Reflections on the Serenity Prayer

God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.


This has been my go-to prayer for a while now. Sometimes I will recite this simple prayer multiple times throughout the day. I start each morning and end each night with it. I’ve modified it to fit different specific situations and I’ve added to it for the same reasons, but I questioned what it truly meant to me.

I’m breaking this simple prayer down for my own benefit, and it very well could mean many different things to many different people, but maybe it is the same for you.


God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change… and the courage to change the things I can…

So what is serenity anyway? defines serenity like this:

  1. the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness.
  2. (usually initial capital letter) a title of honor, respect, or reverence, used in speaking of or to certain members of royalty (usually preceded by his, your,etc.).


Synonyms : composure, calm, peacefulness, peace.

Ok that doesn’t seem so hard to understand. Being calm, cool, collected and at peace about stuff. But what’s this business about doing so with things I cannot control. Those things stress me at times, just how can I be calm about them?

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, I always have been. I might not understand the ins and outs of why, or why now, but it’s happening because it’s meant to happen. This is God’s plan in motion for me. I don’t know what to expect or do but to take it as it comes. Accepting things as they come and waiting for His plan to unfold before me. The task of listening and waiting for those unknowns is a killer sometimes, but what choice do we really have. I can’t control people’s attitudes or certain circumstances, just like I can’t control the weather or if I’m gonna get a flat tire today or tomorrow. Rolling with the punches is a way of life, we all have to accept those things we cannot change a bit every day. Maybe the mind is a bit more open than it was yesterday. Maybe I’ve swallowed my pride just enough to grow a bit today. This is functioning. There is no harm done in reminding myself of this repeatedly. If I can’t control it, I try not to stress it. Remember, now is the best time to learn from some of those uncontrolled things. is my friend by the way… Here’s what is says about courage.

  1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
  2. Obsolete. the heart as the source of emotion.


Let’s face it we’re all built with the freedom of free will and life management. Some of us do very well for years. Some falter at a young age, some falter later in life. Some of us just downright suck at it, regardless of our age and experiences. When left to our own accord, many of us think we are making the best choices in a situation, only to find later that the choice was a huge mistake. This is human nature, don’t be discouraged. It’s normal. Face your consequences with courage and humility. You are learning from this. The lessons might not be immediate or very clear, but later you will see just what you’ve learned from this situation, this season of life.  I’m finding when I give some control up on those things and people I can’t change, I am freeing myself to change and grow. This is not always an easy task. Both change and growth can take everything in me at times. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to change and grow. I’m living proof of that. So are millions of others.

So ask yourself, “What do I need to change then?”

“Everything in some way, shape or form”, was my answer to myself.

“Holy cow, I can’t do that. I’m not strong enough to change that much; I’ll lose myself if I change all that stuff.”

What dumb thinking this way.

I started small. I’m taking baby steps. Yes, this is how I am getting over my “SUPERWOMAN COMPLEX”. The changes are subtle in some cases, but it takes strength to make those little changes. Courage is something I have and didn’t really realize just how much until I tested it.

I can now let others do what they do, and understand I can’t change some things. I can’t fix that, and ya know what… that’s okay; I don’t have to. It’s not my job anyway. I can’t control others but I can change how I react or interact with them. I can still be in control of me, and respond instead of react…Sounds simple right…No so much!

This process of being all calm, cool and collected with those things and people I haven’t control over is hard work, man; but I’m finding Serenity can come from the strangest things too.

A song, a word, a sentence, a Scripture.  Sunrises, cuddling under a blanket with a good book, watching the dog meticulously search the yard for the perfect spot. Listening to Jim or the boys snore in restful sleep… Some odd but just as effective. The prayer is recited, the reminder is there… “you can’t control everything, get over yourself if you think you can”

Changing our attitudes on the things we cannot change also changes our attitudes on the things we can. Wait though… I’m just one person how can I change this or that? This answer is simple… by changing myself. That I have control to do, I just have to do it. No, this is not easy. I only know a few folks that welcome change openly.

