Bart Ross – Recovery and Alumni Services Coordinator, Hanley Center at Origins
A common question is if God is so loving, why do we suffer from alcoholism and other sufferings in our life? I still don’t personally know the whole answer to this question, and probably never will, but I can understand and accept that some things are just too big to make sense to our human mind.
Being an alcoholic turned out to be my biggest Blessing.
I was suffering from alcoholism for many years. I spent most of my life as an Atheist. I had the mindset that if I couldn’t see, hear, feel, taste, or smell God, then how can there be a God. Then I reached the point that most of us do. That painful alcoholic dilemma of getting high and being sober were both options I couldn’t handle anymore. At that point, I became willing to accept the possibility of there being a God. I then began following through with the rest of the steps, learning to practice them as “a way of life.” What happened is I had “begun to develop this vital sixth sense.”
Pain made me open to the possibility of a God and “that Spiritual principles would solve all my problems.”
Then followed some clear cut directions. I found out that I had been wrong all my life. Today I can see and smell God in nature, hear God through people, and feel God with what we call goosebumps. In other words, if we look with an open mind, we can experience God in all things.
I looked for God on the outside.
I found Him inside myself.
And now I see Him everywhere!
I once was going through a tremendous amount of physical pain for an extended amount of time. I was becoming angrier by the day. I was losing faith and yelling at God. One day I called a friend to vent about how angry I was at God and how I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. I told my friend that I can’t fight the pain anymore. He laughed at me, and I yelled: “what’s so funny?” He reminded me of the 10th step promise, “that we have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol.”
At that moment, I ceased fighting, and the pain was cut in half, and my faith was greater than it was prior.
I had been “restored to sanity.” A large amount of pain we experience is from focusing on fighting the pain instead of surrendering to that peaceful thought of God.
All types of pain used to bring me directly to the pity pot. Today it brings me to another opportunity for growth. It’s an amazing life today with this new perception of thinking. Just think if we went through pain and found now positive use for it in the future, what would be the point?
None of us ever want to go through pain. None of us sign up for pain. But experience shows that pain becomes the biggest Blessing in our life. If it wasn’t for pain, I still wouldn’t have or continue to grow with the one thing that is most important to me today: a loving God that is personal to me.
Trust, even when it hurts!