Step Three…The Faith

As I continued to work the steps, Step Three proved to be an interesting test of my faith. Faith in a power greater than myself as it was posed to me in Step Two. I was being asked to turn my will over to the care of God as I understood God. The God part I got, turning over my will posed a much greater test for me. I had always done things on my own. I was self reliant, so I thought. Since when did I rely on anyone else to do my bidding for me. No, I wasn’t going to get caught in a trap. I’d do it all on my own. The truth was that, that philosophy got me caught up in this mess. It was time to rely on something other than myself. What I needed was faith. So I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to gain if it worked. God knows my way didn’t work, I was a sex addict. So I tried turning things over to His care. First it was small things and then it was most things and then finally I realized that it could be all things as my faith had grown to the next level and I saw results. I saw miracles start to appear. Today, I turn stuff over to His care on a regular basis sometimes as many as tens times a day, and the burden is relieved from my heart. God bless you Papa, for it is your will, not mine, that I follow today.

14 thoughts on “Step Three…The Faith

  1. What is the saying, “Self will run riot,” That is me. I am on the second step after 11 months on the first step. Really proving to myself that my life was unmanagable. I knew that the first day I came into the rooms, but I was just not willing to give up MY self will.

    Turn MY will over to God’s will, yeah right, let me sit in this pain and stench just a bit longer.

    For me it comes down to the word deserve. I do not feel worthy of God’s love, my husband’s love, my children’s love. I feel that I am a fake and a fraud at work, at church, at my son’s Cub Scout Troop, the Elementary PTO, my SAA home group. I have all of these places that I have reached out to, to form positive communities around me but simply refuse to accepted that they love and accept me unconditionally. I am starting to get very very tired of this 49%-51% battle, IF I do not turn over my will to a power greater than myself then surely MY will, will kill me. I am forced at this point to distill my recovery to one simple statement. NO MATTER WHAT! Until I can be restored to sanity, until I can automatically and willingly turn my will over to a power greater than myself I must simply NOT act out NO MATTER WHAT and up until now I was not willing to do that.

    Oh I can go online a little bit, I can flirt a little bit… I can chat a little bit. I am an addict I cannot do anything a little bit. I have said it so many times on this blog, I MUST believe that YOU believe. I must know that it has worked for addicts before me so it will work for me too IF I do my part, if I don’t act out NO MATTER WHAT.

  2. After being in the rooms for nine years, with little in the way of extended sobriety to show for it, and real up and down recovery, I finally decided to really give Step Three a real try. I would always say that I had faith in God, and that I had surrendered my will and my life over to Him, but had I really? Honest reflection revealed that I had not. I had always held back something, kept my hand on the steering wheel just in case. My faith lacked a real quality to it. After having been run over by a truck (figuratively) during my last relapse, I finally accepted that my way wasn’t getting me anywhere, but in fact leading me to destruction and demoralization. I decided to really give Step Three a try. I taped the slogan Let Go and Let God to my bathroom mirror. I prayed the Third Step prayer every day, sometimes many times during the day. I went through a period of depression, a period of fear about the future, but kept surrendering over and over, even when it didn’t look like I was getting any results. One day I realized that a major obstacle to my recovery and peace of mind solved itself. A miracle. I kept at Step Three. Then another miracle happened that took a big weight off my shoulders. It had to be God working in my life doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself. I thanked God for His intervention and remind myself every day to be grateful. This pattern has continued now for some time. I realize now that if I stay sober, continue to do my part then get out of the way, God will care for me in ways that I could never have imagined.

  3. This blog has been a major part of my recovery and the last entry gave me such hope. Five days now of TRULY TRULY turning it over. The feelings are overwhelming and the fear seems so much bigger than my faith. I have come to realize that fear = my addict and faith = ME, who my higher power knows and wants me to be. The 49% (fear) -51% (faith) gets to be a little easier when I accept I am not doing the 51 by myself.

  4. Step Three – This has been my favorite step so far. Maybe that’s why I have been so resistant to Step four – I have not wanted to leave Step Three. Step Three taught me that there was a lot I did not know about me. The biggest thing that I got out of step three was realizing that I did not trust anyone. If I did not trust anyone, how was I going to trust a higher power? Once I was able to understand my past, not necessarily work through it, just understand it, I was able to open myself up to trust. I am no fool – I am not saying that I trust everyone and everything. But I have one trust – Trust that my Higher Power will take care of me. Tomorrow I will have three years of sobriety and there is NO WAY that I would have made it here by myself. By myself I would have self-destructed. I trust that as long as I do the footwork I will be taken care of. So far it has worked. I don’t know what the future will bring and I don’t know what tonight will bring, but I know that what is supposed to happen will happen. And feel so grateful for this program and for what I have today – Thank you to my higher power and to everyone around me who has helped to get me here!

  5. I agree with others. This is one of the single biggest and most important steps in the program.

    I remember someone saying the difference in steps 2 and steps 3 were: In step two, you are watching someone walk across a tightrope pushing a wheelbarrow and you trust they are not going to fall. Step 3 is actually climbing in that wheelbarrow and letting them push you safely to the other side. Step 3 is built on trust; trust in a power greater than ourselves. To be successful at step 3, we need to have really seen the unmanageability in our lives and made a decision to come to know and trust in a higher power.

    My step 3 is routed in the third step prayer. When I remember, I start or end my day with that prayer.

  6. I believe that for many the idea of “care” and “control” gets confused. I turn my will and my life over to the “care” of my higher power. He does not control my will and my life; I have proven that time and time again through acting out in my addiction. But by accepting his loving “care” and having faith in him and our program my life has been given the full blessing of the promises of this program.

