It may be heard in the rising and falling of a child’s breath at night
In May 1993, I entered the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous in the midst of a very painful divorce resulting from years of alcohol abuse on my part. My two children, aged two and three at the time, were caught in the middle of this situation. My recovery went well, and my relationship with my children continued to improve, but after seven months in AA I still felt an absence of peace. Although I’d been working on my spiritual life, I continued to find it difficult to accept the fact that my family was not coming back together. It wasn’t long before I started questioning God as to his unwillingness to answer my prayers.
Immediately following my divorce, I was living in a little broken-down trailer. I was broke and I resented the fact that I no longer had a house and all the material things that told me I was okay. Even when I was an emotional and spiritual wreck, my material things had always provided a false sense of being okay. Now I had nothing, and my kids were spending their first weekend in my new home.
I tucked them into bed and went back into the living room and sat in the dark, just thinking and feeling sorry for myself. It had snowed all that day and the full moon was reflected on the freshly fallen snow, illuminating the room with its light. When I got up to go to bed, I stopped in the doorway of the kids’ room. I stood there, just watching them sleep. The moonbeams shining through their window cast a beautiful haze upon the bed where they lay sleeping.
What I remember most about that night is the rhythm of their breathing. As the girls slept, I recalled the slow, steady, peaceful rhythm that I marveled at the first time I held them. The same slow, steady, peaceful rhythm was there when I rocked them to sleep in the following years. It was this rhythm that had been a constant for me in my relationship with my children. It was this rhythm that told me they were okay and that in turn my world was okay. It was this rhythm, in an old beat-up trailer in a run-down trailer park, that told me God was listening and my world was okay.
Isn’t it interesting the way God whispers to us? But we don’t always hear his messages. That’s why it’s so important for me to work on my relationship with God. I believe the divine to be incarnate in all things, but the only way I know to honor my Higher Power is to talk to him as if he were a person. I never ask him for things anymore, I don’t believe he is a genie who grants wishes, but I do believe he gives me strength and hope and an appreciation of life and goodness.
This concept is of great comfort to me, and I think it’s what we try to achieve through the spiritual Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.