i have been reading (and exchanging emails) with friends who have really been going through the desert this Lenten season, unlike any time prior in their lives. i wonder if God considers these folks as saints of His as He oftentimes tests the ones He loves most to see how they will fare in their time of trial.
and when they come through as the valiant ones they truly are, does He step it up a notch for the next round? i thought that was what He did with me for many, many years. then i started going to a 12-step recovery group and learned how to handle those situations which used to baffle me. i don't perform perfectly, but am also reminded that it's "progress, not perfection." what i have learned these past 15 months has been exceedingly beneficial to me in my everyday life. [how incredible.]
i have two "treasures" i am working the steps with. one just completed her steps 5-6-7 on saturday, one is balking on completing same, but is starting to come around since she is recognizing the benefits of being able to look things squarely and meet them head-on. it is an honor to work the steps with these women, and our relationships are unlike any i have had before. it is an awesome thing to behold.
i am also learning more each day about how i stand up to my personal tests...how i may be able to dole out such wonderful suggestions to my sponsees, but am unable to apply the same logic to my own personal situations. typical, eh? do as i say, not as i do. i am recognizing how i am able to maintain the appearance of sobriety in all areas of my life, but am not actually living soberly in certain ones. i believe in my religion, it would be called "cafeteria Catholicism - take what you like from the Gospels, ignore the rest" ala cafeteria line style.
however, it is becoming overwhelming evident to me that i don't wish to remain emotionally inebriated any longer, that my relapsing into emotional intoxication is not conducive to staying sober in real life...that looking for a "hit" off of some (one? thing?) else is just the same for me as emptying a bottle of merlot - alone - and seeking further intoxication in a chat room.
there has to be a time in my life that in all areas, i know when to say *when*. i am prayful that time is truly now.
as i continue my trudge through the desert, i pray for others around me and pray for myself that i may be able to do God's will and perhaps help someone along the way...and that when i become parched, i seek the One who refreshes, and not someone or some situation that will further drain me.
i can't - God can - i'll let Him.