The disease of addiction eases into lives and eventually extinguishes the light of spirituality. As the light slowly fades away, anger, resentment, disappointment, grief, and shame leave everyone in total darkness.
In recovery, our journey slowly moves us back toward the light making it possible to feel its warmth and flourish in it. Then, and only then, is when we receive God's grace.
Although the following was written from the perspective of an addict, our family members could easily relate to the unveiling of God's grace through the 12 Step Recovery Process.
Through the process of accepting powerlessness and need for spiritual help, we are awakened to GRACE.
Step One: I received the gift of desperation. God helped me realize that I was powerless over a deadly disease and that I could not manage my life any longer.
Step Two: He gave me the gift of powerlessness over my addictive thinking and behavior. I came to believe that I needed his help to overcome my insanity.
Step Three: I embedded God's gift of grace into my heart, and saw that without his grace and love, I could never get better. Accepting his will was a big step in my recovery which allowed me to grow my faith.
Step Four: God gave me the gift of courage and forgiveness.And his gifts gave me the strength to forgive those that caused me harm.
Step Five: He gave me the gift of humility when I admitted to him and another human my resentments and my part in them.
Step Six: He gave me the gift of discovery which allowed me to see the traits of my addictive thinking and to accept that I needed to change these defects of character.
Step Seven: I received the gift of a desire to change. I admitted that I could not change my addictive thinking on my own and I needed his help thru this process.
Steps Eight and Nine: I used his gift of humility. He provided me the strength to ask for forgiveness to those I have wronged. I was scared, but though his grace, I was forgiven.
Step Ten: I received the gift of awareness, honesty and growth. I started doing a daily inventory to see what I needed to work on and what I was doing well. I realized I had the desire to become a better person.
Step Eleven: I received the gift of spirituality. As I continued to receive God's gifts, I continued to pray and meditate daily and continued to accept that there are things in my life that I cannot control or do on my own.
Step Twelve: He provided me the gift of spiritual awakening and a desire to serve. I began to see God's grace working in other recovering alcoholics and addicts. I truly found a desire to volunteer and serve others. In return, I found my purpose in life.
As the program teaches us, the way to keep the blessings of recovery is to give away the experience to others following along our path.
Today, may God's grace shine in your life giving you the desire and strength to continue to grow in recovery.