New Light on the Twelve Steps
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
Three years ago I thought I was in control of my life and that I didn’t want to go through the pain and work of changing it. I felt burned out in my work and in living life in general. There was virtually nothing that I looked for-ward to except maybe lying on the couch and eating a particular cookie I liked. I felt tired most of the time and life seemed empty. I was not intimate with anybody and was not doing any-thing to change that situation. The thought of living this way the rest of my life was very depressing. Yet this was familiar and I feared having to give up what I considered to be my rights–i.e. control of my time, my money, my priorities if I let myself be open to change. I was unhappy enough, though, that one day I did tell God that no matter what it took, I wanted to be right with Him. There had to be more to life than what I was living and if a wrong relationship with Him had any-thing to do with it, I was willing to find out. It was a scary thing to say and totally counter to the way I had lived up to that point. He did honor my request.
About two months later I was in one of our fellowship meetings, and it was pointed out to me that I was like a zombie, without life. I felt that way too and didn’t know what to do about it. I left the meeting and drove around for hours. For the first time I let my feelings surface without cutting them off or denying them. I realized that I really didn’t want to lose control by opening myself up to doing whatever God wanted to do through me. I was not sure what that would be but I did not want to lose the right to have the final say. Suddenly, I realized that this was totally counter to what I claimed to believe, that I was merely a vessel containing Christ’s Spirit to do as He would. As Christ Himself described, I was the branch, He the vine which gives the life.
I felt trapped. What was I to do? In coming out of denial about why I was holding back, I had forced myself into a choice. I could no longer claim that I was confused or that I wanted to think it through any more. I also realized that I was powerless; not over alcohol, drugs or some other addiction, but over life in general, over anything and everything. The pain of realizing this and my basic fear of knowingly going counter to what I perceived as God’s way was stronger than my desire to maintain control over my life which I now realize that I didn’t have anyway. Satan had convinced me that I had control–that there was an independent Fowler to have control.
Out of total desperation I decided to turn my life over to God as I understood Him. My understanding of Him was that once I was saved, which I had been, my spirit was inexorably tied to His Spirit and that I was the Fowler form through which God chose to do His business. Since that choice, I have steadily grown in my enlightenment of what it means. My lack of control is really absolute control of knowing that God is working His will through me. Life has more meaning now than it ever has.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 10 No 5
- God’s Tight Corners
- Postscript to Yes I Am
- Editor’s Note
- Off With The Grave Clothes
- A New Creation
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Moments with Meryl
- To Think About
- The Letter to the Romans
- Questions & Answers
- Life Out of Death
- The Mailbox
- New Light on the Twelve Steps
- A Look at A Book
- Words to Live By