Sunday, August 13, 2006

To Whom Can We Go?

"...Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life." ~John 6:68

When I get as discouraged as I was yesterday there really is no where else to go. On my way to church this afternoon I felt as if I was cloaked in self loathing - a heavy, dark mantle weighing me down. It's such a tiny church where we gather, everyone knowing where the key is; the quiet and solitude within is good for my soul.

As I knelt and looked at the crucifix I thought about Christ broken for me. Then this picture came into my head of my body, a broken bag of bones. It was as if I was being held in a gunny sack, bones crushed and broken only to find I was the one swinging the baseball bat at myself....beating myself up for being human. God give me the grace to lay the bat down and come broken before you. Heal me, Daddy.

In need of the grace that comes through the Sacrament of Reconciliation I asked for time alone with the priest. And then I spilled my guts... the self loathing, the struggles, the weariness of the battle. And in return I was reminded of just how much God loves me as I am, sin and all.

When I get as despondent about living in my skin as I was yesterday, I inevitably end up calling out to Christ for help. Father Charlie reminded me today that that really was what confession was about. Calling out to Christ for help. I cannot afford to be despondent too long. I know I will only sink deeper into escape and get buried in shame if I don't call out. I used to think I was beyond turning to booze if the shame got too great. I now know I have another drunk in me; I don't know if I have another sobering up. Since returning to AA I have come to some very painful discoveries about myself. The thought of having to ask daily for the grace to withstand all my addictions overwhelms me. I can hardly handle facing the pain that will be if I turn my back on my coping mechanisms. It's one thing to not have a drink for 18 years, it's another to actually live in sobriety.

At this moment I am grateful. Grateful for the grace to call out. Grateful for the grace received to carry on. Grateful that I didn't pick up a drink, rent a blue movie or numb myself into oblivion today. Grateful for the courage to write it all down for the world to see, to remind myself that I don't journey these valleys alone. Grateful for people like you who may not leave a comment, but hold me up in prayer when my strength has so obviously run out. Grateful that hope, despite it all, continues to be my favourite word in the English language.

"The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him and said, 'Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.' ~ 1 Kings 19:7

Today I am grateful to have sustenance for the journey.

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