I’ve decided to do a sort of Step Study on my blog. I plan for this to develop over time to hopefully assist others in understanding my journey and perhaps help someone who is still suffering. In no way do I claim to be a representative of any organization or fellowship, these words are simply my own which tell of my personal journey. You can see my article on Step 1 here.
It seemed appropriate to write about Step 2 on this Easter Sunday, I wish you and yours a wonderful Easter. Our Lord is RISEN!
“We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
Anyone who walks into a 12 step program hears these words read out by a member but this step must not be attempted until we have completed Step 1.
The day came for me when I was ready to approach Step 2. I thought I already had addressed this and completed it. I had come through the doors of my 12 step program of choice guided by my prayers and blind faith in God. The only reason I was there was because I was able to rely upon my Lord’s strength. Didn’t that mean Step 2 was done?
Not a chance.
As I read the words I was immediately uncomfortable, I now understand my ego was rebelling at the words “restore us to sanity”. I wasn’t CRAZY! My life wasn’t out of control…..not really….not in every aspect. I wasn’t certifiable.
That day I was with a fantastic, direct lady who noted my feelings, nodded while I poured out my reasoning and then guided me back to Step 1. Apparently not only am I extremely egotistical but I’m also not very bright at times.
Once I’d grasped Step 1 fully I readdressed Step 2.
Compared to many people in recovery the first part of this step was a simple thing for me, I already believed in God and his power which was available to me. I clung to this belief, refusing to entertain thoughts which could challenge this. I had made the decision to change my life, to walk to God and throw myself at His feet and accept His Grace which he offers freely.
That was HUGE for me, it was the only way I could have done Step 1.
The second part of the sentence irked me, had me stopped in my tracks and initiated many conversations with my sponsor, other friends in recovery and time spent reading the books of the program.
Losing one’s sanity to me was a weakness…as if being an alcoholic wasn’t…somehow the two weren’t comparable in my mind at the time. It was a personal failure to lose my sanity. To me it was a broken mind, unable to function.
I was somewhat correct, the definition at the time is found in the AA Twelve and Twelve pg 33 as “soundness of mind”.
Being as desperate as I was, I actually implement the tools I’d been taught. I opened my mind and asked myself if I could claim “soundness of mind” throughout all the years of my drinking.
Son of a ….well we all know what answer I arrived at.
This was not an intellectual discussion, I couldn’t win, couldn’t bend the data to my advantage.
There is nothing pretty about waking up having no idea where you are, how you got there and where the bruises on your body came from. Certainly no person of sound mind would choose to put themselves in situations such as this more than once as I had.
My mind clicked away….OK so at this point I believed in God, I knew that He alone could forgive me, He can heal me and give me new life.
But why would He?
Why would this all-powerful God who created Heaven and Earth want to redeem me?
My actions and choices had been less than stellar and there were far more worthy people, far more serious situations for God to attend to.
Why would God forgive my sins?
2 Corinthians 12:9
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
Just look at my life since turning to God, accepting his Grace and giving my will over to His plan. It’s become impossible for me not to speak His word, to share the amazing changes in my life which He alone has made possible. God consistently provides me with the people and tools to lift me when I am weak, He is guiding me on this journey of life.
Frankly my life is a direct example of the verse above in action. Both in daily life and here in blogisphere I am open about my weakness with alcohol, how it came close to costing me everything and how the power of Christ alone saved me.
God guided me to my 12 step program, the people there and each day He gives me the armor I need to face this life on Earth with a joyous heart and humbled soul.
All I have to do each day is remember Step 1 and acknowledge God’s ultimate power and turn my will and my entire live over to him while giving thanks for the sacrifice Jesus made for me.
Mark 10: 51-52
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go, said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
AA Twenty Four Hours A Day – April 24
A.A. Thought for the Day
It’s been proved that we alcoholics can’t get sober by our willpower. We’ve failed again and again. Therefore I believe there must be a Higher Power, which helps me. I think of that power as the grace of God. And I pray to God every morning for the strength to stay sober today. I know that Power is there because it never fails to help me. Do I believe that A.A. works through the grace of God?
Meditation for the Day
Once I am “born of the spirit,” that is my life’s breath. Within me is the life of life, so that I can never perish. The life that down the ages has kept God’s children through peril, adversity, and sorrow. I must try never to doubt or worry, but follow where the life of the spirit leads. How often, when little I know it, God goes before me to prepare the way, to soften a heart, or to overrule a resentment. As the life of the spirit grows, natural wants become less important.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that my life may become centered in God more than in self. I pray that my will may be directed towards doing His will.