Step Two states: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
There is a familiar story from AA about a young guy coming to recovery for the first time. He was at a meeting and wrestling with Step Two. He had some spiritual baggage and was finding it hard to connect with God. He viewed Him as angry, hateful, and critical. He could not locate the construction of a loving God who wanted to help him with his addiction. He encountered an old man in the midst of his external processing. The old man listened and wisely replied, “Well son, my God is patient and kind and loves to give second chances. Maybe it’s time for you to fire your God and borrow my God for a while.” I wonder if you can locate yourself in that story. I’m going to spend a little time today sharing my God with you and then give you an opportunity for self discovery.
My idea of God was distorted, as is true of all of us. I viewed Him as absent, uncaring, selfish, unfaithful, arrogant, and cruel. I lived my life as if that were true and created a whirlwind around me. If my childhood experience was a four walled room, it would be defined and held together by abandonment, addiction, abuse, and isolation. I had to play the role of God, because He could not be trusted. I began to construct a world around me that I could control, a world where I felt safe. Anything or anyone who could not fit into my neatly ordered world, was not welcome. A time came in my life where I was desperate for something to hold on to. My life was a tornado of chaos and destruction and I had nothing solid. My addictions had grown out of control and my carefully constructed world was coming apart at the seams. I came to the very difficult realization that I, and the life I was living, was insane! I was in desperate need of a Higher Power that I could trust to restore me to sanity. It was not an easy journey, as I had a lot of false assumptions to overcome, a lot of trust that had to be built, and a lot of pain that needed to be healed. It started one day with a simple plea for God to show me who He really is. I started on a road to recovery where I was discovering truths about myself and in each of those discoveries God would show up. He would show up with forgiveness, peace, healing, love, and grace. Sometimes it was through people, sometimes through situations, and sometimes just quietly within my soul. He seemed to respond to each little step of faith I took and He began to show me who He really is and not who I assumed He was. I learned that He always shows up at your greatest point of need! Sanity was slowly being restored to me and my faith was slowly growing. Today, many years later, God has become the very rock I stand on. He is more than a Higher Power to me, because I have a deep and intimate relationship with Him.
My encouragement to you is to just take the first step, one day at a time. Don’t look at the journey ahead, it will take care of itself. Just focus on today. How can you find a way to exhibit a tiny seed of belief in a Higher Power that can restore you to sanity? What is standing in the way?
Today is going to be focused on self discovery. You will want your notebook, a quiet place, and some time for honest reflection.
- Where do I see self-defeating behaviors, patterns, or habits I cannot overcome? Write down my point of greatest spiritual need.
- Do I really want to get better? Explain.
- What makes it hard for me to trust God to change me in this area?
- What am I afraid might happen if I “let go” and trust?
- Do I or can I believe that God has the power to meet me at my point of insanity?
- What internal needs do I have even if nothing changes circumstantially?
I’ve heard a suggestion that I will share with you today. If you are not sure whether you believe or not, try an experiment. It is for 30 days, which will be well into this journey. For the next 30 days, don’t worry about whether you believe or not, just pray everyday that God will show up for you at your greatest point of need. Open your eyes and heart to look for Him. Write down in your notebook when and how that happens.