One night after Mary and I went to bed my whole life caved-in and at that exact desperate moment dieing seemed better than living. And, I did something that I had never done before. I got out of bed, knelt down and said, “OK, God whatever You have planned for my daughter, her severed fingers and me, I absolutely accept!” In Alcoholics Anonymous that’s called Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

At that point, I had been sober about two years and after saying that simple prayer, I got back into bed, a mysterious peace passed over me and I slept like a baby for the first time in years. The next night, I prayed again and got the same result. Being a compulsive-obsessive type, if I do something twice and it feels good then I’m addicted. I’ve been getting down on my knees every day since then and it’s the best addiction yet. It’s free, there are no hangovers, it causes miracles and my boss has never threatened to fire me over it. The Book, Alcoholics Anonymous says, “Only those who have never practiced daily prayer and meditation scoff at it!”

My daughter was discharged from the hospital, she returned to the doctor’s office every other day, her fingers didn’t turn black and they became pinker by the day. One day my daughter came home from the doctor and removed her bandages and said, “The doctor snapped several pictures of my hand and declared that it was his greatest success ever.” I said to her, “Tell the doctor that we only sew things together, God does the healing!”

Until I met some humble A.A. people and witnessed that miracle, I didn’t understand it myself.

Three years after the miracle she called and asked if I could fly to her state and walk her down the isle; she was getting married? Mary, me, and our other children boarded an airplane and flew to my daughter’s wedding. And, I didn’t embarrass her at the reception by acting like a drunken jackass. And the best part was putting a ring on a finger that was pink and with a normal fingernail.

My A.A. friends, the ones I used to ridicule and scoff at, would have been proud. That marriage has blessed us with three healthy, happy grandchildren. My favorite passage in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, is from Chapter 4, page 45, “Lack of power, that was our dilemma, we had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves.” Obviously, but where and how were we to find this power? Well, that’s exactly what this book is about. Its main objective is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem. And it means, of course, that we are going to talk about God! No not your sponsor, psychiatrist, medical doctor, therapist, or any other source of human power.

Chronic alcoholics are where no human power can help them and after awhile we have to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life—or else. But cheer-up it isn’t so difficult. More than half of A.A.’s fellowship once believed they were atheists or agnostics. Human resources as marshaled by our will were not sufficient; they failed utterly. Let us make haste to reassure you. We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God. We found that God does not make too hard of terms with those who seek Him. To us the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all-inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek Him. It’s open, we believe, to all who seek. The End…

In the next issue of The Waynedale News, we will begin Dennis N.’s story. He was a chronic alcoholic, who lived on a cotton farm near Charlotte, NC.

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John Barleycorn

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