    I no longer have to fight with God to force the outcome of an event, especially an event that was unhealthy for me in so many ways. I can trust that God will put me in places with people that are healthy because I have trusted my life to his “care”, and I accept the events that occur as his “will” and I use the tools to try to learn what he has intended for me to gain and learn from the lessons he presents.

    Some may say that makes me a hapless victim of my Higher Power, but I am happier being in the “CARE” of my Higher Power than I ever was in my own free will of addiction.

  7. I live in Step 3 every day. Without Step 3 I am not sure how I would function today. Before coming into recovery I tried to control everything and everyone. Now I know that I don’t have to do that, nor can I do that. Today I know that all I need to do is work on myself and work on the things that I need to do on a daily basis and the rest will take care of itself. This is what I have done since I worked Step 3 and so far it has helped me and my Higher Power has taken care of me. I know that if I continue to do this each day, I should get the same result, so I will continue to say the 3rd Step prayer every day and turn my will over every day so that I can stay sober, one more day.

  8. Right now it is all about faith. I need to have faith that everything is happening as it should be. I have a lot going on as always. And right now I have been pretty good at turning things over and just focusing on what I need to do each day. So I need to keep doing that and just have faith that what will come of it will be the right thing for me. I know that as long as I do the work that I need to do, it will all work out for me. So, I will have faith. Again, a short post, but hopefully a meaningful one. Time for bed. Job interview in the morning. Faith!

  9. Faith is a tough one for me. I am all about self-will.

    As a young man I was very religious. From the time I was eight until I was about sixteen, I served in our church as an altar boy. I had a very good and close relationship with my priest. He was truly a great man. A survivor of World War Two. He was Polish and during the war was imprisoned in the Auschwitz death camp. He spoke to me of his deep faith in God during that horrible time. In his final days at the camp, the Nazis ramped up their extermination process in part to do away with the evidence of their atrocities. At one point, he was being led to what he knew to be his inevitable death, and like a miracle from God the allies arrived and his life and the lives of many others was spared. I have never forgotten that story of faith.

    Subsequently he passed away. I have never since come into contact with a man whom I felt was closer to God.

    Although I never developed another relationship with any priest, I remained religious into my mid-thirties, until my divorce from my daughter’s mother.
    At that time, I felt deserted by the church, but even more so I felt as if the church had deserted my daughter. I became bitter. I turned away from all organized religion and became an atheist. Self-will became my focus.

    Well we all know what path that led me down, and now here I sit trying to once again find something to believe in.

    I still have no trust or love lost for organized religion, but I am uncomfortable with the thought that there is nothing greater than I in this universe. In fact, I now find the thought that this entire universe could exist without purpose rather absurd. It is clear that I am not meant to know the purpose of the universe, but simply to have faith that there is a purpose.

    Although I do not believe in a God that is a puppet master, I do feel some connection with the cosmos that I am part of. If it is here for a reason, then by default so am I.

    The program has taught me the tenants of letting go and living in the now. These ideas have helped me to live sober for sixty plus days now. I believe and have faith in the program, as the results have been tangible for me, and I know my recovery depends on faith in something greater than myself.

    This will not be an easy one for me; however, I do have my memories of that priest to help me along.

    What faith he had! He was able to turn over his own life based on his belief in something greater than himself. The scale of my trials pales compared to his, but faith would seem to be just as important to my freedom from addiction as it was to his liberation from the Nazis.

  10. To put your faith in the hands of God is to abandon control of your own life. And whatever happens after that abandonment is up to God’s will. I compare my own control of my life and the disasters that I created by my own willfulness, and I think that God will easily do a better job. So far in this recovery program, I am convinced that NOT to turn yourself over to God is a stupendous mistake, not so unlike the ones we have all made in our lives so far. I make this surrender because I think and hope God loves us all and that He is a better guide than my impaired thinking ever has been.

  11. Faith is how I have made it through these past few years. Once I completed my step 3, my entire program changed. I finally learned what it meant to turn things over. Today I know that as long as I do what I need to do on a daily basis that my Higher Power will take care of me. I know this because it has been happening for the past three years. It is only when I decide to take my will back that things do not go as planned. I have faith that as long as I continue to do what I have done, my life will continue to get better, my relationships will continue to get better and most of all I will stay sober. I just need to keep my face towards my Higher Power and not turn my back.

  12. This is a simple step. At the same time it is one of the most confusing steps. I took step 3 to get to step 4. To move on with my program. I was running away from my inner circle. I can say that I have turned my will and my life over to the Program. But I am not sure if I’ve turned it over to God. I’ve surrendered “A LOT” in recovery. But I feel as if I have not surrendered the part of me that wants to control and use self will to achieve a desired outcome. The Juggernaut of self-will that runs through brick walls. “The Ego”. I am still holding on to this part of me and its killing me. I believe that surrendering THIS is a MUST for me to continue in recovery.

  13. Today I completed step 3 and things could not have worked out better for me. I made a decision to make a huge move and turn my life around completely. And in doing so I turned everything over to God. The completing step 3 today just confirmed once again that God is looking after me. Tomorrow morning I will begin a journey that I now look at as going home. Home is where my heart is and I am living in my heart with God. The decisions I have made with my wife were not anything we had planned out in fact they were just the opposite yet we both know now that this is what God had planned for us. So we are embracing this new life this new road together and we know that God will take care of us. Thank you father. You are the one true father and thy will be done.

  14. Faith in a power greater than myself as it was posed to me in Step Two. I was being asked to turn my will over to the care of my Higher Power as I understood it. The higher part I got, turning over my will posed a much greater test for me. I had always done things on my own. I was self reliant, so I thought. Turns out that I wasn’t that self reliant as I thought.

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