TRUST IN THE ABIDING PRESENCE AND PROTECTION OF GOD DEVELOPS FROM THE HARDEST EXPERIENCES IN LIFE, NOT THE EASIEST OR MOST JOYFUL. SINCE GOD BECAME THE CENTER OF MY LIFE, I HAVE HAD A LONG APPRENTICESHIP LEARNING TO KEEP HIM THERE. NEARLY EVERY ASPECT OF MY PERSONALITY, SENSE OF SELF, EGO, WILL, HABITS OF MIND, AND LIVING SKILLS ARE AT ODDS WITH ANY NOTION OF DEPENDING ON GOD TO GUIDE MY LIFE. AT FIRST I WOULD AWAKE TO THE FACT I WAS OPERATING IN DEFAULT SELF-CENTERED MODE WITH NO AWARENESS OF GOD AT ALL; IT WAS OFTEN QUITE LATE IN A GIVEN DAY… LIKE AT THE END… WHEN I WOULD SUDDENLY HAVE THAT THOUGHT—OH. YEAH: GOD. And that is just having GOD-awareness; never mind appreciation of the moment-by-moment miracles of being alive in the world, savoring the joys of being at play in the fields of the Lord, being open hearted with others, seeing into the needs of others, desiring to be of help, loving—- as I have been loved, giving freely of what I have been given— and, most important, being grateful for the continuing gift of life.

So I find, after 4 years of practice, including a long period of house-bound isolation and intense physical pain, that I seem to have learned something important= that God has always been present when I have reached out for Him. That all my needs are met. That any scarcity I imagine, when honestly examined, turns out to be a mind game in my own head; indeed the only real enemy I have encountered in the last 4 years has been me; that all the pain and suffering I have experienced over the last 9 months was consequent to the stubborn insistence on my part that I had to run an errand during an ice storm at the end of last January! But I sure have learned a lot about trust in my Father while dealing with those consequences, because without Him I would surely have gone back to drinking over facing just one more day, but also, because I was house-bound, I found and online community of loving people and have experienced a renaissance of happiness, gratitude, and grace in my life BEFORE the pain and immobility began to abate. It seems like it takes a lot to get me to get humble enough to grow. I forgot to even ask for healing, but suddenly I started getting better. TRUST. FAITH. THE LORD, MY SHEPHERD. 

I think it is time to stick my feet and arms and head out from my shell and amble on down the road now. I will know where I am going when the Shepherd has led me there.


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