Step 3 blog

Father Michael Decewicz - May 27, 2020

We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him

  • Step 3 is about translating hope into action
  • The central act in Step 3 is a decision
  • Because making a decision without following up with action is meaningless
  • Now this notion of making a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God
  • May make you feel intimidated and overwhelmed and that is perfectly understandable
  • And so like everything as 12-step recovery we can make this decision for just today,

“One day at a time”

Perhaps ever just for an hour

  • Our history as an alcoholic/addict with making decisions has not been good

Often we are in recovery because of the decisions we have made

II.  The idea of turning will and lives over to the care of God “as we understand him” is terrifying

      Making decisions is something the alcoholic/addict hasn’t done in a long time.  We had our decisions made for us by our addiction.  We didn’t have to accept responsibility for our choice and decision

            [Boy, was I drunk/high]

      Learning to make decisions and accepting the consequences for the decisions we made is called maturity.

      One more vital piece on the road to recovery.

      We have acted on self-will for so long, abusing our ability to make choices and decisions that are not self and self-centered.  As a result, our self-will has forced us to live in isolation, existing in a lonely, self-absorbed existence.  And so to make a decision and follow through on that decision terrifies the alcoholic/addict.

III. To turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as I understand him.

      For this part of Step 3, we need to come to some conclusion what I think “God” means; being open to the realization will grow as we grow in our recovery.

      Too often, we confuse religion with God.

            Religion is not God and God is not religion.

      Many times when I have been at meetings I hear,

“My name is ______________, I am a recovering Catholic”

I understand that many have had very hurtful experiences with religious and clergy, who still at times view addiction as some kind of moral flaw.  Remember, they are wrong, not you!  Don’t let another person or institution distance you from your loving God!

  • For some, the very idea of God or a higher power is completely foreign and the very idea can make some uncomfortable. 

So for recovery, our higher power is a loving and caring presence, greater than ourselves.

  • Many believers call this God
  • For some, it is a presence; sometimes the group itself becomes that caring presence, greater than themselves, and that is ok
  • We do not need to define God, just to trust in God’s loving presence, whatever we conceive him to be. 

IV.  Intimacy

Like all things in 12-step recovery, “God as we understand him” is encountered in relationship and intimacy.

Nothing in 12-step recovery takes place in isolation, but always in relationship.  A sponsor to walk with us on the path of recovery.  A home group where we are nurtured on the road to recovery.  Beginning to believe that we belong, we fit in is essential to 12-step recovery.

And the same is true about our “God as we understand him.” 

We need to develop and cultivate a relationship by communicating with our God as we understand him.  This is often referred to as prayer.

We also need to accept and allow ourselves to have feelings about God as we understand him.

Perhaps we are angry or hurt by God.  Tell God.

Perhaps we are grateful.  Tell God.

Share who you are with your God.

Allow God in to touch you and love you.

You will begin to know that something beyond your comprehension has touched you. 

Now that doesn’t mean you won’t doubt. You will and that’s ok.  Doubt is how we grow!

And it is in our doubt, our powerlessness, our brokenness, our very humanity where we reach out to God as we understand him, allowing him to touch, accept, love us and walk with us as we continue on our journey of recovery.

Next week we will see where our decision leads us as we look at Step 4

“Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”

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