This week, in discussing the 12 Steps, we have talked about recognizing our brokenness and believing we can be restored by something far greater than ourselves. Today I want to discuss how to make that decision to let go. Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Notice in this step, "as we understood Him" is italicized. The reason for this is because too many people get caught up on believing the 12 Steps are only for people of faith, particularly Christianity. The truth is, the 12 Steps are not exclusive to any denomination or religion. The Steps encourage people to to not get hung up on this and to relate to God from your faith, religion, or denomination.
In Step 2 you recognize your birth of faith and that your faith can restore you to sanity and create peace in your life. Step 3 is about deciding to put your faith into action. You are trusting that God, as you understand Him,will take care of you, provide for you, give you what you need, and restore you and your life to serenity. This can be done through prayer. Many people view this as a one time thing. Initially it is something you make a decision to do. However, most people have to decide EVERYDAY that they are giving something to God. Whether it be an addiction, a relationship, forgiving someone, or just giving Him something totally out of their control. It is knowing you can't control it and having faith that He can. Some people say a specific prayer each day to remind themselves they are letting go and giving it to God. Some people choose something symbolic that they do or wear to remind themselves.
This step is one of the most difficult ones for people to do. It is difficult for many people to understand how to give up control to something or someone they can't see. That is what faith is- trusting something that you can't necessarily see but you can believe in it and eventually feel it.
Because this is something that is difficult, if you feel yourself get stuck on this step, please get help with it. A 12 Step sponsor, minister, counselor, or spiritual advisor could direct you and help you learn more about your faith and turning things over to your Higher Power.
Tomorrow Joleen will discuss Step 4 and 5. Thank you for reading today and having an open mind when discussing faith and letting go.
*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.