“Surrendering to him means growth and progress. It is the freedom of moving forward with and through him, so that each of our relationships and all of our work, worship, suffering, and play reflect what he wants of us.”
– Judith C. Lechman
I have just returned from a weekend filled with fellowship and spirituality. I listened to and shared with my sisters and brothers in recovery from the family disease of alcoholism. In this sharing of experience, strength, and hope with others who understand my journey, the diseased hole in my heart was filled a bit more. Through all the laughter and tears that we shared, a sense of peacefulness set in. The feeling in the auditorium from the opening session on Friday evening was transformed from a bunch of people facing a stage to a family of survivors joyously appreciating the journey together on Sunday morning.
As I read the quote above in my Women’s Devotional Bible this morning, I was struck with the familiarity it sparked in my heart toward the messages I heard throughout the last three days. While the group I was with over the weekend claims no “Higher Power” as its own, this quote, written by a Christian workshop leader and author, could have been a tag line for the convention. The idea of surrendering our will to a Power greater than ourselves is the foundation of recovery from living a life filled with the family disease of alcoholism. Without this honest and complete surrender, the program just does not work. Whether the surrender is to God, Buddha, Allah, Mother Earth or the Wisdom of the group doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the surrender occurs. And, in its occurrence, those of us present this weekend were blessed with acceptance, love, and guidance, the likes of which we never could have experienced prior to the surrender.
The beauty of recovery is the fact that what one person believes is their Higher Power may be completely different from what I believe my Higher Power to be, and they can still help me. When they are sharing personal experiences of what life was like before recovery and what life is like now that they are recovering, I am not blinded by the close-mindedness that often comes with believing there is only one way to get to God. Instead, I am open to hearing how it has worked for them and incorporating the strength of those experiences into my own journey of recovery. It is a true gift from the Creator of the universe.
I am consistently amazed by the way my God weaves Himself through this program of recovery, so anonymously, and yet so openly.