"In life, in death, oh Lord abide with me."
Many recovery stories have God at their heart. Mine sort of does, by accident as much as anything.
I pretty much have an iphone playlist for every mood. One of these playlists is a set of well-known English church hymns. (One current favourite is Rick Wakeman's instrumental version of Morning Has Broken). Not so long ago, I listened to these hymns as a way of crying myself to sleep in a relatively peaceful way.
Over the months, these hymns have turned into a real source of strength, as they remind me very strongly of my childhood in Leicestershire. As an adult, I have struggled with a sense of homesickness for the English countryside. However, with a bit of hard thought and focus, I have managed to convert that sense of separation into a source of love and strength. I cherish every trip to England in a way that I didn't before, and try to turn every trip across the border into some sort of special treat
(Picture: Bradgate Park, Leicestershire - near to my cherished childhood home)
I wish I could bring myself, as others can, to believe more firmly in an organised faith. However, much as I love all aspects of Christmas (and chocolate bunnies at Easter), I'm afraid I'll never be able to get my critical mind around things like the virgin birth and the resurrection.
What I will say though, is that those old English hymns from my childhood have been there for me at my darkest moments. Whether or not there is a divine God: "Morning has broken" today, and will continue to break every day.