Monday, March 23, 2009

Belief in God

Because of Al-Anon, I was finally able to quit smoking. I was a very heavy smoker, and had started at the age of 12, so I'd been poisoning myself for years by the time I came to 12-step. I'd tried to quit numerous times on my own, but had never managed to stay quit, and I suffered terribly from the cravings.
I'd been in Al-Anon for about 10 years or so, (I can be a slow learner) when I suddenly thought to ask my Higher Power for help in quitting smoking. I went to bed every night for a month or so, and prayed fervently (begged, truly) to be granted the strength to quit.

One morning when I arose, I said, "I'm quitting tomorrow."
And I did. I just stopped cold turkey, and it was as though I'd never smoked, because I didn't suffer for one moment from cravings. God granted me release from my addiction to nicotine.

I've told this story at meetings, as an illustration of the incredible gifts we receive, when we just - ask. Turn it over. I'd struggled most of my life to gain freedom from smoking, and overnight, God gave me what I couldn't give myself in all those years of struggle and effort.

As you may imagine, this gift was a huge leap forward for me, in my understanding of the power of God, and His willingness to help us, if we only seek Him.

We have an amazing source of guidance, power, serenity, and love - and all we have to do, is reach towards it. But reach, we must. We are given free will, and as long as we are bound and determined to muddle through under our own power, God isn't going to force us to accept help. I think of Him as a loving presence standing beside me, watching me fight with the packaging of my life lessons, muttering and grumbling to myself as I pull, and turn, and tug, and rip, until finally I fling it down, surrender, and ask, "Can you please help me with this?"

This is a lesson I seem to need to relearn, at regular intervals.

1 comment:

  1. I realize that muddling through under my own power didn't get me anything but in a muddle. I'm happy to let God take over and drive.