Day 23 – 12.16.14
When we took step 3, we faced the truth that recovery was far more the result of the Lord’s efforts than our own. He worked the miracle when we invited Him into our lives. Step 3 was a decision to allow God to recover and redeem us. It was a decision to allow Him to direct our lives, remembering, of course, that He always respects our agency. Thus, we decided to put our lives in His hands by continuing to follow this spiritually focused program of recovery.
How is recovery far more a result of the Lord’s efforts than yours?
Well, I’ve been trying to “recover” since I was about 12 years old, maybe younger. I don’t know that I knew I was addicted back then, but I was doing things I knew weren’t right and I wasn’t able to really stop them.
Since I’ve been trying to submit my will to God and do what I feel He wants me to do, I’ve been in true recovery. The temptations are still there, the thoughts come from time to time, but my desires to act out have been changed due to the Lord’s efforts. I can’t do this on my own.
It’s hard to even comprehend how it’s all working. Sometimes I wonder if I’m really submitting or not. But I feel better about myself. I feel more in recovery now than ever before. I feel the desires to turn my will over to God today. This is comforting.
Is this comforting to you, or confusing?
I’d say it’s a little of both. I feel comfort and peace. But I don’t always know if I’m going things the right way. Submitting one’s will to God, as Elder Packer and Elder Maxwell talked about, is a hard doctrine. I feel I understand what I need to DO to submit my will to Him, but I guess I need to pray more about it and seek for answers.
Can you exercise even a particle of faith that it is true, enough to remain abstinent and follow the program one day at a time? Please share your feelings about this.
Yes, definitely. I feel I’ve been doing this now for 312 days in recovery. I know this isn’t me doing all the work. I know I’m being helped by a greater power than my own. I’m willing to continue to practice living in recovery and submitting my will to Him one day at a time.
Do you feel you might be able to “allow” God to recover and redeem you easier than “helping” Him to do so? How have you gotten in His way by trying to “help” Him save you?
I don’t know for sure. At this point in my life, I feel I am trying to “allow” Him to recover and redeem me. In the past, I definitely felt I was giving Him my will and then taking it back. To me, this is getting in His way and trying to “help” Him. Today, though, I want to stay out of the way and let Him guide and direct me. I’m hopeful that that is what I’m doing.
Do you see how He can “direct” your life through the path of the 12 steps?
I’m not sure I see it clearly, but I do feel that it’s possible. I am grateful to be able to feel again and am happy and willing to be working the steps of recovery one day at a time.
Agency means that He will not force us to act correctly. He only “offers” the blessing and the way to receive it. Are you ready to thoroughly follow His path to recovery?
Yes, I’m definitely ready to thoroughly follow His path to recovery. I feel I’ve been trying to do this for the last 312 days, which I’m grateful for.
When we first attended recovery meetings, we may have felt pressured or even forced by others to be there, but to take step 3 we had to decide to act for ourselves. We realized that changing our lives this much had to be our own decision. It wasn’t about what our parents did, what they were doing now, or what they wanted. Neither was it about what our spouses, families, or friends thought, felt, did, or did not do. We saw we had to be willing to stay clean and sober regardless of anyone else’s opinions or choices. Our willingness was the solid foundation on which the balance of recovery rested. As we read the Book of Mormon, we discovered a powerful validation of step 3 in Alma 5:13: “They humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God.”
What people or consequences “pressured” you to come to the Addiction Recovery Program?
I started attending back in 2007 when my addiction to pornography came out with my wife. I don’t know that she “pressured” me into attending but she was one who influenced me to start going.
Have you come to the point where fear of consequences has been replaced by a desire for freedom from active addiction?
I believe so. I feel both are pretty motivating factors in my recovery – both the desire to be completely free from my addiction but also the fear of losing my family and all that’s important to me.
Can you imagine your life free from addiction? Describe what it could be like.
I think so, yes. Today is day 312 in my recovery from my addictions. It feels so much different than it did to live in shame, hiding, and secrecy. I feel so much more free and able to be who I really want to be. I don’t feel any resentment or anger, or if I do, I recognize it right away and try to determine why I’m feeling that way. I don’t want to ever feel the way I felt in my addiction again.
Are you now willing to stay clean and sober because of your own desire and not anyone else’s?
Yes. I feel more this way now than ever before. I want to be clean. I want to recover and be free from my addiction. Granted, I want to do this, in part, so that I can mend the broken relationship I’ve had with Becky, but I feel this is my choice, not her pressure, or anyone else’s pressure.
Willingness to take right action is the key to unlock our faith. What is the quality of your willingness to see this process all the way through?
I feel 100% willing to take the right action today. I feel strong about my recovery and willingness to take things one day at a time. I’m grateful for these feelings today.
When we took this step, we felt terrified of the unknown. What would happen if we humbled ourselves and surrendered our lives and wills completely to the care of God? For many of us, childhood had been very hard, and we were terrified of becoming as vulnerable as little children again. We were convinced by past experiences that making a definite commitment was nearly impossible, given the insanity surrounding us in this world. We had seen too many commitments broken. We had broken too many ourselves. The best some of us could do was try what our recovering friends had suggested: “Don’t use. Go to meetings. Ask for help.” Those who had walked the steps of recovery before us invited us to experiment with this new way of living. They patiently waited for us to become willing to open the door to God just a little bit.
The remedy for fear is faith, faith in the Lord and faith in His process. Can you trust in the Lord for a better life than you have been able to achieve on your own?
Absolutely. I’ve come to realize that this is the ONLY way I’m ever going to fully recover. There is no other way to rid my life of addiction without His help.
As an addict, what are the alternatives if we choose NOT to take step 3 and trust Him?
Divorce. Misery. Regret. I could make a huge list of bad things that would/will happen if I don’t choose to continue to submit my life to Him and put my full trust in Him.
Consider the testimonies of those who have taken these steps. Does this strengthen you and help you to take this “decision step?”
It really does. I feel so glad to know close friends who are in recovery one day at a time. I feel so grateful to see their recovery as something I can do too – as long as I’m willing to turn my will over to God and not look back. I’m so grateful for Step 3 and feel it is the step I “sort of” did before, but today I feel so much different.
I look forward to continuing to work this step.