A funny thing happened when I went to pray this morning. I was planning on using some of the new techniques Kelly has been teaching me in her book Designed to Pray, but as I opened my mouth, all I could do was say thank you for a whole bunch of things. I held the people’s names in my hands, but the words wouldn’t come. I am so thankful this morning for all I have been given. I really am. It was just surprising.
One thing Kelly said this morning is, “The goal of a loving relationship is to build something strong enough to withstand every one of the as-yet-unknown obstacles.” I have actually thought about this a lot over the years. As I am kind, it becomes easier to be kind. As I become thankful, I become more full of gratitude. It’s like a snowball. When challenges come, which they will, we have built up a reservoir of those things that we can remember when things are hard and think, “okay, I know that happened before, so it will likely happen again.” It’s hard to remember in the midst of hard things, but you will get glimpses of it at just the right time to hold you over. I think it brings hope. Hope for what we know has happened before and could happen again.
As I have started getting well, I have been afraid of becoming sick again. I am hyper-aware of how I feel and which way I’m headed. I know that I will have more bad days, we all will, but I know now that when they do, they will also go away. Even if they last a few years, like before, I know they will go away. Even if it hurts and I’m scared, it will eventually go away. The OA message reaffirms this – “examine my fears so they don’t haunt me the rest of my life.” I am afraid of getting sick. I’m afraid of what all of this has done to my children and my husband, of what lasting effects there might be. However, as I really think about these things and get below the superficial feeling of fear, I recognize that it will all be okay because God is in control and He can make up what I have lacked. I pray about that regularly, that He will step in where I mess up and make it right in their lives. Maybe that’s just a parenting thing and it’s more exaggerated because of the situation I happened to find myself in, but I am grateful to know that God is there in my children’s lives.
Part of all of this is being united with God and His purposes and will (the AA message today). It’s true. I want Him to make the crooked roads straight and mend the broken hearts, so I need to unite with Him every day in prayer and tell Him my needs and listen to His requests of me. Maybe there’s something I need to ask for or do or say to someone. I know that we have been given a portion of God’s light to lead and direct us. In fact, in my reading of the Book of Mormon this morning, I came across a verse that struck me in chapter seven (only three more until I’m done) –
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
As we ask in humility to have the dark clouds lift or the children’s hearts to be healed, we can know, in faith, that it will be of God. The things we ask are good. WE are good. We try to do good things. That feeling that brings us to God is, as it says above, “sent forth by the power and gift of Christ.” One thing Kelly said in week five that has really stuck with me is, “It is only when we fully express ourselves, pouring it all out for Him, that we become fully alive.” I know she talking about our lives in general, but I feel more alive and connected to God when I fully pour my heart out to Him in prayer. Yes, I know He already knows what I will say because He knows me so perfectly, but there is something in me that prayer changes. I become more sensitive to how I feel and I pay more attention to that quiet voice inside my soul that whispers what I need to do. It’s just easier to live a life in goodness than it is to live without it.