A friend recently stated, “I hate change, but I hate things staying the same too.”  I thought the statement was interesting and as I looked around the room, heads were bobbing in agreeance with the heartfelt and truthful statement. I think this is human nature at its finest there. We get into routines, schedules, and even ruts. We are content in our little habits and such. We are in cruise mode, with little nutso moods added in. Yep, we get content with this, that and the other thing and miserable with other things. We don’t want to change but again we don’t want to live like that anymore. The double edged sword is very real. The baby steps help ease your way into the change or changes. The world and our lives can change daily. By facing those changes daily, we see this as being flexible, adaptable and living, right? Sure we do. Why can’t we be this way with ourselves too, then?

Well, I’m here to tell you we can be this way with ourselves too, if we are willing. Willingness is vital to lasting changes. Like I said, this is hard work, but if you break it down a bit at a time the task isn’t as hard. You will notice little things fall into place, big things don’t seem quite so big and an inner peace comes. Go with the flow for things we cannot change and work on things we can.


Acceptance to these changes you’re making and those things we cannot change is vital.

Dictionary .com comes to the rescue again, as it defines acceptance.

1.the act of taking or receiving something offered.  favorable reception;approval; favor.                                                                                                                         2. the act of assenting or believing: acceptance of a theory.                                                           3. the factor state of being accepted or acceptable.

This too is not always easy. Many of us are nature born “fixers”. We feel the need to fix this person, or that thing. By changing our attitudes, we find sometimes we just can’t fix this, no matter how hard we try. It is really out of our control. Sure we might influence the situation or person, but fixing things normally takes much more. Fixing becomes a passion for some and they feel “less than” if they haven’t fixed something or someone each day. This thinking is detrimental to one’s health. Acceptance that we can’t fix it all is ever so important. This is where the wisdom of knowing the difference comes into play.



1.the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right-coupled with just  judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment

2. scholarly knowledge or learning:

3. wise sayings or teachings; precepts.

4.a wise act or saying.


When we willingly accept that we are not “GOD”, we can find the wisdom to know the difference in things that are within our control vs. those out of our control. This takes practice and dedication, rational thought and patience. Some of these things are learned over time, all is not lost for you or me. Everyone is capable of learning something. Give yourself a break and remember if it’s a slow process or a fast process, you are better for it.

Today as I recite the Serenity Prayer, it means more. Today, maybe it means more to you too.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Blessings To All


Finding Peace

It’s been a while since I posted anything I’ve written outside of blog and book stuff and today I felt like doing so. Some of the girls from WBCW may remember reading this, I’ve added to it and like it even better. Hope you do too.

Blessings To All


The fountain trickled before her, and the warm breeze lightly blew her long blond hair. Ashley watched Grandmother as she pulled the stubborn weeds that invaded her rose bed.

With the last of the weeds pulled, Grandmother rose slowly from the ground and walked toward the bench.

“It’s so beautiful today, don’t you think?”

“Yes, Grandmother.”

“Your momma and I would sit here for hours and listen to the water and breathe in the sweet fragrance of my roses. It’s hard to believe she’s gone now.”

Ashley shook her head as a single tear rolled down her cheek.

“I miss her so much.”

“As do I.”

They sat in silence listening to the water flow. Grandmother patted Ashley’s knee, as she rose and walked back toward the house. Ashley breathed out a loud sigh before rising, too.

She remembered the funeral like it was yesterday, rather than a month ago. The light drizzle that day proved to her that God wept with them. She walked to the den and pulled the tattered book from its spot on the shelf. She’d opened her mother’s Bible daily since that day. Finding comfort from her sorrows with the hand written notes that filled the margins.  Things like, Breathe in Love, Dance in Hope and Love like today is your last and Crickets are noisy when all you want to do is think in quiet.

