But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and…He will guide you into all truth” (Jhn 14:26; 16:13).

I didn’t mention the “A” Word yet, did I?

The Big Bad “A” Word

Alcoholism. That’s what lay at the root of this mess I was in (last post, and the one before).

Years before, I’d seen the signs. So had one of my husband’s close friends, who came to see me on returning from a guidance counselors’ seminar on drug and alcohol abuse. “Do you think he has a problem?” he’d asked, concern in his eyes for his friend. I answered a mournful “Yes, but what can I do about it?” He didn’t have any answers.

His training hadn’t included that, only how to spot a potential problem. If only it had… because about everything I tried to “do about it” turned out exactly wrong. Mainly, I had always tried to fix things, like bounced checks and unpaid bills and other budget deficits. I was what the knowing would call a classic “enabler.” (Not meaning enabler of recovery, but of worsening alcoholism.)

Fifth Provision: Guidance and Wisdom

“He will guide you into all truth…”

I still didn’t have a clue about to do. But I did know this: I couldn’t bail out the finances now! I didn’t know which way to turn. I had heard somewhere of Al Anon. Maybe they could help me?

The phone rang. I hesitated to answer. Another screaming creditor?

No, it was my friend  Beth (of the day before). “I’ve been thinking,” she said. “Maybe Al Anon could help you.”

This, I think in retrospect, was my first confirmation of God’s leading. It did seem confirmation of something. So we both searched the Yellow Pages and I made phone calls, and here I began to see God’s orchestrated timing.

One thing I had managed to do, just for myself, despite my sunken psyche, was visit the library Thursday nights. And my husband always managed somehow to bypass buddies and cocktail lounge on Thursdays to get home and babysit so I could. All that in itself was pretty amazing. But more amazing: Thursday night—it “just turned out”—the closest Al Anon group met, in the same town as the library, a half hour after I usually started browsing bookshelves.

“Coincidental” timing? The first example of hundreds–no, more like thousands–I experienced since then.

How important this particular “coincidence” turned out to be! For (I learned later) there are good Al Anon groups, and no-so-good ones–and this “happened to be” a good one, that would steer me right. Here I heard just what I needed, to jog an important memory. Like a bolt from the blue, one simple question two women asked knocked loose from my mental archives a message that held my key to sanity, strength, and peace…

[Next Post: The Provision of Remembrance]