Smiling Christ: Frances J. Hook
For the past few few months, I have been on a roller coaster. No, not an amusement park roller coaster, but a multiple life events type roller coaster. You see, sometimes there are many twists and turns on our road through life, aren’t there. I have been overwhelmed. I have been flat out depressed at times, and carefully optimistic at times. I have gone to some support groups to gain some traction. I lost my hope for quite awhile, but not my faith. A group called Celebrate Recovery has been extremely helpful in the past few weeks. They have a broader focus than AA, Al-Anon and the like. They are faith based and they cover the usual various addictions as well as all kinds of other things, too. They have been a bridge from despondent island. (The photo below is by my friend Terri Shirley-Summerhayes, and is at the Jersey Shore).
Recently there have been glimmers of hope once again. We are learning new ways to deal with things. My husband and I have been there for each other through it all. I know, I am not giving details, which doesn’t help you to “totally get” what my husband and I have been helping someone through. I want you to know something, though. It is worth it. It is worth it to insist that loved ones honor their word, even though initially it may have just been lip service. It is worth it to stay strong and say no to manipulation. It is worth it to commit to the right values, the right ways of living and behaving. It is worth it to find the right programs. It is worth it to seek help from people who have been down the road.
When you have been terrified that bad decisions will end up causing someone you love to die, faith and prayer can provide respite for your exhausted heart. Respite is essential for survival when you are going through heck, don’t you think?
It is hard when you are going through roller coaster times and severe heartache to find hope. It is hard to even know what to pray for, other than endurance. But do you know what? Joy comes in the morning, the psalm tells us. We shall be blessed. God has our back. True friends have our back. Even in our times when we feel desolate, and believe no one will understand, we discover that some people do.
The question becomes, will we believe in our own worth? God never ever abandons us. He loves us through it all. In my mind, the perfect example is Peter. Three times he denied Jesus. As a result, Peter was distraught. Jesus built a bridge right to Peter. Three times he asked Peter if Peter loved Him. Three times Peter said he did. Jesus made him all new again. Jesus makes us all new. It helps us to “mount up with wings like eagles”
We, like the dear hummingbird, need sustenance.
So yes, I have been on a roller coaster. For today, though, I am at peace. I am seated on a bench on the merry-go-round. Life is still traveling in circles a bit. But for today, it is glorious. I am a grateful believer. I am His daughter. My husband is my delightful partner. We shall endure these tests ~ no matter WHAT the one on the path to recovery decides. Our prayer is that this beloved one continues to decide the Godly path.
We are grateful for the goodness and the support God has recently sent our way. One day at a time.
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
My favorite part of this prayer is : “so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever and ever in the next”.
When I went to a support group meeting and hear that part of the prayer, it warmed my heart. Reasonably happy. Yes, that could help us all, couldn’t it?