When I first began writing this blog, I talked about Son #1, Lovely Espousa and mini chick along with Cliff. This comprised my little family in early 2008 when recovery was brand new to me. Oh, I was aware of meetings and groups and AA and Al-Anon for years but just didn't understand the effects of other people's life choices on me, nor my choices on them. At that time, our family was in a very hard place and each one of us were in our own places of life, often found licking our wounds in a corner somewhere. A glance here, a quick word there often left someone feeling wounded, angry or misunderstood. At times, I was certain that we were headed down a path that would leave us all disconnected for the rest of our days on this earth. But God, being merciful to His hard-headed children, heard this hard-headed daughters prayers and answered.
"Call to me and I will answer you" He promises. So, as families do, we elbowed around a bit and each one of us continued to find our place and address our own "stuff" individually. Fast forward now six years later, and what a difference God has made in all our relationships! Particularly Lovely Espousa and me, who will forevermore be known as Daughter-in-love. So before I tell today's true story, I share all this to say that even when you can't see, feel or hear God, He's at work behind the scenes if you will just ask Him. Practice all you've learned and have in your toolbox of recovery, and get out of the way. Your life does not have to stay the way it is today. Now, for today's true story, please read on.
My Daughter-in-Love has had a lot of heartache for a young woman. Before she met Son #1, she was in a relationship that was unhealthy. Lots of stuff that isn't mine to tell, but you all know the stories of teenagers struggling to find their place in this world, in their family and relationships. DIL was the same as you and me. In that relationship, she had a beautiful baby girl, red-haired no less (I'm partial), and as cute as she could be! One day, DIL came home to find that her wee bairn had passed away. Suffice it to say that a horrible, unintentional thing happened and sweet pea went to heaven before her six month birthday. That relationship ended and some months down the road DIL was in recovery after using whatever she could find to medicate the pain away. She met Son #1 in recovery and the rest is history.
It's a tragic story, to say the least. I can't even imagine the anguish of losing a healthy baby but I know it personally happened to two women in my life that I love dearly. When I met DIL, she surely was in a deep place of grieving and working out all that was happening in her life.
The first few years of Son #1 and DIL's marriage was fraught with trauma. I couldn't find my way into the intimate place I longed to be. I tried to find my spot as I wanted so much to have DIL as a friend, a companion and a daughter I never had. Where I thought I was helping, I may have been nagging. What I thought would be my rightful place, wasn't defined. So we continued to meet and then retreat into our corners working it out, working it out, working it out. By this time, I was going to recovery meetings faithfully. The message that kept being repeated through reading, listening and praying was "stand firm, take the next step for yourself and wait". THAT didn't seem like it was helping me!! But, little by little over time, I began to step back from the magnifying glass and let God do His work. All the time, I thought He would fix that one, or this one, or better yet THAT one over there when all the while He was "fixing" me!! Oh, He was teaching me so much more than I could have ever tried to learn.
As I was working out some of my stuff, DIL was always working out some of hers, too. Slowly the hardened walls between us began crumbling down and the gift of communication began to come through. We would talk and listen when we could get together. Forgiveness was given between us as healthier love began forging a new relationship that I never dreamed would come. DIL began to see that God in His loving way, longs to be in our lives, in all our stuff, and to walk with us in a more peaceful harmony. She experienced first hand God's long reaching arm of forgiveness no matter how old the transgression. It was a beautiful thing to observe.
Recently in conversation, my DIL began to tell me about what she called a "God moment" in her life. She explained that someone she loves who is active in AA met another girl who has recently gone through a similar heart break with her child that DIL lived through. He wondered if he could give DIL's contact information in case broken-hearted girl wanted to talk to someone who "knows what it's like". DIL agreed to be available if ever she wanted to talk. As I listened to DIL tell me about her encounter, my mind went to a couple places. First, I thought to myself "oh lovely one, would you have ever imagined being able to share your story and supporting another one through it?" DIL looked so pretty and at peace as she recalled her encounter. She was eager to be used this way which tells me that through her hard work of recovery and relationship with the Creator of her heart, she has come to a place of accepting and releasing what happened with her red-haired girl.
Immediately I thought about a passage in Scripture that says "God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us". (2 Cor. 1:3 The Msg) And, almost simultaneously, Step 12 came to mind as well, urging us to carry the message to others after we've had a spiritual awakening.
It all goes hand in hand, God's great big plan. He wants us free from all the demons that try to keep us embittered, sad, in pain and lonely. Our pain is not wasted and it's the place where we can gain our best wisdom if we Let Go and Let God, as recovery folks say.
God bless you, DIL. I'm so pleased to see the changes in your life that is bringing you underlying peace, joy and a beautiful smile every time I see you no matter what the day holds.