God must come first in all things. Our Higher Power, that caring God, that God of love and compassion and mercy, must come first. Before ourselves, before our spouses before our children and family. For it is in God’s love that we were created and thrive. Nothing is separate from God. Even being outside the sphere of God’s love is connected because absence is lack of presence. God can not be separated from anything, it just simply is not possible. Life only exists in God, all else is dying.
When I consciously came to understand this is now a story I tell. A few months ago I started driving some people in our community to various places when they needed help getting somewhere. Though they do have means to travel on their own, it is often a long and in the winter a bitterly cold ride. They also live their lives more fully by their belief in God than most I have encountered here and that fills me with a deep sense of happiness. I had set aside Sunday’s to not drive because it was a day to spend with my family and because I do go to church. So one Saturday, an older woman asked me if I could drive her to church the next morning, even though I had said that I didn’t drive on Sunday’s. In that moment I felt very humble and guilty of pride. I looked up and in my heart I knew that the right thing was to drive her, to bring her to her house of worship to bring her to where she felt close to God. And so I said yes.
After I had dropped her off, I drove away feeling very content, serene and peaceful. I was pondering what I had learned through that experience and then like the dawn it came to me that nothing could be separate from God. And I smiled. And as I smiled, thanking God for the experience, I looked out my window and out of a wooded area flew a bald eagle. He spiraled up climbing into the sky and as I slowed down and stopped to watch him in all his majestic beauty he turned and flew over my van towards where I had dropped this woman off. I was in awe. And as I pondered the magnificence of his beauty and what I had been thinking about at the time I thought “Wow, could this be anymore poignant.”
Feeling very much at peace I went home and got the kids ready for church and the message at church? It was that we are one. All of us no matter our denomination or secular beliefs. That there is no separateness. All are one in the God of our understanding. And we can’t separate God from anything.
In my life I have worked with the 12 step philosophies on one level or another since I was young. It has for as long as I can remember and especially looking back played a huge part in me becoming who I am. However the 12 steps is pervasive in ones life, it is not just in dealing with those afflicted with addiction. It is a spiritual program and though designed because of man’s struggle with addiction to alcohol it is a pathway to spiritual wholeness and enlightenment.
I always considered myself a very spiritual person. For as long as I can remember I have always known that God is very real. My faith taught me lessons many of them difficult. My faith brought me to be around people who lived their life filled with God’s spirit. But yet, I was quiet in my faith, and never lived it out loud.
I have always found that I am at home comfortable and filled with peace when those filled with the spirit are around me. There is a joy in sharing that with people.
“There is nothing better than living in God’s love, except to live with other’s who live in God’s love too.”
– Adrienne McLeod
I have not written here in a long time. But it is time to come back and bring what I have learned to share with those of you that follow here.
In the past 8 years my faith and trust and love of my Higher Power has increased exponentially. I have lived trying to help another person and in that strayed far to the edge of the sphere of God’s love. In pride I tried to stand firm on the edge and save another person. No one can do that, only God can do that, and only if that person wants to be saved.
I will never leave that sphere again. It is lonely, cold, desperate; fear ridden and empty. And living on the edge of God’s love, those we seek to help can not see the fullness beauty and grace of God’s love. They can not see his mercy.
But for this part of my life, I would not be back in the arms and safety of my Higher Power feeling so incredibly blessed and whole. I would not have the understanding that I have gained with this experience. I would never have known…And so, though it has been painful and uncomfortable growing pains God, I thank you. For all of it. Every beautiful moment and every terrible one. Every joy and every fear.
© Adrienne Jones McLeod