Hope Realized, Faith Grasped, Trust Attained
by s. keith barnes
My story really begins in living clean and sober these past nearly eight years. I was living as an apparently happy drunk that used drugs for nearly two decades. When I entered into my forties, I began to sense life had passed me by, all I did was work, then drink, and I became miserable. I began asking God, in my drunken stupor, to help me get sober. The next day however, I was at the liquor store for my fix.
I finally had the nerve to walk into an AA meeting. I saw the sign that said "hope is found here." That was what I found at that meeting. My hope of living sober was fading, but that meeting renewed hope. I finally gathered enough faith to promise God..."if you will help me stay sober, will you also let me play a small role for you? I will do anything, empty trash, clean toilets, anything, just a part serving you for helping me stay sober...helping everyone I can!"
He answered in ways I did not expect. Now I have attained utter trust in Him. It began with hope, grew into faith, now trust.
What surprised me was, though I would journal, I didn't think myself to be a writer. But God takes ordinary people and does extraordinary things!
I wanted to help others stay sober, and reflected on how important my "morning program" of
asking God, the moment my eyes opened to keep me sober today, and then putting Him in my day through meditation, and selected reads from the Bible, the BB of AA, and daily reflections.
In a letter to an inmate, I shared with them how to start the day by putting God first, and actually sent them 5 pages at a time to teach them a devotion each morning. They asked for more because the other inmates fought over them. In time I thought, "why not write an entire years worth?" I did.
When it was completed, I sent a manuscript to a publisher because I could not afford to self-publish. They accepted it!
God used me to write a book to help others! Then I began to blog, and now am blessed to have readers in thirty eight countries! My wife and I are leaders in our churches Celebrate Recovery, and I sponsor several men in AA as well. My book, "Under The Influence," is slow getting publicity, but I have received so many stories already, how starting the day putting God first is working, and compliments CR's program so well.
God has purpose for you too! He gives me hope, my faith grows, and when I open my mouth in prayer today, I trust he hears me. "Little becomes much when it's placed in the Masters hands." Thanks for letting me share, S.Keith Barnes