hope….even in the face of feeling scared or hopeless. I believe faith means never giving up hope….and represents, in part, a belief in yourself... If you give up hope, the end result, is, after all, giving up on yourself……and loosing a piece of who you are, that hard to define part of human being that we call spirit.
I would like to tell you two stories about my experience with faith…..some, including me, would call them little miracles.
Years ago, I was working with my 12 step sponsor about an event from my past that continued to haunt me, when, as a college student, I had watched the movie, Romeo and Juliet. I remembered the movie as a beautiful and sad love story. I also remembered “freaking out” and running out of the theater, and did not understand why I had such an out-of-control response. My sponsor advised me to try praying for some insight into why I had reacted as I had. So I did so for several days and nothing happened, so I thought it was pretty much a waste of time…… I had taken a day off from work, and it happened to be Valentines Day. I had the radio on and the radio was playing a special Valentines Day program. I was sitting at my table in my kitchen, instead of being at work like normal, and, to my amazement, they played on the radio a cut of the very same movie I had watched in college and responded to with such fear. And in hearing the scene, I understood immediately why I had been so overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. The scene they played was the scene where Romeo and Juliet commit suicide, and it had triggered for me feelings connected to my mother’s many suicide attempts. I am sure I could have dismissed this as pure coincidence, but I choose not to….. And this insight helped along my path to recovery….
The other story I want to share with you is a time I asked God to give me a sign that he was listening…..I know, I know, oh ye of little faith. This was several years later, and I was depressed, and feeling hopeless, sad and desperate. I was at the beach in Galveston with my son, who was five, and made the following silent request of God…… (this is really embarrassing) “Please let me find a whole sand dollar and I will know you are listening……” So we walked and I looked and walked and I kept looking, and there were many, many pieces, but no whole sand dollars. So I thought about what a stupid thing it was to ask for, and gave up. Then Jason and I walked out on this pier of huge rocks, where we went fishing. Jason, as a little boy, had a very small fishing pole, and an even smaller hook, about the size of my pinkie finger……he casts, reels in, gets caught on the rocks, etc, casts, you know how it goes when you fish with your kids…..and no fish are biting. Then he says, Mom, look there is something on the hook…….well, what do you think it was? A sand dollar, a whole sand dollar, about the size of a quarter, with teeny little slits, like sand dollars have, and this teeny little hook delicately holding on…….Sometimes, in fact, most of the time, miracles don’t come just the way you expect them to. I think it is so God has something to smile about…..
So, this is what I have learned. This is what recovery and resiliency means….it means, that when we fall down, we stand up. We take steps, starting with small steps on our journey. We falter and bargain with our faith. We feel fear. But when we fail, we look for ways to keep trying and believing. It means that we learn from experience, treasure our mistakes as great teachers, that we have setbacks, pick ourselves and each