Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Conversing Sisters: Step 3, Turning Our Will

Lisa & Me, circa 1991

This post is part of a series of writings I did with my sister Lisa, in 2012. Our thoughts and perspectives reflect a moment in time. They may or may not have changed in the passing years.

Step 3: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Lisa's Thoughts  

When I think of step 3 the first thing that comes to mind is making a decision. It sounds so simple to just make a decision and stick to it, yet I find this to be one of the hardest and most complicated aspects of my life and my sobriety. It requires a great amount of faith and trust to blindly turn my entire life and my will over to something that I can’t physically sense. It has been a painful day today and here I am finally making a decision to truly let go of someone who was never mine to begin with. I struggle with this and often am baffled by my ability to show up and suit up for the big things in my life, yet these little issues such as relationships and resentments shut me down. I was driving home this evening from an AA meeting and began to reflect on the past few years of my life. Twenty-Two months ago I shot the father of my unborn child in self-defense. A few short weeks later, I showed up to the hospital in labor with a 357 and a protective order in my diaper bag. Tinker Bell was the alias they listed me under and it was only safe to have a few people by my side, one being my sponsor in AA. I refused all pain medication so that I could be of sound mind and be able to leave or move in a hurry if needed. My physical pain was excruciating, my heart was completely broken, and I was taken to places physically and emotionally that I didn’t even know existed. I remember breathing and closing my eyes. I saw myself as a little girl in the arms of my Father in Heaven. He was holding me and it was almost as if I left my body and became a witness to the events below. My daughter, Lilly, was born within a few moments. She was alive and safe and I had no idea how I brought her into this world under the current circumstances. Looking back on that whole situation, I see without a doubt that I allowed God to take over. It was only divine timing that I even had a gun in my home the day mine and my unborn child’s life were in danger. Only God could bring her here and allow me the strength to endure the physical and emotional pain. I stayed sober through all of that without doubt or fear. Yet I can’t seem to move through rejection. I repeat over and over again in my head - rejection is God’s way of saying wrong direction. This statement helps remind me that I made a decision some time ago that God is either everything or he is nothing. I have to believe that the only free agency I have today or choice, so to speak, is whether or not I connect each and every day.

I love the metaphor of electricity that is often used. When I wake up, I flip the light switch to see through the darkness - this is something I never question. My reliance upon electricity allows me freedom in living my everyday life. I have to place this same reliance on God without question and the more I depend on him, the more freedom I have to live my everyday life. It is one in the same. It is when I doubt that I lose my way. It’s when I stand in front of the light switch attempting to make a decision to turn it on or not. The more I learn, the less I know. When I feel like I have it all figured out, my foundation crumbles and I am left with humility which leads to pain. Pain then motivates me to become willing to turn it all over and trust. I often forget the moments that God has gotten me ahead of danger, or has placed me in situation where I have been healed, or have been in service to help another. I am running low on faith and gasoline today and it helps to write all this down on paper in an attempt to clean this eroded connection to God. I don’t always like reality, especially sobriety reality. Life on life’s terms is never my favorite.

God speaks to me through His children, if and when I make a decision to listen and seek, rather than teach and talk, about all the things I think I know.

Liz’s Response 


Your voice is strong. Your story is relevant. This essay is further confirmation that you must stand in your truth and tell your story for the benefit of our brothers & sisters trying to make their way through this Earth school.

You inspire me every day!

I thank God that in His infinite wisdom He allowed for us to be sisters - that I have you to go through this journey of mortality with. It has made all the difference. Love you!!  

Liz's Thoughts  

The act of making a choice is the genesis of all creation. Once the decision is made intention, energy and faith move toward what has been decided. Nurturing it to grow. Therefore, before any action can be taken a decision must be made. The decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God is to endeavor to give of myself to Him entirely. Can I give to God as liberally has He gives to me? To all of His children?

I struggle with turning my life and will to the care of God. What if He doesn’t give me what I want? What if I’m resigning myself to Job’s existence, the biblical version of a country western song? Sometimes I foolishly think that if I don’t turn something over to God or talk with Him about it, then I can ensure that the outcome of things will be in my favor. My rational mind understands the ridiculousness of the perspective and yet I still think it.  Experientially, I have learned that when I do turn things over to God’s care that there is always wisdom, love and support. Oprah Winfrey teaches that God can dream a bigger dream for us than we can dream for ourselves.  I know this to be true. Therefore, I must, repeatedly decide to turn my will and my life over to God’s care. Sometime multiple times in one day.

Recently, I was pondering my fear that if I truly dedicate my life to God that He will then choose a Job-like existence for me.  I realized that Job’s life looked the way it did because he covenanted with God for it to be so. The magnitude at which he suffered was agreed upon before it occurred.  This gave me great comfort. For, I have not nor do I intend to enter into such a covenant.

At the beginning of 2011, I decided to make further covenants with God. This required me to do a spiritual cleansing and enter into a year-long repentance process. Never before had I been so committed to my spiritual growth. One of the most valuable lessons I learned during that time was what an expert teacher humility is. A friend of mine says that when we humble ourselves the truth is illuminated. Once I was sufficiently humble, which was a feat in and of itself, I could feel and clearly see what was possible through God’s loving hands. It did not at all look like Job’s existence but uniquely my own. Yes, there would be pain and heartache but there would also be joy and fulfillment. Through all of these experiences, I would learn how to live to the fullest measure of my creation.

Lisa's Response


I love that we, as humans, have the similar thinking patterns about God and talking to God, and that if we don’t discuss certain things with him then he won’t know about them.  It just goes to show that “normal” or “alcoholic” thinking errors occur just the same.

I also love that we all share the common fear of what God may have planned for us and that it may not be what we want or have in mind.

I love that you share that Oprah quote and have reminded myself of that over and over again especially over the past few weeks.

I love you and thank you again for sharing this with me.

1 comment:

  1. I greatly appreciate the insight and openness this brings to the human experience. I think we all can relate to this struggle with God's will for our lives that you have stated so eloquently