Just Another Friday Night Conversation With God


BY-THE-GRACE-OF-GOD-WE-CAN-DO-ANYTHING

The appointments with Him are never scheduled.

Well, at least they aren’t in any agenda book I have.  But He has his own timetable.  And shows up precisely when He’s needed.  And for me, it’s always been in the midst of a struggle / surrender / serenity cycle.  He’s the Closer when it comes to these things. The Cleaner. I create the mess and He rights it by showing me how to not just tidy it up, but how to avoid creating the mess in the first place.

Allow me to share.

Struggle: I have had some struggles as of late.  Like anyone else, I tussle with my ego, my expectations, my resentments, my wanting to direct life like a prima donna actor.  I have documented those here, how I have squared off with my weight, my body issues, my running attachments, my anger issues, my complacency, my eating, my online screen time, my scrupulousness, my arrogance, my comparing myself to others.  I have had it all this year.  I probably have some other stuff going on that I am not even aware of.

I’ve realized that I’ve been running from one place to another seeking something.  Seeking that validation that I know comes from within.  Knowing it intellectually, but unknowing how to make that stick to my heart and soul.  I am sometimes aware of it, sometimes I am not.  I dart around from flower to flower trying to suck all the nectar out of everything. Trying to store it up as some sort of spiritual collateral. But it fails to invigorate and satisfy.  Alcohol was the drug of choice in that regard for decades.  I may have dropped the hooch but other things replaced it.

And that has been the struggle.

1926879-night-view-of-park-bench-and-street-lantern

Surrender: I was riding my bike home Friday evening.  It was cold but I was meandering about getting home.  I was five minutes from home when I passed a bench.  A few seconds later I had a very strong pull to turn back.  I have had these moments before.  So I knew that I was meant to heed that nudge.  And so I turned back.

I heard something telling me to sit.

I sat.

I heard something tell me to take my helmet off.

I took my helmet off.

The surrender took the form of tears coming down my face and asking God “What do I have to do to be free?  I am struggling and can’t do this anymore.  I can’t”.

And this is how it went:

Me:  I can’t do this.

Voice: I know you struggle.

Me: I don’t want to do this any more.

Voice: Then don’t.  You don’t have to any more.  You don’t have to do so much.  You don’t need to prove anything with Me.

Me: But I have to do things, don’t I? I have responsibilities.  I need to get stuff done, right? I mean –

Voice: Rest in Me. Just be. 

Me: How do I do that? I have so many things that –

Voice: Let them go.  Let go.

Me: How do I do that?

Voice: Just ask.

(I sat and asked Him for several minutes to relieve me of the bondage of self.  To release me from my own imprisonment, to put me in a place of rest and to take away my fears and anger)

Voice: Rejoice in Me.  And rejoice in those who rejoice in Me as well.

Me: So what do I do now?

Voice: Go to the places [I had images of detoxes and prisons and other down and out places flash in my mind] and there you will find yourself there.

Me: (silence)

Voice: You are tapping into a new existence. You are going to find love and freedom.

Me: Thank you.

And as I sat there, tears now easing, my mind freeing and my hands warming even though it was cold out, I heard the voice finally tell me to breath.  Ten times.

I breathed ten times.

And then I put my helmet back on left.

convo

Serenity: As I left the place I had my conversation with God, I felt the tension in my chest dissipate like the smoke from an extinguished flame. My mind was clear.  All the things I was thinking about as of late – the comparing of self, the pull towards acting out or finding those things that would tell me I was okay – all evaporated.  I felt something glowing from within – love.  Love for others, love for myself, love for God.  I felt as if something was washing away.

I heard a great line the other day – God isn’t in us like a raisin in a bun – He’s in us like the ocean is in a wave.  And I felt that.  I felt His loving guidance in me.  I felt all the harsh self-talk leave me.  I felt as if it was okay to be me and nothing else.  I felt lavished by unfettered love.  I started to see just how simple it was and how I complicated it all.

As I got home, I had all these things swirling in my mind.  I wrote them down, but realize now I didn’t need to.  I would remember this.  I would latch onto this feeling of utter surrender and serenity.  My sponsor once told me that before we breakthrough into a new spiritual way of being, there is the most resistance from our ego. I understand that now, because I have been raging against the machine for some time now.  I can see light.  Light from within.  His light refracted in me and emanating from others.

I am in a really good place now.  I don’t know if I have been here before…but I like it.

A lot.

Thank you for reading this.  I wish you all the best in wherever you are in your own journeys.

Blessings

Paul

Grace

60 responses to “Just Another Friday Night Conversation With God

  1. Bravo Paul! Pretty amazing isn’t it? I loved your line about God is in us not like a raisen in a bun but like the ocean in a wave – that is classic , so very very true. Anyway Enjoy – you deserve it.

    • Thank you Paul – I was thinking about your story about how you heeded that voice / compulsion in you to stop your truck. Powerful stuff (I was telling my wife that story the other day).

      Blessings to you, my friend.

