Much like my realization yesterday, I realized this morning that I have no idea what God’s will is for me. I mean, how arrogant that I just realized today that I do not, and will not, ever completely know what that is for me!
Sometimes I really wonder about myself...like how can I be alive this many years, sober this much time, and still be so fucking clueless? I mean really?
But I am. And I am grateful that I am still teachable. I do not have it all figured out. I still fuck it up, repeatedly. But what I have today that I didn’t have in the beginning and has grown infinitely stronger over time, is faith. Faith that whatever I am fucking up currently comes with a greater good somewhere. Because I have enough life behind me to know that even my most severe screw ups, have, in the end, turned into bright and light giving assets...every single fucking time. Like every one. There has not ever been one stupid, shitty or dumbass thing that I have done, that has not somewhere down the line resulted in growth for me, or maybe you, or someone, sometime.
I do not know what God’s will is for me. But I do get indicators. Signs, if you will, that I am traveling a path that is God centered. First of all, God does not want me drunk or on the self destructive super highway, like ever. So if I am sober, I know for an absolute fact that I am doing God’s will...even if I am fucking up a whole bunch of other shit. Sobriety for me equals being in spiritual compliance with God’s will for my life. To drink is to die, and God has not wanted that for me (at least so far) so that is proof enough for me.
I am pretty sure that God doesn’t want me to be a selfish ass either. And yet, I am, frequently. I am human with a lot of healing to still do. I do not get it right, I just keep trying. And that may not always look so pretty from any angle. Regardless I am doing my best. Trying to not hurt myself or anyone else. And I do. Hurt others and myself, even when well intentioned.
I have attempted to decipher God’s will for me so many times, volunteering to be God’s scriptwriter, not only for my life, but yours as well. I can predict the endings, and the shortfalls. I can write a story to explain anything...and I can call it, quite arrogantly, God’s will. It is confusing. What is my story and what is God’s story sometimes because I get so involved in the process, that I can’t see the truth.
So I look for fingerprints. Mine. God’s. Mine are always dirty, smudged and very child like. God’s are usually invisible and show up in coincidences, chance encounters and grace. So when I am in the thick of something...I look for evidence of my own will, marked quite stunningly with dirty, gross finger prints. If I find those, then I know that self will is likely at the center of all of this, and God is just going to allow the consequences of my own actions to rain down upon me, and whoever else might be in the splash zone.
But if I can examine a situation and see no evidence of my intent, manipulation, my gross demands and desires. If I am just living my life, and then WHAM, something happens. I can be pretty sure, this is God’s will in action.
My first sponsor gave me this gem as a guideline:
“Erin, here is a bright line rule for you. Most of the time we don’t do this for newcomers because it is hard to say what is God’s will and what is your own, but I can see that you are going to need some guidance...so here it is: If it is incredibly painful, that would be your will. If it is a little less, it is likely God’s will.”
That has served me well over this last 27 years. Like really well. I do and say a lot of things that people do not agree with. I feel things that many do not understand or appreciate. I have trouble connecting, and feel alone and isolated a lot. I reach out and fear not connecting less than I actually fear connecting. My traumatic past is something that I cannot ever be rid of, it drives me even when I am sure it isn’t. Instead, all I can do is be aware, to see where I am acting out of self, out of selfishness, self centeredness, fear and be willing to honestly admit it to myself, God and my sponsor. What you all think is none of my business and I do not owe you an explanation, even when you demand one from me. Or I feel compelled to supply you with one even though you haven't asked...
The final judgment, I believe, as to whether I have lived a good life, comes from me. My final thought about myself and the life I have lived, my heaven or hell. This is what I believe. God does not sit (at least mine doesn’t) in some sort of fire and brimstone judgment of me...my God, instead, remains ever present in my times of need, want, desire, pain, love, grace and everything in between. God walks beside me, nudging me closer to his will for me, while allowing me the delusion that it is my life, my time, my will all the while.
I am the arrant teen and God, the gentle, ever present loving force that allows me to fuck up, hurt, grieve and still move forward without succumbing to the vast ocean of self doubt, fear and sometimes still loathing that comes with being me.
I do not know God’s will for me, but if I search dutifully and find no finger prints of mine, lousing up this beautiful life I have been graced with, then I operate as I move forward with the idea, that perhaps, maybe, just for this minute, I am doing God’s will for me. And if I have the courage to do that, perhaps more great things will come to pass. And for faith, all I need do is glance behind me at the very treacherous ground I have trudged before.
My life is not a story of salvation where I am “saved” and then moved out into the world, full of light. No mine is one where I am constantly asked to dust off the shades of self that dim the light within. Over and over and over again, day after day. And for my efforts, I get another chance to help someone else along the path, even while I might be actively screwing it up. There is no holy higher ground from which to live this life. Just me, in the trenches of my beautiful, albeit sometimes very messy life, doing the deal, staying sober and attempting to carry the message to someone else who suffers. And to trust that no matter how much I want something or someone, if it is not God’s will, there is nothing, absolutely fucking nothing that I can do to make that happen.
And today, I am supremely grateful for that fact.