When Mother was first diagnosed with cancer, she fought hard, but chemo treatments made her sick and weak. Her beautiful hair began to fall out and her skin became paper thin. Ashley admired her mother’s strength and courage. The cancer spread rapidly despite the aggressive treatment schedule, and as her mother grew weaker Ashley watched as her faith grew stronger. On her deathbed mother whispered that she was at peace and going home to be with Jesus. Ashley remembered her mother’s smile as she took her last breath and closed her eyes.

Grandmother entered the room. “Ashley, lunch is ready.”

“Thank you, I’ll be right there.”

Ashley closed the Bible and set it on the stand then joined grandmother for lunch. They talked as they ate cold-cuts and fruit cups. When lunch was gone, Ashley returned to the den for mother’s bible. She slipped it into her bag and drove to the cemetery. She sat on the grass next to her headstone and opened the battered book once more. She read passages from Matthew and Romans. Pausing to read the messages on the sides of the pages. Simple statements with powerful meaning. God is impartial. Repentance requires honest self-examination. Prayer can teach us perseverance.

When she read her fill she closed the book again and silently lifted praises heavenward.

She pulled into the drive and parked. Grandmother was again outside by the fountain. Ashley walked to her and sat.

“I went to read to mom today.”

“I figured you might, I know you are finding more comfort from that old bible than I thought you would. Most young people find the bible hard to read. Even some of us older folks do too. My bible like your mothers is filled with notes. Someday I hope mine will bring you comfort too”

“She has some funny things written in there, it makes me feel close to her when I read it. You know when she said she was at peace and going home to be with Jesus… well I honestly saw her at peace. I hope I can find that peace myself someday.”

“I think you are well on your way. Keep reading and keep laughing.”

Do You love You???

This is a question I was asked by a woman I have a lot of respect and love for.

The question made me actually stop and think a minute. I proceeded to answer the woman quite frankly with a solid “Ummm…”

She said, “It’s not that hard of a question, Tanya. Do you love you??”

My mind was a flurry of activity all of a sudden. I instantly thought of all the things I disliked about myself. From my addictive nature, my body image, my sense of self worth…to my values and morals…to my illnesses and back through the lists again. I sat in silence. Then I tried to respond but my voice was suddenly gone. I wanted to be honest with this woman in the worst kind of way… what happened to my voice?

“We’ll come back the the question.”

I could only nod. Tears began to well at the corners of my eyes. I prayed I wouldn’t bust into tears right there in her office. My emotions had been on a never-ending rollercoaster for like two years at this point. So bad in fact, I had toyed with ending things. I had hit a lowest of lows, but did I really not love myself?

My mind raced. Damned this bipolar disorder, depression, fibromyalgia and this weakness. I am a strong woman by nature and nurture and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t answer her simple question. This recurring thought played in my head as she talked calmly and lovingly toward me. Silent tears began to fall. I tried to brush them away unnoticed. She handed me a tissue and went right on talking.

“Sorry, must have gotten something in my eye.”

“Yep, I dusted earlier in here, there is probably some still floating around.”

I felt like a jerk, but this was a really hard question. Frustration crept in. Again my lists of dislikes ran through my head.

“I have an assignment for you this coming week, okay?”


“I want a list of twenty positive things about yourself.”

“Ok, no problem.”

She then proceeded to change the topic all together. I was thrilled we were off me. We talked for the remaining forty-five minutes about the kids, Jim, life in general and even brushed on work briefly. We went over coping skills and I ended our meeting with a few new tools for my recovery toolbox.

As I stood to leave, she handed me a book. The Art of Loving Myself by Jonathan Kis-Lev.

“Here, read this in your spare time.”

I smiled, thanked her and assured her I’d have my assignment done for the following week.

The week proceeded. Emotions still were running rampant through my body. I was physically ill several days, keeping little in my system. Spirituality, I was better with each passing day, but took little comfort in it. Frustration was still one huge emotion and I complained, “What kinda question was that anyway?”

