It was so warm today. Unseasonably so. But, again, I am not complaining, because it means our heating bill stays low, and I don’t have to wear gloves (yet).

Right now, I am in the midst in my first online movie “binge”, watching several episodes of a historically-based miniseries where the main character has lost her father to lung cancer.  I too lost my father to lung cancer. It was way too soon and due to cigarettes. As soon as I watched this part of the story, it had me. I knew the feeling of loss, of anger of sadness that would not ever completely go away.

In talking this over with my recovery friends, I am practically brought back to the fact that I am mourning the loss and angry at the addiction simultaneously. And this can make the grieving process somewhat complicated. I wonder about whether I could have spoke up about the danger sooner, if only he had never picked up that first cigarette. If his cancer had been caught early-on and treatment had been started sooner. The questions and what-ifs can drive me to distraction. Thankfully, I have good friends that understand that I need to speak these feelings out loud and hear the voice of reason, usually my own voice answering back, confirming to my hurting heart what my mind already knows.

Each of us choose our paths, and we choose to continue the same or change based on the opportunities available and our willingness. It’s a two-part picture. Those of us in recovery are there to present the opportunity (see 12th step), but the willingness must come from inside. We can admit out powerlessness (step 1) and somehow willingness flows out from it. It is a divine mystery, like when the water was changed into wine. But it is there, just the same. Those of us that have experienced it, know the serenity and peace that faith brings into our lives. It is hardly describable. But I am closest to God when I am still and letting that willingness flow out from me and letting it lead me into what comes next.

My willingness to continue writing this blog/journal is an example of what God is doing in my recovery. I compare what I do in writing this to walking down the street without a stitch on. I feel a bit like that, because I am pretty much opening up parts of my life and who I am and who I have been without much filter or edit for God’s use in my recovery and for anyone else who may read this and need whatever is here, for whatever reason. I don’t have to know. God already does.

To withhold or be unwilling to extend encouragement or a good word is the same as being miserly or stingy. What do you have to offer in your journey to someone who may need to hear it? I encourage all of us to extend the love and encouragement of God to someone at our next opportunity. 

Much love to all of you, my dear friends.