Becoming Yourself – Heartnotes from Rev. Anna Shouse, Ph.D.

The Serenity Prayer has been an essential and meaningful part of my life for over 36 years.  I first saw it as a plaque in an acquaintance’s home years before that.  I had a vague awareness that it had something to do with recovery programs.   I think I’d heard it spoken in a TV dramatization of a support group meeting.  Little did I know that it would become my lifeline.  When a loved one’s use of alcohol and other drugs proved more than I could cope with, God opened doors for me to a whole new way of living.  I vividly recall that when I was at my wit’s end and about to cut and run–the best solution I could come up with–my God sent me a message.  In the twilight sleep of early morning I heard a Voice–not in my head–but coming in my ear from the outside.  And let me tell you, there was no one else there in the house!  This kind, matter-of-fact Voice said quite clearly, “You don’t know what Love is yet.”   I didn’t exactly believe in God at that point, but I knew enough to realize this was a Divine Voice and I’d do well to heed it.  I did.  I stayed.  Then things got worse–much worse.  They got so bad that I was willing to do anything to feel better.  It takes what it takes.  Within 6 months of hearing that Voice, through people that knew a lot more than I did, I was led into my own recovery as a family member and friend affected by a loved one’s disease of addiction.  Without my knowing it God had revealed Godself to me.  And that’s what I’d been looking for all my life.  I wanted to feel better and I wanted to know God–and I wanted to know that God knows me.  I’d like to tell you it’s all been a bed of roses since then.  But you’d know I was lying!  I’ve found spiritual growth to be a continuous spiral journey of feeling into the places where I can’t see God, and asking God to show up.  God always does–though sometimes it seems awfully slow!  Through it all, I am growing, I am understanding, I am becoming more fully me.   And that is serenity.   It is my honor to share this beautiful, humble prayer with you and to share my hope that you too will continue to walk your spiritual path.

The Serenity Prayer – God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.

In the Love and Light of Christ,

Rev. Anna


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