I found myself sitting at the table contemplating the assignment I’d been given. ‘Twenty things, I can do this…’ Time passed. I started laundry then did a sinkful of dishes. Coffee…yes I needed coffee. I’ll start as soon as I drink this, I thought. Do you know about the maximum time frame for coffee to stay hot in a normal mug is twelve minutes… I gulped it down cold. I realized I was procrastinating. I’d knew I’d start… just as soon as I put clothes in dryer. Downstairs I went.

“Honey, what are you doing?”

“Putting clothes in the dryer, why?”

“How ya making out on your list.”


He shook his head and continued to fish on his game.

As I ascended the stairs, I ran a list of other things I could be doing through my brain. When I reached the top, I mentally slapped myself hard, refilled my coffee cup as I passed the pot and sat rather noisily on my chair.

My journal lay before me. The Scripture that screamed at me from the bottom of the page… none other than Romans 12:2 — Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think — ironic… I think not, looking back. I glanced at the fridge calendar, it was January 19th… Cripes where had the time gone, I was to have our meeting the next morning. Grabbing my trusted pen, I quickly jotted down five good qualities. I reread them. They fit, I knew them to be true. Perhaps this wasn’t gonna be as hard as I thought. I closed my journal.

After gathering that, the love book and refilling my coffee yet again I made my way downstairs. I checked the laundry timer. Good; I had another ten minutes, just enough time to finish my assignment. I could then fold clothes and read for a while before my nighttime meds kicked in fully.

I opened my journal to the page, again the Scripture begged to be read. I did so aloud this time. I noted four more qualities. I thought, ‘woohoo, on a roll now.’

Coffee grew cold next to me on the stand. My mind was blank as I read and reread the Scripture.

‘Good qualities…I have them, I know I do’, I thought as I sat there. I closed my journal and picked up the love book. I read a few pages, including the introduction. My mind again went to my assignment. I thus far had managed nine out of the twenty required traits listed. The dryer beeped. All I could think of was folding those dumb clothes now…I proceeded to do so then returned to the chair. My eyes were heavy, my meds were kicking in. ‘Great…’

Thirty minutes later I opened my eyes. Dozing off is part of sitting in the recliner, or at least it is for me. Secretively I knew this when I sat down there. I wiped at my scratchy eyes, gathered my stuff and trucked back upstairs. Setting everything on the table, I proceeded to drink some milk then brush my teeth. I set my alarm for 6am. Crawled under the cover and was out cold in minutes.

Awake and Alive hummed from my phone alarm. I shut it off and sat on the edge of the bed. “Thank you Lord for the sleep I got and the day ahead. Please help keep me sober today. Please let my session be productive and my women’s group be humbling today. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen”

With a second cup of coffee poured, I opened my journal. I seriously had nothing to add to the list. Time was running out. I couldn’t figure out why finding the good qualities of me were so hard to think of.

I showered, dressed and did so making very little noise, I was proud of that fact. Normally the more quiet I try to be in the mornings the louder I seem to be. Yes, today was starting out just A-Okay.

In the car…I turned the radio down some. “God, I’m struggling with this list. I don’t think that I’m overthinking things much, help me come up with some good qualities. Amen.” Pulling into the lot I realized I had but a few minutes before my scheduled time of appointment, ‘Nuts, my assignment was incomplete.’

I stood at the check-in window, talking with the receptionist about my outstanding bill and options I had to take care of it. I glanced up and into the room… there she was, my friend, my venting post for the next hour.

“Hey, lady…How are you today?”

I sighed loudly, “Not so hot in all honesty, but I will be.”

“Come back, let’s talk.”

I walked the hallway I’d walked the previous week with about the same mental attitude. ‘Where the hell did this mood come from; after all I woke kinda refreshed, I was in pain but it was manageable. My prayers were short and sweet this morning, but heartfelt…’

“What happened? Why are you struggling today?”

“I lost my job, and I only got nine on my list.” I had blurted it out like it was the major of all disasters I was facing.  She talked. I listened to the best of my ability and tried to keep my mouth shut so I could really focus on her words.  Answering her questions as we went, we talked and talked. I started to feel better. Some of her suggestions really hit home. Some of her solutions seemed doable.

