Chasing after a miracle

Earlier in the day, I gave my daughter a twenty for gas money. It’s not something I typically do, but we’ve been really connecting lately. Plus, she has a job and never asks for money nor does she mope around that she can’t do anything because she doesn’t have the funds. She was getting ready to go to a wedding while my husband and the little guys were outside picking up, hauling and splitting the oak tree that fell in my yard last week.

When she came out ready to go, she stopped to tell us goodbye. Visibly upset, she told me the money flew away and she couldn’t get to it on time. She was really in a frenzy so I told her it was  really no big deal and that although I didn’t have any other cash, I would catch up with her later to help her out. She muttered something about me not needing to bail her out and she had to get going anyway.

So, what did I do? I prayed and hoped and scoured the property. We’re on over six acres and sit in the middle of farm country. Not to mention, the winds were blowing 20-25 mph. Still, I had hope. I picked up a leaf and let it blow trying to see how the wind was blowing. I was sure if I just kept looking, I would find the money stuck to a random tree safe from the wind. This madness went on for about 30-40 minutes.

I stopped dead in my tracks. My God. I am acting like such an alcoholic with a co-dependcy problem. First of all, my behavior was sheer madness. There was no way on this green earth I was going to come across the twenty. Just like an alcoholic who searches everywhere but inside herself, I was looking for an answer that wasn’t going to happen. I was searching and using every last ditch effort to come across this money. I prayed and then I went on to test God and say, “Please. Let me find this money! I want so bad to say I prayed and I found it.” Bartering, begging, pleasing. Just like  I did when I was drinking. “Please God, get me through this night and I’ll never drink again.”

Furthermore, my daughter had driven off and was on her way. She wasn’t worried about it. She said she was sorry; she didn’t mean to lose the money and it was an accident. So why in the hell did I think I had to fix this for her? Guilt for not being a better mom when I was drinking? Proof that God can provide when you need Him to?

All so ridiculous. I will forever be amazed at how this disease can take over when I am not paying attention. I mean, it isn’t like this was a million dollars and even if it were, what was I going to do about it? I was creating chaos when there was no need to. 

With a big breath, I practiced acceptance. Accept that the money is gone. Accept that praying to God and begging for a miracle is NOT being spiritual. Trying to step in and “fix” this for my daughter was only causing me stress; she was oblivious and rightfully so. I also and to accept that not finding the money does not define me as a person, make me a bad mom, or clarify me as a loser.

If I want to find a miracle, perhaps I need to look in the mirror. After all, being sober for five months is nothing short of a miracle and it is nothing I accomplished by my will power. Maybe I need to go to an AA meeting and look at all the sober people working hard to have better lives. For their daily decisions to turn their will over to God as they understand him is divinely inspired. Running around my yard and through the corn fields to find money is not miraculous. Not even close. However, through this escapade, I have learned that while I may be sober, my behavior is what I need to keep addressing.


4 thoughts on “Chasing after a miracle

  1. I do find it wonderful that you can be aware of your activities, and more importantly, the motives behind them. Checking my motives is always important, even if I ignore it…lol. But yes, the sheer lunacy of certain things do come back to us. I am still, to this day (just ask my wife) one of those “all-or-nothing” guys. Drives her batty. Drives me batty too. But what we have to also learn, Linda, is to be gentle to ourselves too. It’s easy to pile drive ourselves into the ground with our own character defects…but that’s not the point. We did enough of that while active in our drinking. We are still learning to deal with emotions, with situations, with others, with our new selves. We’ll stumble. We’ll find ourselves with old thinking. But as long as we are aware, address them, and slowly make those changes…we’re doing well. Gentle…we’ve been way too hard on ourselves. And this is a lesson for me too. Just the other day my (astute) wife told me the same thing – Paul, man you are sooo hard on yourself. Old thinking, my friend. But we get better. Day by day.

    now…it would have been pretty cool if you found the money…but then again, God ain’t Western Union…lol.


  2. Thank you so much for your blog. Like you, I’m 44, mom to 4, f/t job, married 20 years, live in a very rural agricultural town (lonely!) and I’ve been drinking since I was in jr high. Your blog makes me feel normal.. well, as normal as a seemingly high functioning alcoholic can be, and not so lonely. I’m on day 4 (again) of being sober.

    • Thanks, Cassie. hang in there, sista. You are NOT alone by any stretch. And Day 4? That’s fantastic. Just take it easy on yourself and live one day at a time…for me, sometimes I have to go hour by hour. Thanks for following.

  3. Thanks, Paul. You’re so right: I am my own worst critic. Today, it’s pretty funny thinking of my running around the yard, inspecting the bark on trees…oh well. It could be worse; it could always be worse.
    Thanks for the perspective.
    p.s. I’m thinking maybe the Jerry Seinfield “Even Steven” episode could have been enacted, but no such luck.

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