More God

( 2 )


Memories of a scratchy starched dress, a cold church and a baffling Sunday school lessons provided little foundation for a practical faith, so it's not surprising that Constance Bovier drifted far from religion as an adult. But when Twelve Step recovery programs intervened, offering relief from problems she couldn't solve alone, she got more than she bargained for - more than she even wanted at first - a slowly dawning relationship with God. More God traces Constance Bovier's journey from wary agnosticism into a ...
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Memories of a scratchy starched dress, a cold church and a baffling Sunday school lessons provided little foundation for a practical faith, so it's not surprising that Constance Bovier drifted far from religion as an adult. But when Twelve Step recovery programs intervened, offering relief from problems she couldn't solve alone, she got more than she bargained for - more than she even wanted at first - a slowly dawning relationship with God. More God traces Constance Bovier's journey from wary agnosticism into a non-judgmental, all-encompassing Twelve Step spirituality and, finally, into vibrant Christianity. She writes openly about her joys and sorrows, her traumas and triumphs and, with a keen eye for the divine significance in the details of daily life, distills perceptive lessons from her experiences. These universal lessons and the resilient belief she shares offer valuable guideposts for others who've been circumnavigating their own questions of faith, just as she once did. Constance Bovier's story reaches far beyond the Twelve Step recovery community to provide encouragement and inspiration for anyone who senses a soul-deep longing, anyone struggling with growing faith ... anyone hungry for more God. About the Author

Constance Bovier is a professional writer who divides her time between aviation topics and inspirational work. In Twelve Step recovery programs since 1981, she remains active in those fellowships while enjoying deep and meaningful involvement in a Christian community. She lives with her husband southeast of Houston where they are active members of Bay Harbour United Methodist Church. Connie's passion for spirituality and for encouraging the spiritual growth of others finds ample opportunity for expression in both the Twelve Step and church environments.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591600008
  • Publisher: Xulon Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 0.46 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

