I awoke this morning after another series of dreams that seem to point to a niggling truth struggling to come to my conscious awareness. As I prayed for discernment and understanding, I recalled the many who have been helpers along this journey of recovery and healing. I have been blessed with wonderful professionals who have walked with me for a portion of my journey and friends and family who have made themselves available for what I needed during the critical days when life was frightening and anxiety-ridden. For these men and women--my tribe, my healing stones--I give thanks:
- For Bonnie, Lou, Mari and Teri--professionals who spoke truth with compassion and love and who helped me see myself through gentle and loving eyes;
- For Sharon and that inept MFT intern who taught me that I can and must resist help that is not helpful;
- For Sheila and Tam--old friends who reached out when I was so fragile and simply made themselves available;
- For the women in my small group who listened and loved well;
- For my S-ANON sisters who cried and laughed with me as we shared our journey on the healing path out of betrayal and addiction;
- For Crystal, a sponsor and friend extraordinaire who like her name, brings clarity and insight into the muddy waters of life's situations;
- For Wm. Paul Young, Richard Rohr, Paula D'Arcy, Glennon Mellon, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown, Stephanie Carnes, Mari Lee, Barbara Steffens, Marsha Means, Ann Voskamp, Patricia Wiklund, Terri St. Cloud, Rachel Held Evans and Scot McKnight whose words were like a healing balm to my wounded soul, like manna from heaven that satisfied my hunger for information and that shone a bright light during very dark days when I could not find my way;
- For Julie Anne and "Anonymous" who helped me reconnect with my inner activist;
- For all of the partners and former partners who have dared to share their stories with me; they have reinforced the truth that we are not alone;
- For my sweet and bestest friend, Kay--a loyal, loving and faithful sister for the past three and a half decades. She has been a secret-keeper, a sounding board and a witness to my entire journey, not just parts of it. We have forged a friendship that has stood the test of time, disagreements and changing life transitions. Many miles separate us but our hearts are connected in a way that transcends geography;
- For my children who are the very best gifts I have ever received and whose love and connection continues to bring healing and purpose to my life. Their resiliency, courage and strength amaze me and I am so very proud of the wonderful human beings they have become. They have been severely tried and tested, crushed and challenged and still they love and live with integrity, compassion and kindness;
- For my gifts of grace, life and peace--"The Three," the "K's," the granddaughters who have come into our family and brought hope, giggles, snuggles and joy;
- For my husband, whose love is healing in ways that only a healthy intimate relationship can after severe betrayal, and who has brought adventure and laughter into my life again.
"Hitherto the Lord hath helped us," is an older translation of I Samuel 7:12 that was running through my mind when I awoke this morning. The context of this verse was a particularly difficult battle between Israel and her enemies and God's amazing intervention. After the battle, Samuel erected a standing stone and named it "Ebenezer" which is translated "the stone of help."
|The Western Wall, also called "The Wailing Wall" in Jerusalem|
It occurs to me that the people of my "tribe" have been God's gifts of help. Recovery is not a solitary journey after all but rather is more like a grand orchestra. Papa God is the conductor who arranges and directs the music (i.e. healing) but each section of the orchestra contribute out of their gifts and wisdom and are essential to the ongoing majesty and grandeur of the masterpiece. So at this start of a brand new year, I erect my Ebenezer in recognition of all those who have been my stones of help. I am truly grateful and blessed.
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