Pulled From the Fire

For my entire first month in recovery I lived in dread of an unknown future that I no longer could control. I did not know how this latest problem was going to end and some of the possibilities were terrifying. Every waking minute I was consumed with incomprehensible demoralization and outright fear. Sleep was rare and riddled with nightmares and soaking the bed with sweat.

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

I was baptized at the First Southern Baptist Church in Phoenix, AZ when I was in middle school. Mom had taken me to Sunday School from as far back as I can remember. About the time I started high school, however, the church moved from downtown Phoenix to West Phoenix and we moved to East Phoenix. Between my adolescence and the distance, we quit going to church and my spiritual growth stopped. Little did I know, the mustard seeds had been planted. Now, 40 years later, my life depended upon growing the seeds that laid dormant within me. I was Christian by belief and faith but never by practice and I most certainly had never even thought of relying on God to return me to sanity and, after that, taking over my life.

As is custom in the AA world, I “chaired” my 30 day meeting when I would receive my coin (a token of sobriety). As always, I brought the omnipresent dread into room with me although I had found some relief during these meetings over the course of the past month. This day, however, shortly before 7:00 when I was to start the meeting, the dread tangibly disappeared. It was simply lifted off me. Gone! I froze with some fear that I was having a stroke or something had just broken within me. I searched for the dread but it was not to be found. I thought about my future and confirmed it was just as unknown as it had been for the previous 30 days. Still, it was gone. I started the meeting and quickly got it opened up for general sharing so the attention was no longer on me. At meeting’s end we circled up for the Lord’s Prayer and as I looked at the giant circle it appeared that a light surrounded and connected each person in the room. The dread was still nowhere to be found and it didn’t significantly return … ever.

It was at this moment that my faith in God’s power was transformed into knowledge. This was the first of a few such occurrences that have molded the last 8 years and 5 months of my life.

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