful, something to give me meaning. Why I thought vodka and wine were going to do that, I don’t know. But I do know that I was conscious at the time that I was lacking something important, something that I couldn’t find, so I willingly dived into the bottle. I didn’t find was I was looking for there though, and as things got worse, I knew that I had to find some way to stop.
I ended up at a Christian treatment center (they took my insurance) and after my panic and fear settled down, I started to pay attention to what I heard about God and faith. I listened to the employees of the rehab, most of whom were in recovery themselves. They had what I wanted and that was sobriety; but it was also faith in God. When I left there, I definitely felt like I had been introduced to something I wanted more of. I believed wholeheartedly in Step 2 – I was only going to find sanity by trusting God. And I did trust Him. I had found faith; maybe just a little, but it was there.
That’s the really short version of how I started to believe and trust God. Since then, my faith has become ingrained in me. It gives me comfort when bad things happen, or when I am feeling down. It gives me confidence if I start to feel inadequate. It gives me hope when I feel hopeless. It gives me purpose and meaning when I feel worthless. My faith lets me know that I am loved, even when I feel unlovable. It lets me know that I am not alone, even when I feel lonely. It lets me know that I am forgiven, even when I am guilty. It lets me feel pride rather than shame.
Those are all things that I never thought I would have. But now, miraculously, I do. And for that I am eternally grateful.