At my first Alanon and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) meeting, the first thing they showed me was the 12 steps. I was still a regular church goer in those days. When I read the first three steps,
- Admitted we were powerless over _____; and our lives had become unmanageable;
- Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore us to sanity; and
- Made a decision to turn my life and my will over to the care of God as we understood Him.
I told my group that night that I had already been through the first three steps (Heck, I was a church-going choir member and Sunday school teacher. I read my Bible. I prayed. I was a good Christian I told them. I’d been a Christian since I was 10. Let’s move on to Step 4, that searching and fearless moral inventory.)
Nine months later, after I grew weary of playing recovery, I found myself at
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.Luke 9:23
the front door of Step 1. Today, more than three decades later, I’m still there. Daily. Having to admit, sometimes by the hour, where the power in my life comes from. Until that day Step 1 confronted me, my life was a series of tugs of war with my Creator over who would be the sole authority in my life.
It’s not easy dying to self. For me it means no plans, no time, no money, no pleasure, no rights, no defense, no battles of my own. God can not do for me, all He wants to do for me AND in me AND through me, until and unless there’s nothing left of me. When I’m gone, He can move in. When I’m empty THEN He can fill me with all of His grace and blessings He has for me.