We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God, as we understood God. – Step Three
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)
I finished Step Two! I am officially insane. Yay, me! Great way to start a new week. That realization sucks. Really a lot. I have spent a lot of time thinking over my past decisions. How I ended up here. I came up with one very obvious learning from this self-reflection: I make TERRIBLE decisions. Obvious, right? Obviously not. I didn’t think so. Quite the opposite, I used to brag on my spiritual gift of discernment. Wow. Insanity is absolutely right.
So on to Step Three. I think I have done this. I know that God makes better decisions than I do, so why not turn over decision making authority to him? Give him power of attorney for my life. That seems easy enough. I am sure my sponsor will see that as well and it’s off to Step Four. I should be healed in 3 to 4 months at this rate. Cool!
OK, well he didn’t agree. Figures. He wants me to look at where my heart was in my acting out. What was the state of my heart during that time? OK, let’s review. First, my heart was selfish. I only wanted to fulfill my own needs despite the consequences to others. I spent our personal savings on acting out. I told my wife I wanted to leave her via a text message. I missed key points in my kids’ lives, time I will never get back nor will they. Just to fulfill my own acting out desires.
The state of my heart? Dirty. That’s all I think of when I think of the state of my heart at that time. Dirty. Filthy with selfishness, self-righteousness. My heart was my own. Not God’s. I wasn’t surrendered despite professing to be a faithful believer in Christ. The state of my heart was that I didn’t trust God with my life, only my salvation.
My counselor put it to me this way very early in my recovery. I was trying to understand why I wasn’t healed. I didn’t get why I couldn’t just ask God to fix me and that would be that. So he dumbed it down for me, which I obviously needed. This is how he said it. He asked me what fundamentally changed when I asked Christ into my heart, believed in Him. I wasn’t sure. He pointed out that one thing happened, just one thing. Death was no longer on the table. I was free from eternal separation from God.
Yes, exactly. I agree. That’s what happens. Then he stated…that’s it. That’s what happens when you accept Christ. Your character defects don’t go away, you don’t all of a sudden exit a fallen world. You don’t transform into a new creation with a new body and no flaws. You are still human and still sinful. To change those character defects, you have to be obedient in following a path to sanctification.
That is what I missed. I never saw it. Or I saw it and I didn’t want to hear it or believe it. I need to turn over my life and my WILL to God. That means how I daily live my life, moment to moment. The 12 steps are a path of sanctification for me. One that God has provided to me even though I didn’t want to see it. OK, I see it. God, I turn over my life and my will. ALL my life. So on to the defects and identifying them.