“We have women’s group in two hours, are you going to work on your assignment in those hours?” I assured her I would try to as we ended our meeting.

I sat, smoked and thought of the good qualities I saw in myself. I thought of the love myself question intently.  ‘Yes, I must love myself or I wouldn’t be trying to get help. God made me more complex than nine good qualities. Think, Tanya, Think.’

I texted Jim… I need some good qualities about me

His first reply were things I had on the list already, those were the easy ones. Second and third texts contained several more I hadn’t given a thought to. ‘Yes, I can use these. I can see those qualities in me’

My list was growing, my mood was shifting. I still had an hour to wait. My list was at sixteen now. I thanked him, told him I loved him and was headed for coffee.

The deep voice inside my brain whispered… Useless… Worthless… Unemployed… Nuts… It’s only one drink, it won’t hurt anything. It’s like this sometimes. The voice is familiar and always negative. I prayed hard, silencing the whisper but my mind rushed with activity. I reread my good qualities list,  drove for my coffee and pushed the nagging list of dislikes into the back of my mind as it tried to overtake my thoughts.

I sipped at my coffee and looked at my list again. These were all the things good about me, and I only had four to come up with now. I glanced at the clock. Man that hour flew by.

Group was good. As we went around the room I brought up my assignment with the gals…They all started rattling off good qualities about me. Everyone had several. Amazement filled me as I’d only had a few meetings with these ladies after all. I saw qualities I love in other people, and as the lists grew so did my love for myself…

If she asked me today if I love myself, my answer would be, “I’m a work in progress.” “Are you a work in progress too??” Tell me, “Do you love you?” If you need help finding good qualities, ask others; typically they will see things in you, that you don’t. Read your list daily and see the blessings in how you were made.

Blessings to All






Mental Illness and the journey to recovery

First let me say sorry for taking so long to get this out there. Several ladies I spent time with from January 3-8, 2018, have been patiently waiting to see what I would write. Let’s just say I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my laptop for a while, but it mellowing out now.

When some people think of mental illness they picture a child who is over emotional or unstable, totally out of control. Perhaps the see an adult who acts like a child or needs assistance in all rational and safe decisions. Someone who needs constant guidance or extended supervision. Maybe you see the person screaming out to nobody but the voices that invade the mind.

Maybe you know this is not true or not entirely true in most cases. Perhaps you know the wife and mother, father and husband, son or daughter. The football coach, the PTA mom, the neighbor down the street.

Perhaps the person you see is yourself.

Mental illness, like addictions do not discriminate. Age, sex, background, sex matter not.

Many of us who suffer look and act normal. We have friends and live life as it comes. Many marry, raise children, hold jobs and even enjoy activities with little difficulty, but there is always a flip side of that “normal” coin we are given.

When things get unmanageable, it seems everything snowballs or hits all at once, that is my feelings in most cases. I have found a way to find hope when things seem hopeless and overwhelming, and I have found hope in the least expected places.

As many of you know I turn to Scripture for wisdom and guidance. Psalms 55:22, tell us to ‘give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you.’

Romans 12:2, goes farther to say ‘Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.’

We find further hope from Matthew 11:28.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.”

Sometimes however, no matter how faithful we are or how hard we try we still feel lost. Don’t lose sight of what is promised and know if you do and life is really kicking back there is always help for those that ask.

It can be family, friends, a pastor, a doctor, even a perfect stranger in the park,. Maybe you feel nobody will understand or listen. Someone is always willing to help when we reach. It doesn’t really take much effort in today’s social world.

Let me add here, this has been a lifelong lesson, one I am finally understanding fully. Reaching doesn’t make me weak or less than…No matter how hard I wanted to be Miss Superwoman, I still needed to vent. I needed people. I am not God. I don’t have all the answers, and when left to my own accord 99% of the time, I made things far worse.