  2. How amazing!! I have been having some similar thoughts about letting go lately, and this was a perfect thing for me to read right now. Thank you, as always, for sharing your journey and insights.

  3. That was wonderful, I need to find a bench like that. I’ve always been jealous of people who can have conversations with God. I think I need to listen more intently in case He’s whispering to me.
    Sharon

    • I have some of these now and then – usually in meditation. And much shorter. And often none at all. It comes as needed I suppose – I can’t summon them up like some cheesy Ouija board…lol. But listening I suppose is the key, yes? Thanks for being here, Sharon.
      Blessings 🙂

  4. I have much to say on this! Good for you! That is the way it works. Ask and let go. I have had to do it over over and over again. I pray the third and Seventh step prayers everyday as well as the 11th step St Francis prayer for years, sometimes several times a day. As of late I have been reading paragraphs from 417, 419, and 420!!! Acceptance is the key. Love of Higher Power, Love of Self and love of others through service.
    Life is truly amazing when we get out of our own way!
    I am Love,
    Jeff

    • Thank you Jeff for the insightful and wise comments. I wake daily with the 3rd and 7th prayer. Sometimes a simple “Thy will be done, not mine” is enough at stressful times. Turning it over – that’s my challenge and that 3rd step has become more and more important to me as I go along. And yeah…Acceptance. That story is something my sponsor and others had me read over and over again. Even now when I read it (and I do) I STILL get something out of it. I imagine I will do so for the rest of my life.

      Blessings to you, my friend.

  5. Hi Paul, I was not sure I had it in me to tune in tonight. Well, I did and was immediately typing in your blog. I am glad I did. Thank you for bringing us to your bench. God is indeed good!

  6. I love the conversation you had with God, Paul!

    I understand and get what you’re feeling. It’s a relief to know that God is in the driver seat and I can let go. I feel the love you describe and it’s a beautiful gift to behold. Surrendering is simple but I can complicate everything!

    Thanks for touching a chord with me. My heart is opened to a universal love that today I’m lucky to be feeling at the same time as you.

    Praise God for the love we all share.

    {{{{Hugs}}}}
    ~Fern

    • Ah Fern I have been thinking of you lately and hoping that you have been well. I am so very thrilled to hear that you are in tune with the Universal Love. What a joy it is to feel, eh? I wish I could bottle it (okay, bad analogy…lol).

      Praise Him indeed.

      BIg hugs back to you, my friend

      Paul

  7. I shed a tear over this one. Let go and le t God…. I needed this message tonight. thank you Paul, your words mean more than you know…I hope & pray

    • Thanks Katie for you well wishes. I too pray for that (and that’s the key – I will have to *continue* praying for it!) and hope that you are doing well. So happy to hear from you 🙂

      Paul

  8. God Bless you Paul†††
    I have been just sitting by lately, taking the cotton out of my ears and putting it in my mouth, just letting the powers show me what is to be. I see many struggling, yet with the power of God they overcome, for only God can pull us out of this mess. You have been revealed a very good mission, and you have done much to prepare and have learned to most important lesson, let go and let God, for what God takes from us is useless trash and God gives back those things that help us survive and it will help others too, if we share it. If we keep it to ourselves, it will run out, so we have to keep going to the source of life and give it to others.

    • ” for what God takes from us is useless trash and God gives back those things that help us survive and it will help others too, if we share it. If we keep it to ourselves, it will run out, so we have to keep going to the source of life and give it to others.” I love this, JR. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and light. I like the idea of having a mission. I really do. Going back to Source is what this experience was like. I know I will need to keep doing this, and it will, as long as I stay open to His words.

      Thank you again – love seeing you here again. It’s been too long, my friend.
      Blessings
      Paul

  9. Oh, I just want to hug you right now!! I am giddy with excitement now. And not because I think that life will be easy and perfect from now on (it’s not like that for anyone), but because I feel like you just ditched a thousand pounds of guilt/self-doubt/self-loathing that you have been carrying around (you still have some left – we all carry a small amount around) and might actually believe it when someone like me, who has never met you, tells you that you’re awesome AS YOU ARE.

    • You speak wise words, Jane. Bang on. It won’t be perfect on in, but I do feel a lot lighter and hopefully have more to work with when things do come up. I know we all carry stuff around – we’re human after all. I am hoping that I can continue trying to be more authentic to myself and not trying to be someone or something that I think others think I should be.

      Thank you – you are awesome too. I value you and your friendship 🙂

      Paul

    • Thank you Josie for reading. I am glad that you found something in it. I just wanted to share it. Moments like that really show me His power and how really it was He who removed the compulsion to drink. Nothing to do with me.

      Hope you are well 🙂
      Paul

  10. I love when that peace and realization comes over you after a good God conversation. That feeling of absolute, pure love. It’s indescribable (but you did a great job).

    I can’t wait to see where this conversation takes you. You must feel such a sense of freedom right now.

