When I first got sober, I wanted nothing to do with having a higher power. I loved alcohol, irregardless of the fact that it never loved me, and I took the high road and gave it up. I didn’t want to have to give up anything else.
Why Can’t I Just Be Free?
I was raised Lutheran. You went to Sunday School and Church every Sunday, and when you were old enough, you studied for two whole years to become a confirmed member of the congregation and earn the privilege of partaking in Holy Communion.
As a child, I actually loved the structure of it. But as I got older, I started to question some of the doctrine, and I didn’t always get satisfactory answers. And I noticed that the majority of the folks I saw every Sunday really weren’t living as Christians throughout the week.
It seemed to me that we were all going to Hell, so why not have fun while we’re here.
Leaving The Narrow Road Behind
By the time I was a sophomore, my life revolved around putting my time in at school and work and partying during every opportunity in between. I stopped going to church. I didn’t want to live by God’s rules. For one thing, they were too hard. For another, I didn’t understand why God allowed so much suffering on earth.
I began to resent the entire system. What was the point of this life anyway? It felt like one, big, miserable test that was just too hard to pass. What kind of God watches people run uphill against the wind their entire lives only to become old and die? And then after all that, He gets to decide if you deserve to finally be happy in Heaven or not.
Thanks, but no thanks.
A Little Hair Of The Dog…
I left home right after I graduated from high school. I worked every day, drank every night, and left a trail of broken relationships in my wake. I felt exhilarated when I was out drinking and dancing or party cruising while getting lost in the night sky, but the morning after was always a different story.
Until I discovered Irish coffee, that is. It became my new best friend. We hung out together all day long. Eventually, I got fired from my job for smelling like a brewery and getting lost at the bar on my lunch hour one too many times.
Between A Rock And A Hard Place
Sobriety on its own proved to be more of a challenge than I was equipped to handle. It occurred to me that I hadn’t made a good decision since I left the church. Yet I didn’t want to go back there either.
Then I met Josie.
A Chance Encounter
We met at one of those meetings I didn’t like. She happened to be a Christian like me, and answered so many lingering questions I had about God. She also showed me that the AA Big Book had many answers for my spiritual quest as well.
Josie started studying the Big Book with me, and as I came to know my God, I started to feel that as His creation, He knows us better than we know ourselves. I just needed someone to show me how to have a relationship with him.
When I took my God back into meetings he gave me a new appreciation of 12-step programs and why I needed to have a higher power to fully work those steps. I discovered that my own conception of God was a uniquely personal one and that it might be different from someone else. As long as my higher power was not me it was good enough to make a start.
God is my higher power, and submitting to Him has been a privilege. He always knows exactly what I need exactly when I need it. He has blessed me with ten years sobriety and counting.