Hi. My name is Leanne and I’m an Adult Child of an Alcoholic.” She said. “Hi Leanne,” The whole room replied. Could everyone in the room hear her heart pounding against her rib cage? She looked around the room as the facilitator got seated. These meetings were always in the basement. The materials and the coffee were set up on a table in the back of the room with the posters hung behind the speaker. Some rooms are too bright and some too dim, some rooms are too big and some not big enough. The old wooden chairs creaked and scraped across the hardwood floor. The smell of freshly brewed coffee distracted her to a vision of her backyard from the rocker on her deck. Smiling, she relaxed as a peaceful feeling swept over her. She glanced at the one item hanging on the community bulletin board and then looked into the faces in the front row. The room was silent. “Thank you so much for asking me to share my story tonight. It’s my pleasure to be with all of you; I am so glad you are here. Would you all please take a moment of silence and we will follow it with the serenity prayer.” How long is a moment of silence? At some meetings, the moment lasts five to ten seconds. It’s so quick; a person barely has time to say, “Dear Heavenly Father…” Depending on the speaker, a moment might drag on awkwardly for what seems like hours. She used the time for prayer; a time to contact her higher power and ask Him to speak through her. After a couple of minutes, she finished her prayer and broke the silence with the word God and the group delivered the serenity prayer like a well orchestrated chorus singing Christmas carols. “I want to thank my higher power, whom I choose to call God, for the privilege of standing in front of you tonight. My recovery date is June 2, 2009. It is by the grace of God that I was led to these halls and I give Him all the glory for leading me into His church. I’m speaking to you tonight based on the second tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-anon. Will you say Tradition Two with me? ‘For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.’ I am here only as a messenger of our God Almighty; may my story plant a seed in you that will blossom into a flower of hope. I am grateful for His guided journey and for the gifts He’s given to me. As a child, I hated my life. My biggest dream, my passion, was to experience grace. I used the word normal back then; any improvement in my life would classify it as normal. I spent a lifetime searching, ignoring God’s attempts to contact me. Ignore may be the wrong word; I didn’t recognize He was trying to contact me. However, in 2 Peter 3:9 Revised Standard Version (RSV) it states the Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. The Lord was as patient with me as He was with the people being led out of the land of Egypt. At nine years old, I was given a bible in vacation bible school. My bible school memories consist of the minister pronouncing my name wrong; I’m sure I carried that resentment around for years. The bible disappeared. One day, about a year into my recovery, I stopped to visit my mother. She presented me with my childhood bible. She was keeping it for me. The date written in the front of the book in my nine year old handwriting was June 2, 1968. All of the scripture that I quote to you will be from this Bible, the Revised Standard Version. On a very special 52nd birthday walk, my spirit was free and I was fully surrendered to enjoy the warmth of the sun, the smell of the fresh spring air and to experience being present. I had a smile on my face and in my heart because I was in God’s creation and a very thankful child of God. He lifted some heavy burdens from my heart and I was experiencing peace and serenity. As a child, I created a fantasy world in order to cope within my domestic violent household. I envisioned a life full of love and respect and support and laughter. I searched and researched self help books to find the answer. I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge; however, my dream world did not unfold. I was on my way down the mountain on one of the flats when a message came to me. Not only did God grant me my lifelong desire for happiness, love, peace and serenity; he showed me that even though I didn’t acknowledge Him, He was with me every moment. In Mark 9:23 it states, and Jesus said to him, “If you can, all things are possible to him who believes. “ She took a sip from her water, making eye contact with a couple sitting in the back corner, two seats apart, near the exit. The woman frowned while he scowled. As she thanked God they were in the room listening to her, she wondered if they were new to recovery. The first step can be as simple as showing up. She remembered reaching stalemate in her own damaged relationships. Her thought shattered when someone in the opposite corner sneezed and rustled in their chair.