“Do not fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.” Philippians 4:6-7
“For we are now on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. We trust infinite God rather than our finite selves. We are in the world to play the role He assigns. Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity.” Pg. 86 Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
A part of my morning routine is checking social media for birthdays and other important events. A few weeks ago I saw that a friend was celebrating five years of recovery while the next post shared that we’d lost another person to this opiate epidemic. When I arrived at work there was a young woman sitting in the lobby who had relapsed and came back to treatment. She was filled with guilt and shame, but also knew that she was in a safe place to get back on track with her recovery. As I went to my office I was filled with a flood of emotions; happy, sad, joy, fear, hope, frustration, discouragement, grateful, and blessed just to name a few.
All of these feelings swirling within me in the first couple hours of the day reminded me once again of why I need God in my life. Connecting with God on a daily basis is the foundation that I need in order to experience all of these feelings that life brings, but not be consumed by them. The key is to then let God direct the day. God grounds me. God gives me a place to channel these emotions so that my thinking can stay directed on God’s will for my life that day.
These are emotions we all have to deal with and sometimes it feels like they are coming down on us all at once. When emotions begin to creep into our being they can start to dictate our day and dictate our actions. When this happens we can spend time with God and hit the reset button in order to regain our sense of well-being.
Our faith in God is not a feeling, but a deeper knowing that God is with us ALWAYS. Daily prayer and meditation is an important way to strengthen our relationship with God. Prayer is to the spiritual life what breathing is to the physical life. When we pray, God’s Spirit begins to work in us. The word spirit comes from the Latin word “spiritus”, which means “breath.” Prayer is the breath of our spiritual life. Prayer and meditation helps us learn to discern what God’s will is for us versus our feelings dictating our actions.
Recovery is hard work and caring for people seeking recovery is hard work. Addiction and recovery bring with it a myriad of feelings that we face each and every day. We need God to be that foundation and grounding so we are reminded that God is always with us. We need God to direct our thinking so we can stay focused on what God’s desire is for our lives.
There is a version of the 3rd step prayer that is meaningful for me and reminds me that I need God each and every day. “God, help me to not put anything into my mind or body today that you would not have there. Take all of my relationships in life and make of them what you will. Thy will be done in their lives as well as in mine and let me know your truth. Amen.”
Carrie Fraser serves as the Director of Spiritual Wellness and Alumni Services at The Next Door