Now I had the attitude that besides being weak, I would be burdening someone else with my junk. Well guess what I’m finding out…The more I reach, the more others reach back. This has become a startling realization to me, sad it took 42 years to figure this out. I might actually be able to help someone, while they are helping me. Maybe it’s a word, sentence or a simple hug. I’ve found this to be true in the home, work, church, AA meetings and many other places as well.

The feeling of uselessness and worthlessness, of being a burden to family was suddenly taking a different spin. I could be helpful, insightful and important by just lending an ear or a shoulder. This is something I’ve always done automatically, it’s how God built me, but sort of lost track of that helping nature. I still liked to help people, but didn’t really understand the depth and reward in this until just recently, and guess what the world is full of people that want to help. All you have to do is reach.

This reaching out is vital to someone with a mental illness or even someone who doesn’t suffer. We all are somewhat social creatures by creation, some more than others, this isn’t hard, honestly. Please is there.


Blessings to All

Growth Rings

First let me say I did not write this, it was read in a blessings book my adopted daughter Mynnette gave me for Christmas. This brought clarity where emotions were running rampant.

O Lord, bless our life stages, for they read like growth rings on a tree: our beginnings and firsts with there excitement, newness, and anxiety; our middles, full of diligence and commitment and, yes sometimes boredom, but also risk and derring-do; our “nexts”, the harvests and reapings, the slowing doen and freedom.

In your hands this time can be rich and full like an overflowing cup, not a last or a final or an empty or an ending stage at all.

Just a tiny seed of faith, watered with love, wisdom,and hard work, grows into a majestic tree of blessings.

My prayers will be a bit different tonight, may His will be done.

Blessings To All

As I spend time in the Scriptures today, I find a newfound peace I was struggling to keep in sight.

This holiday has been very different emotional wise. The true meaning of my emotions are becoming more clear. I am growing daily in one way, shape or form. This has only been possible through God’s unending love and patience for me. The challenges that are coming in the new year will test my faith beyond measure. I know I let Him down daily, but never a day goes by that I don’t learn something. These coming days are no exception.

As we celebrate Jesus’s glorious birth and take time to enjoy the blessings in it, I hope you can find the true joy of life.

Wishing All a very Blessed Christmas and New Year to come.

Willingness & Forgiveness

These are hot topics in recovery and in daily life.

We must be willing to own up to our messes and face them head on. Willingness to do this can come in many shapes and forms. God should be first on this list, in my opinion but many might not feel the same, I didn’t for a long time.

Perhaps you’ve found talking with a trusted friend or friends is helpful. Maybe it’s your parents,  a pastor or your spouse. Perhaps you take a more earthly look at things and try to use nature as your guide. Maybe you felt that if you wrote it all down it would somehow fix itself. I  personally have done all of the above. Some worked to an extent but never fully.

Not long ago, I was one of “those” kind of women.  I personally thought I could run the show on all levels and keep my sanity in the process without relying on anyone, including God. What a joke this was. I figured I’d managed thus far in my life without terrible results, or so I thought. Again, what a joke that was.

As life started kicking me when I was down, I started looking for easy ways out of  the hole I had dug us into financial, emotionally and physically by trying to run the show. My stress soared, my mind was never still and my pain increased. My physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health were in shambles. I wanted to numb everything. I succeeded in doing so too, for almost two and a half years. I drank them away.  It started innocently enough… it always does. What started as a once in awhile thing turned into a demon I had little control of.

I fought to regain control,  I did well for stretches of time. I started believing I had this licked, I wasn’t an alcoholic, I couldn’t have turned into one of those. I went to work most days, I stopped bringing booze home, I was paying the bills on time ( as money allowed).  I was functioning. I went to church after all. I’d been baptized. I figured I was just living a life I was destined to live. The more the bottle overtook everything, the less control I had in everything. I became a person foreign to even myself. I  did horrible things, said nasty words and hurt the ones I was to love the most in my life, included God.

