The weekend again!!! Last weekend was beautiful and this one looks like a repeat! There are so many open houses and weddings this time of year. I have hosted a few of those outside myself, so I always hope for nice weekends for all these events.
Speaking of open houses, I went for a bike ride last Saturday and it was so hard! Not because of wind, heat, or my butt that’s not used to my new seat. It was because I was passing so many open houses that I started thinking to myself about all the Costco cake that was being consumed that day! I LOVE Costco cake so much.
Each year when we rode in from the Ride4Life, there was always a picnic waiting and it was understood that there would have to be Costco cake. It got me through those last 100 miles!
So you see, I kind of relate Costco cake with biking. I gave serious consideration to crashing an open house just to snag a piece of cake. But I do have some pride, so I didn’t. I obsessed about it for quite a while though and had a hard time restraining my sweet tooth the rest of the day. Until we went for ice cream later… Hey, it's summer!
Last week we covered Step 1, and if you need a refresher, take a look at last week's post. I heard from some of you that feel powerless over many things in life. I appreciate your honesty and it is easy to feel alone in our struggles. When you find out someone else is going through the same thing, it is a relief. At least that’s how I feel! So thanks for that. Any Costco cake addicts out there? Between the popcorn and the cake, I need to just stay out of that store.
So Step 2 is this: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Well, let’s rip that apart a bit! Here’s the thing, I knew in my heart that a power greater than me (God) was going to be needed to get me out of the hopeless mess I was in. So why fight it?
Because that’s what we do! I look back and I was kind of a god unto myself and did not want to be accountable to anyone. That is the definition of grandiose thinking and total denial!
Then there’s that word sanity. If I had to be restored to sanity then that means I am insane! The first time I heard that in a meeting, I was a little freaked out! Wouldn't you be, if everyone in there had declared themselves insane at some point? Once again, if I had admitted that all this was true (because it was) I would have had a quick trip into sobriety, but I didn’t. I decided again that I did not belong in this group of addicts, because I was not so far gone that I was going to call myself insane.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Like drinking perhaps? That every time I tried to drink successfully, (don’t judge me I can explain) I failed. I kept trying to drink and promised myself that I would stop after two glasses. I even wrote it down! That didn't work because after two glasses I just threw away the rules!
Then there was the lie I told myself that this time I would not wake up full of shame and regret at three in the morning or feel like crap the next day. All those things happened countless times, but yet I kept trying! Guess that is a little crazy. I was the person that had to exhaust all my own resources to rid myself of addiction before I would give in to the whole “Let go and let God" thing. Looking back I was totally and completely powerless. I knew in my heart that no one but me could make the decision to really fix this and that I needed God's help to do this.
In Luke 8, there is a story told of how Jesus healed a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, how she touched the fringe of his coat, and the bleeding stopped. Jesus knew someone had deliberately touched him because he felt healing powers go out from him. When she confessed that it had been her, Jesus spoke these beautiful words, “Your faith has made you well, go in peace.” (Luke 8:48)
This past February I spoke at a conference and shared my story.
In preparation for this, I went through a lot of my journals from the drinking years. I found this nugget I had written, “I just wish I could be like that woman in the Bible who touched Jesus’ coat and was healed. I want that to be me because I know no other way out of this.” Hmmm, pretty sure I knew I needed his help with this. We have to have the faith to get ourselves out of these messes. Faith and trust that he can restore you to the woman you long to be.
This verse is how I feel when I think about what he has brought me to:
“I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms - I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers!" -Psalm 13: 5-6 MSG
Isn't that a great verse?! That is really what it takes to surrender. Jesus had been throwing me a lifeline for a long time and when I finally took a firm hold of it, life started to change dramatically. I was rescued. Prayers had been answered.
The Step says “Came to Believe” and while I always had considered myself a believer, I feel I really know the meaning of believing in what God can do for me and for you. He has restored me and made me whole. Notice I said whole, not perfect. I will always be a work in progress, but as long as I stay with him in the journey, I end up in a really good place.
I encourage you to apply this step to something in your life. Only you know what that is. Whether it is something like decisions your children are making, or an addiction that has a hold of you, or something as stupid as Costco Cake, God wants you to give it all to him. If it's a struggle of any kind he wants to help. Don’t stand back just hoping for a quick fix and avoiding deliberate action because you lack the faith to try. Have faith to take a