First Chapter

CHAPTER ONE - SPIRITUAL SNAPSHOTS "When we speak of spiritual matters, especially when we mention God, we have reopened a subject which (the newcomer) thought he had neatly evaded or entirely ignored..We know how he feels..we imagined we had abandoned the God idea entirely." Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) 1950. Tibbetts Methodist Church in West Seattle. I'm sitting in the pew beside my older sister and my grandmother, fidgeting against the prickly seams of my slip and dress. (Few garments escape my determined mother's starch bottle.) The church is cold. I am miserable. Obligatory church attendance is the only bad part about spending a weekend with my paternal grandparents. 1954. A tiny church in Eugene, Oregon. Denomination unknown. I sit in a Sunday school class, struggling to comprehend what's going on. The teacher uses words I don't understand. She passes out something that looks like play money with talent printed on it. I must have missed the lesson that explained about talents. I'm relieved when the hour ends. I meet my sister outside where we watch for Dad's arrival to pick us up. I carry my talent home, wondering what I'm supposed to do with it. 1968. Wando Woods Baptist Church, Charleston, South Carolina. I wheel into the parking lot just in time to scoop my son and daughter from the stream of kids tumbling out of Sunday school. I hustle Troy and Kelly into the car. We make our escape. Whew. One more parental duty accomplished. Now that's done, I can get on with the rest of the day. 1970. An apartment north of Washington, D.C. My husband (the first of three) is talking about religion. I squirm at his beliefs. He's headed for hell, he tells me, because it's too late to make up for years of backsliding. (That's what he learned as a child.) Unsettled by his views, unable to marshal clear beliefs of my own, I resolve to avoid future discussions about God. Evasion seems the reasonable way to deal with such a disquieting topic. 1981. Webb's Chapel United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch, a northwest suburb of Dallas. I walk into the room where my Twelve Step group meets only to find a dozen strangers arranging centerpieces and setting tables for a church event. They cheerfully direct me to the temporary location for my meeting. The chapel. The chapel? I agonize for long minutes in the hall. My desperation has driven me to a church because that's where the Twelve Step program I need holds its meetings. But sitting in a fellowship hall is a far cry from meeting in a chapel. My stomach clenches in a resistant knot. To heck with the meeting, I almost tell myself. I almost turn to leave. I am hardly unique in taking an extended detour away from religion. I know countless others who've ventured far afield for many years. Sometimes I've been mystified by the bumpy road I have followed back to faith. My return to God, or more accurately my initiation into a practical, working belief in God, has been less a series of neat, chronological events than a circuitous route through loosely linked thematic experiences. As a child I was nominally acquainted with spiritual matters. My parents taught me to say my prayers . now I lay me down to sleep. My big sister Carol and I had a guardian angel to watch over us. (I was so terrified by that glow-in-the-dark angel that I covered my head to fall asleep . but that's another story.) Was it the starch in my clothes or in my diminutive grandmother's spine that made me so uncomfortable sitting in church? Was I alienated by the confusing variety of Sunday schools I attended as my family moved about Washington and Oregon while I was growing up? Or was my avoidance of God grounded in the guilt I felt for sending my own children to Sunday school rather than attending church with them? It seemed that I never got the point about religion. I don't recall anything about it ever feeling particularly good. I was well into my forties when I confessed to my mother how spooked I'd been by the luminous angel on my bedroom wall when I was five. We laughed, but I could see that she would have liked to go back and make it better. "Why didn't you tell me?" she asked. "Why didn't you say something about it?" Well, I was saying something about it. Granted, a bit late. But I honestly couldn't tell Mother why I'd never mentioned my fear all those years ago. I've decided it doesn't matter. I've also decided that it's not important to cobble together a rational explanation for my years of spiritual wandering. Analyzing reasons may be an interesting intellectual exercise but it seldom generates useful results. There is one pertinent question, however, a question that lies at the heart of my life: How in heaven's name did I get from where I once was to where I am today? How in heaven's name indeed! PHOTOGRAPHY LESSON - Had someone described to me years ago the person I was to become, I would have laughed in disbelief. Yet the pictures etched in my mind have captured as clearly as any photo album my internal surrender, the gradual opening of my mind and the spiritual transformation that have taken place over my twenty years in Twelve Step recovery.
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Since 1981 I've attended an estimated 5,000 meetings of Twelve Step recovery groups. That's about 5,000 hours spent in rooms with other people, talking about God. Newcomers to Twelve Step fellowships are often put off by the emphasis on God in the meetings and in the steps. Some are none too pleased to hear that millions have found reliance on a Higher Power their only effective solution for dependence on alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, tobacco or a host of other compulsive/addictive problems. Some people explore this unfamiliar territory grudgingly. Many find amazing relief from addiction and, if they're diligent in working the Twelve Steps, a measure of improvement in other areas of their lives as well. Some people consider that enough. I call it settling for the first miracle. The men and women I've admired most in recovery are those who go much further. They're people who mine the Twelve Steps for every bit of spiritual guidance they can dig out, and then reach beyond for more spiritual growth. There was Evelyn, a woman of remarkable grace and courage. When I listened to Evelyn in meetings, I marveled at her reliance on God and how it produced in her the resilience to live with a still-drinking alcoholic husband. There was Sarah, physically disabled from birth, who expressed so much love and unshakable faith that she calmed the atmosphere of every meeting she attended. And there was Jim, dying of leukemia, who went right on sharing his experience and expressing his gratitude to God until the end. These and others like them are my heroes - the men and women who refuse to settle for God's first miracle when so much more awaits. The story that follows traces my own faith journey. I don't speak for any Twelve Step program. I write solely from personal experience. As much as I'd like to credit the three fellowships that have changed my life, I choose not to name them, respecting the principle of anonymity which discourages members from specific identification with Twelve Step programs in public forums. I especially want to ensure that nothing I say may tarnish or embarrass any of the fellowships that have changed my life. I have written this book first of all out of gratitude to God. And for God. After all it is his story, lived out through me. Second, I've written this book for the imaginary readers who've stood by patiently as my words ticked out across the computer screen. Perhaps More God may provide some insight into the spiritual foundation that can be built in the often profane, always love-filled rooms of Twelve Step recovery. It is my hope that these pages will offer encouragement to others to explore for themselves the unlimited potential for spiritual growth that lies just one step beyond Twelve Step doors.
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2002

    A Must Read

    A wonderful and inspirational book. Could not put it down once I started. A great source of help for those who are in need of a way out of a lonely or addictive life style. I found this book quite an eye opener when it comes to how those in need of God in their lives might find the help they need. As a Christian, I found this book to be very enlightening.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2002

    Stories showing the link between recovery and spirituality

    An easy, practical read - like 'Chicken Soup' for 12-steppers and those who care about them. Through a brief series of life-stories, the author provides very practical examples of how twelve step programs have enabled her recovery from addictions - and so much more. Readers seeking to further the development their spiritual life will find a comfortable companion and guide in the pages of this book. For those in recovery, the author shows how they can expand their spiritual growth without compromising or abandoning the rich traditions of the program.

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