I suddenly was faced with a double reality check. One, I was now in trouble with the law and two, I was drinking away 21 years of marriage and  had become an embarrassment to my children. I was a different person, one I didn’t even know anymore. God still knew me however even if my own mind lead me to believe otherwise.

I sought professional help.

I listened. I learned. I shared. I slowly started to find myself hidden within the dark places of my own mind. I was willing to do anything to find the old Tanya. This willingness was easy while I was away from the daily stressors of life. I began actually thinking I might not be the lost cause I’d let myself become.  I prayed hard. I asked for forgiveness,  but I still wasn’t so sure if I’d been forgiven. I had done so much wrong, I had made so many wrong choices and repeatedly went back on my word. I wondered if God could ever forgive me fully. I felt discouraged and hopeless. I was learning from others in some way, shape or form daily. I was taking things to heart and trying to pour mine out. I was surrounded by women from all walks of life, ones with addictions just like me, but felt alone in my struggles.

I signed up for church service one Sunday. I nervously awaited the time to come so I could ask the pastor his thoughts on the matter of forgiveness, since I couldn’t talk to my own. The time arrived finally and my spirits lifted as I walked down the hill toward the gymnasium where the service was being held.

Music played and I knew the song. I was welcomed with open arms. Peace filled me almost instantly. The turmoil I’d been feeling slowly dissipated the farther into the room I walked. I was given a recovery bible, much like the one my own pastor had gotten me months prior. I opened the book to a random page and began reading while others filed into the gym.

I came to Isaiah 43:25, which tells us “I… yes, I alone… will blot out your sins for my own sake and never think of them again.”

I realized with that Scripture, I had hope; I had been forgiven. My heart began to be humbled and my me, me, me attitude began to disappear. The message was powerful, one on finding hope in the darkness of life. Since I don’t particularly believe in mere coincidences I knew this was God at work. I knew I was meant to hear the message and learn the lessons taught in that service.  As we sang the closing song, I realized how free I suddenly felt. My heart felt unlocked and my mind quieted.

Willingly, I shared like never before in that next meeting. As my word vomit kept going, I saw heads shake in understanding. When I finished speaking and passed to someone else, I listened intently to them share. As the meeting drew to a close and the chores were to begin, I said a silent pray of thanks for being forgiven and a prayer for my willingness to grow.

The following morning I began a new routine. My day would start with making my bed, showering and gathering stuff as quiet as possible, as to not wake my roommates. Coffee making and drinking followed. The “morning coffee crew” enjoyed the sunrises with me as we drank from styrofoam cups, puffed on cigarettes and just talked. Not about addictions, lawyers or war stories… We talked like women do. We praised our children and our families and friends. We talked of milestones in our recovery, not the bad we’d done and the pain we caused. We gained hope from each other with talk of shopping, meeting for coffee sometime and keeping in touch when we all got off the hill. Friendships were made deeper in the moments of early morning. I will treasure them always. God put those women in my life for a reason. He continues to work in my life daily. My willingness for recovery is made stronger because of them and because of the new people He puts in my life. My weekly meetings are awesome and I’ve come to look forward to them like I look forward to my Saturday morning women’s group. Everything happens for a reason they say…It does indeed…This is God’s plan in motion. If we follow faithfully, give willingly and learn intently everyday our lives can change. I’m living proof.

I’ve had setbacks, I’ve had struggles. I’ve felt hopeless but,  today I can face life on life’s terms with a willing heart and mind and a forgiving soul. God is teaching me how to do this daily.  It really isn’t as hard as it may sound….Just ask…Whatever you need to recover from.. food addictions, drugs, alcohol, depression or other mental illness, sexual issues, gambling, shopping, coffee drinking…the list can go on forever,but there is hope. There is a way.

If you need help, never be afraid to lean on another, they’re in your life for a reason. Never be afraid to pray, God is always listening and never tires of hearing from you. If you think He isn’t there working in your life, maybe it’s time to reflect on how you’re asking. Recovery as well as daily life is a journey, both begin with one step. You have nothing to lose by taking one step and everything to gain.


Blessings to All