The wounds aren’t just my spouse’s. The wounds aren’t just mine. Others have received the fallout from the depth of my years of lying, manipulating, and self satisfaction. My kids. Their wounds are hidden. Sometimes I don’t even know they are there. Until they are. There they are, bursting forth. The results of my sin and the sin of a fallen world. The results of my deep ingrained defects of character.
I am working on Step Six. It seems easy enough. I have to be entirely ready to have God remove my defects of character. It seems simple enough. All I have to do is say I am ready, right? Actually, this step is unfolding in a way I didn’t expect. My awareness of the stark differences in my fundamental core character defects when compared to the perfect example of Christ doesn’t leave my thoughts as I pray and ask for Him to make sure I am ready.
As I list each of my primary flaws, I try and focus on specific examples of how I have exemplified those flaws in my life. I can only go through one at a time. Cumulatively they are too much for me to comprehend and emotionally handle. The scope of the impact of my flaws on the people I love is just so great. So, I follow my sponsor’s advice and ask God to reveal each to me in His timing as I am ready to accept them and turn them over to Him.
This has been an exercise in patience, trust, and prayer. Specifically, I have asked God to go through each of them. To give me awareness of the impact of each and to prepare my heart and mind to release them to Him. First was pride and selfishness. I thought I was prepared to turn that one over. I thought I had dealt with all of pride and had released it. I didn’t pay too much attention to when my counselor told me he for some reason thought there was still pride ingrained in me that I hadn’t let go. So, I was ready to turn that over. But I really wasn’t.
I was walking with my wife. It’s a way we have connected again, spending time walking our dog and just having conversations. Intimate conversations about her damage, my recovery, our future, our kids. I told her that a division connected to my company had reached out to me, had interest in me for a job, a promotion, a level that I badly had wanted in the past. How awesome was that? We had talked about a new start and a move at some point, so I obviously thought this was a great idea. Thankfully, my wife is a truth teller. She looked at me and asked what was I doing? I was only 5 months into my recovery and why on earth would I want to mess that up, move our kids, uproot any sense of stability she and we had. She reminded me that my constant chasing of career led to strain on our marriage, instability for our kids, and ultimately enabled my acting out. Her wounds are there, always. Sometimes I don’t see them. Sometimes they are just below the surface. But her wounds are still there.
God is sovereign. God is consistent. God answers prayers. I asked him to prepare me to give over my defects of character. He is doing so by making sure I am clear on what they are. And I am clear on the wounds they have caused.