There are days when I wonder, “Why am I going through all this recovery stuff?” On those days, I can easily question why I bother. I may even feel like I want to hang it all up, to quit.
But, I then (hopefully) take a broader perspective. I must remember that my issues have been with me for a lifetime and that they are not going to be resolved with a flick of a light switch. I must also acknowledge that these issues are too big to resolve on my own. I can only grow with God’s strength and encouragement. I must, as Step 3 tells us, turn my will and my life over to the care of God.
If I do not turn my life and my recovery over to God, it is too easy for me to fall into feelings of hopelessness, discouragement, and resentment. I can forget why I am doing this whole recovery thing in the first place.
If I don’t remember that I am doing recovery for me, and not for those around me, I can get bogged down when I am not affirmed for my efforts, when I do not see and experience positive changes in my relationships and when the future still looks bleak.
However, if I daily ask God for his strength and his encouragement, then things go much better. He helps me maintain focus and perspective. He reminds me that my recovery must first come within me, before I can experience its fruits. He shows me time and again that if I am looking outwardly for confirmation that my program is working, I will always be disappointed. I must look to Him and his unconditional love for my validation.
I am able to receive that love so much better when I do turn things over to Him. I need to let Him carry the burdens. I need to accept the things He has placed in my life with joy. As one fellow traveler said, I need to pray not that he removes my burdens, but, instead, that he give me broad shoulders and the strength to carry them.
If I do turn my will and my life over to God, if I acknowledge that He is the one in charge of my recovery, then I receive all the encouragement I need when times are feeling bleak. His love of me never fails.
If you haven’t asked Jesus Christ to be your Higher Power, the Lord and Savior of your life, I encourage you to do so now. What are you waiting for? Pray this prayer.*
“Dear God, I have tried to do it all by myself on my own power, and I have failed. Today I want to turn my life over to You. I ask You to be my Lord and my Savior. You are the One and only Higher Power! I ask that You help me think less about me and my will. I want to daily turn my will over to You, to daily seek Your direction and wisdom for my life. Please continue to help me overcome my hurts, hang-ups, and habits, that victory over them may help others as they see Your power at work in changing my life. Help me to do Your will always. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer for the first time, contact a local Celebrate Recovery ministry (click here to find a group near you) to get plugged in and work through your 12 Steps with Jesus as your Higher Power.
Contributed by a leader at Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau.