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How God Shows Up in Recovery

By Nancy Minister, Workshop Facilitator, Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows

I recently listened to a friend talk about her practice of catching herself when she was “off” — in other words, being short or rude to someone when experiencing some sort of conflict.

She explained in her sincere, soft voice, that she had learned to say to herself, “Where’s God in this? There’s no God in this. Where’s God in this?” That would bring her back to being who she really is. She could then allow herself to turn and apologize or disengage from the conflict.

She said that she would also use this practice with groups in her work environment. She could recognize when God wasn’t in the interactions and communications and she would look for ways that she could “bring God in.” What my friend was referring to was the experience of returning to what Meadows Senior Fellow Dr. Shelley Uram calls the “Essential Self.” Some might also call it the “soul.” It is an often unexplainable connection with a sense of purpose or higher power. We sometimes find it when we meditate or when we are mindfully present and filled with joy or inspiration.

It’s Totally a God Thing

I am frequently delighted by the many ways God shows up when people are on their healing journeys. When I refer to “God,” I am referring to Spirit, the Universe, Nature, the Soul, our Inner Light—or any other term we might use for a divine sense of connection with something greater than us. And when I refer to God “showing up,” I’m talking about the awe-inspiring things that happen to us that seem to be more than mere coincidence.

“That was totally a God thing!” is the phrase I frequently use to express my amazement when I experience those unplanned events that couldn’t be more perfect if they had been carefully planned. I see the perfect mix of strangers based on their traits and backgrounds come together in a group and have unbelievably powerful experiences. They may finally see their partner’s point of view in someone’s story, or understand the depth of their parents’ own trauma leading to freedom to forgive. This often feels to me like more than a random gathering of folks; it feels like there’s an invisible influence shaping our experiences.

I also experience it as very subtle divine guidance when I have an idea for an intervention that isn’t even logical. I recently suggested that someone do some work with her addict self. She gave me a look of pure shock. This woman had been in solid recovery for more than 8 years. There was no logical reason for my suggestion. I couldn’t say why I thought of this process because it didn’t make sense.

But, when she put her addict self in the chair in front of her, she was very real. And when she sat in that chair and felt that part of her that was still alive and well in her, she was able to truly release guilt and shame and bring that part into recovery. She later shared that she would have never thought it in a million years, but that was the piece that was missing in her healing work.

It was totally a God thing.

I feel that this kind of experience must happen in recovery programs in general and in all of The Meadows programs, but we definitely get to experience it strongly in our workshops at The Rio Retreat Center.

The Survivors II workshop is open for participants to continue with another layer of childhood trauma work, adult trauma, relationship issues, addictions, etc. If you feel inspired or “guided” to continue your healing journey, it may be the workshop for you.