When I first came to S-Anon and started to work the Steps with my sponsor, I realized quickly that although I was in my late 40’s, I had a very childish sense of my Higher Power. I still saw God as my parents, powerful and punishing. I thought that God was like a magic genie; leaving gifts I wanted and making people do what I wanted and circumstances occur as I planned. I obviously needed to grow out of my life-long immature belief system. But how? My sponsor offered: pray for the willingness to receive God and that God reveal Himself to me. So I prayed.
The first miracle occurred when I was driving to an S-Anon retreat. I was pulling off the highway and noticed that the town had an ironic name. A beautiful version of an old, soulful worship song was playing on the radio and that’s when a new spiritual awakening hit me. The town bore my father’s name. I knew what my father’s love felt like. The love of my Higher Power was far greater and more powerful. I could feel the energy and warmth of that love right there on the side of the highway. Tears fell down my cheeks. God was not Mom, Dad, or Genie. I could not see God, but I could feel God. I could begin there.
The next miracle occurred some months later when I discovered my husband had relapsed in his sexaholic behaviors. One year into S-Anon and I knew far more about this addiction than when I started and with this relapse I was broken. I sat in my dining room in the early morning hours aware of my powerlessness and despair. I prayed the Third Step prayer with all my heart, not expecting anything, doing only what I was taught to do. In an instant, I heard words, not spoken out loud but clearly placed in my thoughts, placed there not by me: “It’s not a punishment, it’s a calling.” I was dumbfounded. Again, tears came to me and I was aware of the powerful, loving presence of what I call God. I went to my knees and spoke “Yes, I accept the invitation.” What else could I say? I R.S.V.P.’d “Yes.”
Miracles happen all the time if I look. The Moon was full last night. My dog licked me on my face when I woke up. The roses in my backyard still smell of spring and it’s almost November. Today I fail in my program. I judge. I resent. But I do know what it feels like to be in the presence of my God. Just about every time I get stuck in these Steps we choose to follow, I have to go back to Step Two because I see that I have made my God too small or ventured out too far on my own. The answer is that I have to let God get bigger. Everyday. Because I accept the invitation. I have come to believe.
Reprinted from the Fall 2010 issue of The S-Anews©.