Message Received

Every year my coworkers and I do a community service project.  Our company gives us paid time off to do this so we usually take a full day right around the holidays.  This year we participated in Operation Christmas Child, run by Samaritan’s Purse.

I knew of Operation Christmas Child but knew very little about Samaritan’s Purse or exactly who the OCC program served.  So I was thrilled when I heard we had to go through an orientation before we would be led to our work stations.  The 10-15 minute orientation consisted of a short message from the organization’s leader followed by a description of and instructions on each workstation.

Oh…it also included a lot of what I affectionately refer to as “Jesus Jamming”.  That’s when I come to feel that an organization or individual is jamming Jesus down my throat.

And these people were jamming!  Strike 1.

Then I discovered that ALL of their ministry was outside of the U.S.  We were packing shoe boxes for children all around the world while there were children in the U.S. who might not have a Christmas.  Strike 2.

So here I am, all confused and confuddled and following everyone like a lemming to the sea, thinking the whole time, “OMG what am I going to do?  How can I do this?”

Let me get something straight.  I don’t have a problem with Jesus.  After all, I’m a Christian.  I LOVE Jesus.  And God.  And while we’re at it Mary and Joseph as well.  I am not, however, a religious person.  In fact I really am not comfortable with organized religion at all.  I am however, deeply and profoundly spiritual.  My faith is very important to me and I rely on it to guide me through my life.

So it’s the bottom of the ninth, the bases are loaded and the count is three and two when the leader of the local group invites the chaplain to the front of the room so that we can “pray over the boxes”.  Great…more Jesus Jamming.

As I’ve said before, God has been known to speak to me on occasion.  Well…that is when I remember to “Be Still” and listen.  Unfortunately he usually has to throw a brick my way for me to actually get the message.

He threw one of those.

As I laid my hand on those boxes and the chaplain started praying, I was filled with the Holy Spirit (or something anyway) and my heart swelled like the Grinch after Cindy Lou Hoo gave him his gift.  Tears sprung to my eyes and I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was exactly where I was supposed to be and doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing so I should probably just shut the fuck up and get to work.

So I did.  It was one of the most fulfilling and fun days in recent memory for me and I know we’ll do it again next year.

Message received Lord.  I don’t need to know why or how or agree with the politics but if you want me there then there I will go.



14 thoughts on “Message Received

  1. I hate to even admit this, as so many women in sobriety seem to have been the opposite, that is, overly preoccuped with what others think. And I had to realize I had a kind of a mean streak. Nothing overt, quite the opposite, just a tiny way in which I allowed my resentments to dictate my responses to certain situations. And one of my biggest resentments was what I perceived to be incursions on my time. Even if the requests were in the line of work (i.e. stuff I was being paid to do). It wasn’t all the time. Sometimes I’d happily say yes. If I wanted the person making the request to think highly of me. But I would say no whenever I could get away with it. And I find, nearly a year into sobriety, that I just can’t say no in the same way anymore. I am still protective of my time, but if I can make someone else’s life easier, I do it now, rather than my usual subterfuge. And honestly, it’s because I’m just happier, so I’m no longer about making other people as miserable as I was. (Horrible, horrible, horrible, I know!). I hadn’t thought of the Grinch’s heart growing bigger, but what a cute analogy for what’s happened to me in sobriety.

    1. I think it happens to all of us. When we’re drinking we’re all tied up in the “me” of it all – it’s no wonder our hearts grow cold. But after we get sober a light begins to bloom inside those cold hearts and we (and our hearts) begin to grow.

      And don’t beat yourself up – you’re no more horrible than any of the rest of us. You’re just human.


  2. I LOVE this, Sherry. God usually tosses bricks at my head too, as I am thick skulled and need to be pummelled by His guidance before I get it…lol. I love that you felt His presence and knew you were well and okay. And you are.

    Thank you for this – brought a smile to my face.


  3. This post is amazing. I love where you went with this. This is exactly how I process. God always wins in the end. How is it that I continue to re-learn this? Thanks for the sweetest of reminders. Adore you. Lisa

  4. There’s nothing like a good God smack! I love this, Sherry. I need a little whack on the head now and then when I let the way a message is being presented get in the way of the heart of the message. Merry Christmas to you if I don’t make my way back here before then. xxoo

  5. It’s funny don’t you think how sometimes a something will come your way at just the right time, seemingly random but in the scheme of universal things not really. That was this post for me, the timing was when I needed some advice or guidance. this was your experience but my message. Since moving here and stopping drinking my spirituality has really opened up and become freer, my beliefs and faith so much stronger. I am so blessed in my life and I am grateful for it. I was doing a little struggling and was reminded that all is well and if I reach out help always reaches back. This post brought tears to my eyes, I know that feeling of being filled by the holy spirit and I needed reminding that it is always there for me. I don’t do organised religion myself but being spiritual is so important to me and for me. And yep occasionally I need reminding.
    Thank you for a beautiful post.

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