When I was first recovering from alcoholism I was told that I should get on my knees and pray. Every morning and every evening.
And I did.
Before I did anything else, I got out of bed, got on my knees and prayed for the strength to remain sober for the rest of the day. I always asked Him to help me to do His will…my will had gotten me in a bit of a mess.
And every night, the last thing I did was get on my knees and thank Him for keeping me sober this day.
It was sink or swim. I believed my conversations with God kept me from drowning in that emotional ocean of drink. He was my lifesaver.
After that first year I was busy, I was sober, I was getting a divorce, I was working full time again. I was secure in my sobriety, I knew I never wanted to drink again. So I slacked off on the prayers. Sometimes I would lay in bed because I needed an extra five minutes of pillow time. I’d say a quick ‘please’ in the morning. Then at the end of the day, I’d drop, exhausted, back to my pillow and say a quick’ thank you’.
That first year I would use a traffic jam or a stoplight as time for a quick chat with God. I’d thank Him for many different things, the sun, my kids, my job, my house, Oreo cookies. We’d talk about everything. I’d thank Him for the strength He gave me to continue each day as a sober woman. God and I chatted on a regular basis. We were friends.
After that first year if I got caught in a traffic jam it was a little different. God’s name still came up but it was flung out as a curse. The stop light was not an opportunity to spend time with God, it was an evil entity sent by the devil to make me late for work…
Today, it’s rare that I pray. I shoot out quick little things for other people. Help so and so with her illness, give so and so strength. I do this when I think of them, when shopping, when driving, sometimes while making dinner.
That first year, I built a great relationship with God. He and I were tight.
After that first year, I neglected our friendship. And it showed. My life was not so bright and shiny, small things irritated me. My life was in such turmoil. My kids have even told me that during that time they were affected. I didn’t know.
If I treated a friend the way I treated God I most likely would not have that friend…I certainly would not be a friend to someone who only spoke a few quick words to me as we passed each other in the produce aisle. I would not be friends with someone who only waved to me as they flew by in their car. I would not be friends with someone who only called me when they were in dire straits and needed someone to cry to.
I can sit here and tell you that I miss my relationship with God. I do. I really do. I want that relationship back.
But tonight, when I go to bed, I will most likely fall asleep with a book. Or my phone. And if God calls, I’ll say, you know what, I’m really tired, good to hear from you, thanks for thinking of me, I miss you, but can I call you back tomorrow?