The anniversary of my rush to hospital, to theatre, and to ITU has reminded me that I started this blog here, 4 months ago, and haven’t got back to be able to work on it. My first sobriety birthday tomorrow is a truly joyful occasion, and joy, being energy-giving has given life again to my desire to write.
52 weeks, and what have I learned about God, and about myself?
My biggest lesson about myself is that I am a child of God in need of Christian fellowship. The somewhat clichéd illustration of a lone coal fails and goes cold but many coals together produce bright, strong flames and heat is used a lot because it is true – it is good for the room that receives the light and heat but also for the coals that are warmer together. The fellowship that pulses through the life of the church – meeting together as one and meeting in small groups – is vital not just to our witness to the world but to us individually. To me individually. Even recently when circumstance and illness kept me away from my usual sources of fellowship for a week, I felt emotional and unsure. The devil senses his opportunity to sneak in to my thinking. My walk with God and my sobriety are threatened. Back in touch with friends, Bible study groups and in service to the wider church and I am well, in myself, again.
I have learnt about God’s faithfulness. The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is absolute truth, and He IS love, and He is just. For my sin, there is complete forgiveness. But there are also consequences and they persist, and that is justice. I have to live with them which, especially in terms of Freya, is incredibly painful. It is only through living with the consequences with the Spirit within that they are just about live-able with. The alternative is all too real, and that way lies drink and death.
Some of the learning is hard – who my real friends are, who imitate unconditional love to me; how to live this recovering life. Patience, which was never my strong suit, is growing in me despite me. There have been Gethsemane-like hours, longing that my Father would take this cup from me, wishing it wasn’t mine to drink. Do I trust God to have my life in his hands? I do, and look forward to the ongoing walking and healing in my second year of sobriety.