[ Godsends ]

Divine Marching orders

Margo (not her real name) was beautiful, charming, smart, resourceful and interesting. As wife of a military officer she had traveled extensively, was a successful businesswoman and raised three children almost by herself as her husband served in areas where she and the children could not accompany him. A woman who seemingly had it all, she had one outstanding problem. She was an alcoholic.

When her husband retired they returned to her small rural hometown in one of the Southern states. They quickly settled into a new home and became reestablished in the community. Margo joined a weekday Ladies Bible Study Class that met in my home. Her lesson was always prepared, and she actively took part in all the discussions—when she was sober. However, as time passed, those days became fewer in number until eventually she was unable to attend and mostly confined to her home.

The ladies and I in the Bible Class were heartbroken for her and tried to minister to her as best we could with prayers, calls, visits, food, etc. She never admitted her problem to us and refused to discuss it with any of our group even though she was aware that we all knew. She could no longer drive so it was a mystery how she was continuing to have a big supply of alcohol.

One morning during my Quiet Time as I prayed for her and read and studied Galatians 6: 1 & 2, the Lord spoke to me as clearly as if He was standing at my side: “Today I will deliver her into your hands.” I nearly fainted! What could that mean? And what would I do when and if it really happened?

The remainder of the day until mid-afternoon I pondered and prayed and waited. About 4 p.m., my phone rang and a precious lady who helped Margo and me in our homes said that if someone didn’t do something soon Margo would not be able to survive much longer. YES, LORD! I immediately called my husband, who had known Margo since childhood, and he went at once to her home to see what needed to be done and how to proceed.

Several of the local AA members were contacted, including one of her relatives. These men were all Christians and dedicated to restoration and sobriety of alcoholics. Margo agreed after much pleading to go into treatment in one of the neighboring cities and was admitted into treatment the following day.

I wish I could say she was healed and lived happily ever after, but so far as Margo is concerned, there was no happy ending. She pretended her way through six weeks of treatment, returned home and was soon drinking heavily again. We found out during this time that her husband was also an alcoholic and supplied her habit to cover his own.

My family and I moved away about this time and in a few years Margo passed away and her husband soon thereafter. Through the years as I have thought and prayed over this story, I have come to understand that even though Margo’s life ended tragically, some good things have resulted. That small AA group, still formative at the time of Margo’s intervention, has grown to be instrumental in getting many men and women into treatment and healing – as well as providing support, ministry and education to families of alcoholics and those in recovery.

I wondered about my part in the story and finally realized the Lord put this story in motion by speaking so clearly to me and the dear lady who telephoned me. We obeyed, and God was faithful as His Hand moved through many lives to bring some good out of an otherwise very sad story.

Mary B.

Mobile, AL