    Blessings my friend,
    Sherry

    • I do feel a sense of freedom, Sherry. Even today, I could sense myself going down a well-worn path of negativity and before I knew it, I had turned around and gone to another path. A higher kind of road – where I am choosing to see things in a different way. It reminds me how things turned for me when I first got sober, and how I slowly let it slide back down. I can now remember how great I felt when I did His will and not mine. Freedom indeed.

      Blessings to you and thank you for being here, as always.
      Paul

  11. That was just amazing. Lavished by unfettered love…He does lavish us, doesn’t He? The implications of lavish..wow. Really glad I came over here from another blog. Thank you and bless you.

  12. Wow Paul this is beautiful~ I am so glad u listened to that voice and took a seat on the bench. This is such a wonderful moment you had with your God and thank you for sharing it with us!

  13. I’m going to sound just like my sponsor now as he shares back at a meeting… he always starts with… “And we’re all on a different journey. And it isn’t straight and clear. We go wrong, we turn round, we try a road and realise that isn’t the one for us, we change bikes etc.”

    I reached a similar place sometime ago – as you know I’m in “career transition” at the moment. I’m still frightened to hell and back that this is going to be a disaster, I’ll get nowhere out of it and end up destitute etc.” But not today! Stop and just walk today’s steps that is all I can ever realistically do

  14. how can i get a sponsor , when the only recovering addict is always off the the grid & there is no meetings whatsoever NA or AA.

    • You know, there are online sponsors you can get. I sponsored a guy by Skype and email successfully. I used to be part of an AA online sponsor group. It’s been some time since being there, but let me try and find the link.

  15. Paul, so beautiful. “Rest in Me. Just be.” We make surrender so difficult. We flail around and dog paddle in that ocean when we simply could float, be carried along by the rhythm of God’s love and grace. So wonderful you were able to experience that peace beyond understanding. May you be blessed with more “being.” in him.

    • Thank you Susan for this. I love your comments. And you are right, we do make surrender difficult. Amazing how we do that when we know the serenity and the joy of His majesty when we do it.

      Blessings,
      Paul

  16. Paul, this is beautiful. I have never been a believer. Being in recovery, and in a 12 step program I have struggled with the higher power concept. In keeping with my mantra of letting go and staying in the now, I have been giving my worries and struggles up to the Universe, Mother Nature, the infinite rolling waves of the ocean and God. I have prayed for many things, mostly a sign, just to show that this prayer thing works.
    I think there have been many “signs”. My mother out living her 4 month diagnosis so that I will get one more visit in, and my son finally landing a job.
    My problem is skepticism. These things have all been in my prayers, and they have been answered, and yet I still don’t believe.
    It is great to read this. It is helpful for me in my own spiritual journey.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Scepticism – I haven’t had much in the way of that problem I guess, so it’s hard for me to see things on the other side of it. When I do doubt and lose faith (and I do from time to time – believe me I do), I do as you and think back at all the times things worked out that had nothing to do with me. Luck, chance? Meh – I know better.

      But I am sure you have heard them all – doesn’t have to “God”, but things like Nature, Universal Mind, The Great Good, Common Sense, etc. can work as well. I have always thought that if I didn’t believe in God per se, The Universe would have worked for me. Something beyond me and bigger than me.

      Anyway, the fact that you are willing to believe is a huge thing. As they also say, if you believe that I believe, then that’s good enough.

      Hope you are well 🙂

      Paul

  17. Yep, yep and yeppers. I’ve had those same God moments and almost those exact same conversations with God, except mine usually involve a few f-bombs and a mental scream into the universe. But, it is always followed by the calm, the serenity, the peace. I remember one of the first times I heard that God-voice. It was a simple, “Go home. Rest. You’ll know what to do.” I wiped my tears, went home, took a nap and the rest unfolded as it should.

    • f-bombs…lol. I love those moments, eh? I sometimes wonder if that is some other part of me saying those things, that I may be a bit whacky, but I know deep down it isn’t me. Or at least not the Me I think of.

      Thanks Dorothy for being here – love when you get round to these parts 🙂

      Paul

  18. Hi Paul, I just listened to the your podcast on Since Right Now and went back and read some of your archives about your story. Something about hearing your voice and getting some background along with your ongoing great insightful posts makes reading your blog all the more powerful. Some days I rely on a Group of Drunks other days I can the creator in a sunset – these breakthrough moments are indeed ones you don’t have to write down. (: !

    • Oh thank you for checking out that podcast – those guys are wonderful. And thank for checking out my little corner of the world!

      I think that Group of Drunks works, as does the ol’ Great Out Doors and other things like that. Nature or the Universe are also good ones. I think whatever works for the person is the one that is best. I know witches and wiccans and folks like that who have their HP in their lives and which work for them. It’s so individualized.

      And yes, you are right – sometimes the sunset is something that I feel rather than hear. I get lots of those shots in my day – sometimes I am awake to them, sometimes not. But certainly the ones that I reverberate through me are just as powerful as anything I “hear”!

      thanks for the comments – I really appreciate them, kind sir.

      I look forward in getting back to your corner of the world again.

      Paul

  19. Pingback: Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys, Not My Asics, Not My Brooks | Message in a Bottle·

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