Let Go, Let God
When my brother died, I blamed God. I had not had a relationship with God in years, so He seemed to be a great target for my misery. I blamed Him for taking Will. For making Will an alcoholic and an addict. For making me an alcoholic. Pretty much anything and everything that went wrong in my life...I credited to the Man upstairs.
Being from a small southern conservative town, all I heard the days following my brother's death was God's will, God's timing, God has a plan, everything happens for a reason, pray, turn it over to God, and the list goes on...
Oh My GOD! I wanted to kill people. Enough with the God talk. As if all of this was supposed to make everything easier for me to deal with my brother dying.
These people who were trying to give me comfort were speaking from their hearts with a God that they know and love and who they had seen do wonderful things in their life. I was receiving this unsolicited "comfort" with the heart of hating God. It was like someone telling me to put all my trust in my worst enemy. The one who had caused my pain and taken my brother. He had a plan for me? Well...I let people know quickly what I thought of God's plan and where they could shove it. I didn't want any part of His plan if it included my brother being dead.
That was my attitude. It was ugly, I know. But, I am being honest.
I didn't begin to understand anything about God...His will...or anything about faith and prayer until I walked through the doors of Hope Valley Rehabilitation and was introduced to the 12 Steps of recovery.
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.
Check! That one was pretty clear and easy for me to accept.
Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
This one was a little harder for me. Power greater than ourselves? I believed in many powers greater than myself. Alcohol was a power greater than myself. But before I could jump on the Higher Power or God wagon to restore me to sanity, I used the group of recovery as a power greater than myself. I thought the program could restore me to sanity. You are probably thinking, sanity? So we are all insane? Well, for me...it was about the insanity of the disease. It was absolutely insane that I continued to think for years that every time was going to be different...that I could somehow, someway control my drinking. So, yes, my thinking was insane.
Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
Hold up! What?????????? God????????????? I wasn't there yet. I was no where ready to bring God into the mix. I didn't like God. In fact, I would have told you I hated God. How could I possibly turn my life and my will over to the care of Him? Seriously? And even if I could...how in the world does one do this?
Well, this is something I struggle with...knowing what God's will is. But it's usually because I am over complicating it. First, I had to get to know God and come to trust him. And I did this through seeing Him in others. At first I didn't feel worthy of His love since I had been so cruel to Him, but I could see what He was doing in the lives of the people around me...who were just like me and a lot of them had hated Him at one time or another just like me. And then I began to experience Him for myself. I began to replace fear with faith. I began to see my life slowly get better. And I slowly became a happier person and was able to turn my will over to the care of God.
I don't always understand...and most certainly don't always like what happens in the world today, but I do understand that it's rarely ever God's will.
God's will wasn't for my brother to take drugs, overdose and die. God's will wasn't for me to be an alcoholic. But what God's will is for me...is to use my pain and my struggles to help others.
Not too long ago, I saw an interview of Rick Warren. I had been praying a lot about understanding God's will and my purpose. So, when I heard someone talking about exactly this on tv, I went into my living room and watched it. I didn't really know anything about Rick Warren or who he was. But it was honestly like God was speaking to me directly through him. (which, I believe He does often...we just need to be paying attention). He explained that not everything that happens in the world is God's will...that there is nonsense to that. God's will is done perfectly in heaven, but rarely is his will carried out on earth.
It clicked. He was basically saying what I had read in the Big Book...
So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. p. 62
I had been playing God pretty much my entire life and didn't even realize it. The life I was living prior to recovery was completely run on self will. I thought people who needed God...who depended on Him were weak.
Self-will vs. God's will is something I have to keep in check daily...sometimes hourly. Because, I want what I want when I want it. That's me. That's who I am. I am not perfect...but I am making progress.
I know many of you are probably scoffing at this. Someone who I had been pretty close with called me not too long ago and wanted to know why all the God talk on my social media and blog? Kind of like...what happened to you?
And the answer is simple. My life knowing God is just better. When I am aligning my will with His will...life is pretty great! Things seem to work out for me and the people around me. There is a certain peace and contentment that goes along with it that is unparalleled to anything I have ever experienced. Letting go and letting God is very freeing! Those who schoff (like I used to) are usually running on self-will...and not giving God a chance.
How could I blame God for all my misery and all the bad in my life when I had taken Him out of the drivers seat, handcuffed and gagged him, and thrown Him in the trunk. I was in the driver's seat...and it wasn't a pleasant ride.
It seems so simple to me today. I know God grieved when my brother died. That was never His will for him. I also know that God doesn't waste hurt. 600 days sober today...I am proof of that!
Remember that we deal with alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power — that One is God. May you find Him now! BB p. 59