Step two of the twelve step program was one that did not come so easily for me. I mean, I was raised a Christian and I had always believed in God. However after all of the addiction, abuse, and disordered eating behaviors I experienced for many years, I became angry and bitter towards the idea of God and religion so I turned away from Him and lived my life on my own terms. I spent most of my teenage and twenties examining other religions and spiritual concepts, believing that I could control my life without any consequences.
Without a solid spiritual foundation, and after spiraling deeper into my destructive behaviors, I found myself flat on my face in despair without any way out and no one to help me. None of my alternative spiritual principles could help me out of my mess, and I was confronted with the unshakable truth that God was the only one who could save and strengthen me. I had a big pride pill to swallow, and many character defects to dig out, but man, how much pain and suffering did I hand over to Jesus, the one who had died for me, when I made the decision to stop hurting myself and give it all to Him instead in exchange for a beautiful life. The biggest difference now in regards to God is that I seek a personal relationship with Him, instead of abusing religion. I don’t belong to any religious organization, and if you ask me, God loves everyone!
I had many questions to reflect on as I humbled myself in the recovery process and allowed Him to take away my power. After all, did I create the universe? No. Did I create myself? No. Had I ever been successful in stopping my eating disorders and addictions on my own? No!! So, I had to humble myself and accept that only God could bring about the changes in me that I so badly needed.
But you know, I surprised myself with the issues that came about with step two. I believed in God, but I fell many times in recovery with my pride! I realized that one of the reasons why I had struggled with my disorders and addictions for so long was because I had tried to be my own god! I thought that I could worship my body instead of God and still have a meaningful relationship with Him! It does not work! When I put myself first instead of the One Who Created me, I fell to my own sin and devices repeatedly.
There are countless examples in the Bible of leaders who tried to take the place of God and fell terribly.
Take for example King Nebuchadnezzar. In Daniel Chapter 4, we see how the king thought he was the greatest and worshipped himself. He looked at his successes and called the glories for himself. He forgot to be humble and remember that God is the creator and ruler of all and that He gives power and success “to anyone He chooses” (Daniel 4:32). God took everything away from King Nebuchadnezzar and spent a time period with the cattle in the fields, eating and living with them until he humbled himself and acknowledged that God was the only one with power and might.
I lived the same way as King Nebuchadnezzar for most of my life…in pride, selfishness, and thinking that I was my own god! Because of my choices however, I also lived in addictions, pain, and an endless cycle of eating disorders that I could not get out of on my own. God allowed me to live in my own filth until I humbled myself and said, “Ok God, I admit it!! You are the only way, truth and light, Please help me!!” At that moment, my whole life began to change. I started to live according to what He wanted, and not unto my own destructive habits. I started to slowly become free.
Let’s take a look at the corresponding questions on Step two from the Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop.
1. How has life seemed unfair to me in the areas of family?
2. What are my objections to trusting God fully with my addiction and my life?
3. What emotions and questions do I need to be honest with God about?
4. Am I willing to work through the pain and unfairness of my life in order to find God and be freed from addiction? What holds me back?
1. When in my addiction, in what ways did I display the belief that I was only accountable to myself?
2. How have I tried to have power over the events, outcomes, and people in my life?
3. In what ways did I show that I forgot that God is ultimately in control?
4. How have I avoided acceptance of God’s power over my life?
1. What self-destructive behaviors have I inflicted on myself due to addiction? List and describe them.
2. How has my addiction kept me from living my own life while finding myself more comfortable in “caves” of isolation, anger/rage, or silent judgement?
3. Have I begun to drop my insanity of living alone and being trapped in addiction? Am I ready to have Jesus visit me in my “caves” and cleanse me? If so, write out a prayer to Him here:
1. How have I tried to control my problems in my own power?
2. What were the results?
3. Is there any other way that I would like to try to control and manage it?
4. Am I ready to do my part, as this woman courageously did, by reaching out for recovery in faith that Jesus’ Power will be there? Write a statement of readiness to God.
Luke 15: 11-24
1. How have my compulsions and addictions led me to compromise my values, convictions, and principles?
2. How have my compulsions and addictions dehumanized me and brought me to shame?
3. In light of how my addictions and dependencies have degraded me, am I now open to a deeper level of believing that the power and forgiveness of God will restore me to sanity?
Coming to Believe
1. How have my experiences shown me that my way of living is not a satisfying or productive way to live?
2. How have I seen God’s power at work in other people’s lives?
3. What are the signs that I am on the path and in the process of being restored to sanity?
Hope in Faith
1. Am I becoming able to believe that God can help me live sanely? How?
2. Can I now believe that as I reach out for God’s Strength and surrender to Him, God’s Nature is to be present and ready to help and support sane choices? Why or why not?