Thursday, December 15, 2011

Advent: Waiting for Someone who Loves You

Sometimes I go to Al-Anon.  It's a support network for people in a relationship with an alcoholic.  I'm not actually in a relationship with an alcoholic.  That's not why I go.  I go, 'cause I'm a rebel.  I'm wild like that.  Well, technically I lied.  I do have several alcoholics in my life, but most of them are sober, and have been for years.  (According to Al-Anon and AA, once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.  Even if you haven't had a drink in years, you're still a "recovering" alcoholic.)  The idea is, the alcoholism still affected me.  And, frankly, I'm pretty sure that's true.  Anyway, that's another long, hairy story.  And we're not doing hairy today.  (So don't look at my legs.)

Today, we're doing uplifting.

Well, the night before Thanksgiving, I was playing a round of my most favorite game.  Some of you know it.  It's called "Stare at the Ceiling at Three A.M. and Wonder How You Got Into This Bloody Mess."  Sometimes I refer to it as "SCATAWHYGITBM" for short.  It's entertaining and all, but it gets old after a while.  Finally I started praying, since prayer is right up there on my list with "SCATAWHYGITBM."

Anyone else out there struggle with prioritizing prayer?  Is anyone else even out there??  Ahem. 

Anyway, as I was talking to God, I found myself telling Him, "Yeah, God, I know you love me.  I mean, I've kinda known it my whole life.  I've seen it clearly in the past, and I can read about it in the Bible. would be really nice to just.....sorta.....hear from you again about that; to hear again that you love me.  What I'm trying to say, God, is that I could really use some proof right now." 

And that was basically how God and I wrapped up the night.  I managed to get to sleep after that, and by  morning, the only reminders of my little chat with the Almighty were the bags under my eyes.   Oh wait, those are there every day.  So, I didn't have any reminders.

Alright.  Coming back to my Al-Anon meetings.  I got up and went to one that morning.  I try to go every Thursday.  Yes, I even went on Thanksgiving because I'm so screwed up hardcore like that.  And the topic that morning was (of course) Gratitude and Thanksgiving.  And lots of people shared their Gratitude Lists.  It was an open share group, and we talked about what we were thankful for, even in difficult circumstances, and how gratitude helps us keep things in perspective.

Then, at the conclusion of the meeting, when we were all feeling warm and fuzzy, the group leader suddenly changed directions with a comment that absolutely floored me.  She said,

"Okay.  Now, I want each and every one of you to think of all those things on your list that you are thankful for.  Right now."  I easily envisioned my four beautiful children, my extended family and friends, my home, and a myriad of other blessings.

"Now say to yourself," she continued, "Every single one of those is proof that my Higher Power (God!) loves me!"

The memory of my three a.m. prayer came flooding back over me.   Those were the exact words I'd used: "God, can you show me some proof that you love me?"  It had been just a few short hours earlier!  I had begged God for proof, and there it was in black and white.  He did, indeed love me.  And all the blessings in my life were the proof.  Why hadn't I seen it before?  God had answered my prayer.

Since Thanksgiving, it's been just a little easier for me to say, "Okay, God.  I'm gonna trust you here, because I've got proof that you love me.  Thanks for giving me that, in the midst of a tough time."

Frankly, I'm just amazed that God answered the pitiful prayer of a girl who didn't even take time out of her day to really talk to Him....just squeezed in a desperate plea between bouts of insomnia.  I can't believe He was listening.  If He was listening to me, He's definitely listening to you.  I couldn't have asked for a kinder, gentler, way for God to start my Advent.  It's a different season, when you're waiting for Someone who loves you.  I'm putting that on my Gratitude List.

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  1. Dear Ruth,I was blessed to read through your blog. Having been through similiar circumstances I feel your pain, but also your joy as I truly know God loves me despite the mess I am and He promises to never leave me. Somehow I think that promise means so much more after suffering rejection from people.I am pondering the everlasting love of the Father with great interest lately.Keep writing! It's a gift & your testimony is important! Love & prayers, in Jesus,Cynthia

  2. Thanks, Cynthia. It's such an encouragement to know that this pain I'm going through--it's not wasted. And I'm not alone. Jesus is in it with me, along with others like you, who have walked this road. Your comments are a blessing to me. Thank you for posting.

  3. Thanks for sharing. What you said just further confirms for me the basic idea of a book I read this last year (A Praying Life) and what I've found to be true—God is right there by you all the time and when you talk to him with honesty telling him what you need, he hears you. So now just start looking for the answers but of course the surprises are always nice too. Again thanks!!

  4. Thank you for sharing, darnly. I want to check out A Praying Life now. My prayers are so me-centered. I want to be freed from those. But then Iknow that when my 2 year old comes to me crying, "Mommy" I'm not expecting her to be anything other than me-centered, except to seek me out for comfort. I think some of my newer types of honesty with God need to include simply confessing, "God, you know I can barely see beyond myself. Please help me."