When you are in recovery, there is a special sort of magic that happens in regards to “God Shots” or “Spiritual Events”.  Things that used to seem like they only happened to authors, philosophers, or someone of advanced academia suddenly start happening. Maybe, they have always happened. Possibly, because so much of an alcoholic/addicts’ time is spent in a haze that they miss these types of things prior to sobriety. I cannot be certain about the “details” but what I am certain of is that as a person “walks” towards a deeper spiritual experience that the Higher Power “runs” to meet us! I hope the following story will help you capture the Amazing Grace that is freely given to us!

I have worked with many alcoholics and addicts in my day and find them to be an opportunity not to be missed.  It offers no compensation, no recognition, and no guarantee of success; however, each time it seems to provide an inner peace and satisfaction that nothing else could ever provide. When someone works “steps” with another person, it is an opportunity to learn and develop spiritually and that my friends should not be missed.

When you are working the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, you eventually get to step four.  That is the step where you must make a fearless and searching moral inventory of yourself.  That is especially difficult when you have years of using behavior that you are trying to look through and sort out and talk it out to another human being.  It is a time of fear, remorse, reflection, anger and many emotions that often times seem foreign to the person that is getting sober.

In this particular instance, I was working with a young woman who was a recovering heroin addict.   She had spent time in jail, spent time in sordid places, and lost herself along the way.  She had become a mother of a beautiful daughter and watched helplessly as the father of her daughter died from a heroin overdose. Her life was in shambles when I met this Penn State Graduate and she was reaching out for something, any lifeline that could help her.  God happened to use me that day to be her guide.

We had made plans to meet at a local coffee shop, which offered areas of quiet and seclusion so we could talk openly, allowing her the opportunity to go over her fourth step with me.  Much to my consternation when we arrived at the coffee shop the place was packed.  This is certainly not a conversation that you want to hold in public, so we opted to sit in the car.  The car was parked in front of the coffee shop and would work… so in we hopped.

As she began going over her notes and pages of writing she just began to tell me her story.  It was lengthy, if memory serves me she had approximately 72 written pages of “junk” that she had remembered that she was now going to expose.  She began reading her “story” and started at the beginning where she was born.  She read on and as she was growing older in her “story” her misdeeds, were becoming more frequent.  When she reached the point where her addiction to heroin had taken over her life, the memories were becoming increasingly painful to discuss.  The tears started to flow and she stopped talking, abruptly closing the notebook, saying “I can’t do this”!  The fear and remorse racked her small frame and the agony she was experiencing was palpable.  I sat and let her cry for a while and then just encouraged her to continue.  Once again, she said I just can’t, I cannot talk about what terrible things I did.  I suggested that if she did not finish this that there was a possibility that she would pick up.  We sat for a few more minutes and then the God Shot happened.

A young man was walking out of the coffee shop and directly toward the car.  She was crying and I was watching him intently to see where he was going.  As he took each step toward the car, I was just thinking “oh now is just terrible timing”.  However, he walked directly up to the car and stood by my window.  I put the window about half way down and said “May I help you?”  He smiled a genuine and kind smile, looked past me to the passenger in the car, and simply said, “I have a message for you”.  “God wants you to know that He loves you”.  Through her tears and my disbelief, she looked at him and said, “What did you say?”  He then just peered in and said I had this strong feeling that God wanted me to give you that message.  He smile then widened as he stepped back and said, “Have a great day” and with that, he walked away.

We both looked at each other in absolute awe.  I knew that God had just done for her what she could not do for herself.  He encouraged her to continue through that scary story…and she did!  That was seven years ago and the sober journey continues.  I know that there are multiple stories in recovery with just amazing “God Shots”.  If you have experienced one, please feel free to share, as I believe this platform will give people the opportunity to share experience, strength and hope one story at a time.


My Lord God

I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself.

And the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.

And I hope I have the desire in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lot and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my troubles alone.

 Thomas Merton

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