I wasn't a Christian yet. Although I had heard the Word, I had not yet surrendered to Christ.
I was lost. Insane. Reeling. Desperate for a savior, so I picked him.
He was what they call a recovering alcoholic.
Most days, it didn't feel like there was much recovery going on. For that matter, I wasn't recovered yet, either.
Suffice it to say...life was insane.
I still struggle with that term "recovering."
I remember years later when I worked for Arbitron, I was having lunch with one of my clients, and he said something that made me ask if he was a friend of Bill W's.
(For those of you who don't know, Bill W. was one of the founders of AA, and for one person to ask another, "Are you a friend of Bill W's?" is a way to maintain anonymity for both parties, yet at the same time determine if there is common ground there. It's not until both say yes, that they can begin to openly talk about alcoholism.)
After I asked my client/friend if he was a friend of Bill W's, he smiled and said,
"I was in recovery for years...then I met Jesus Christ. Now I'm recovered."
I love that!
I met Jesus Christ. Now I'm recovered.
For some of us, when we come to know Jesus Christ, a certain struggle with sin will be removed instantly. Maybe several will be.
I believe that's God's grace.
And, while our sin debt has been paid in full, struggle with certain sins will very likely remain.
I believe God allows these in order that we might remember from Whom our strength comes, and never go back to relying on self.
All of this to say, I've had this prayer going 'round and 'round in my head for the past few days, and wanted to share it with you. It's called the Third Step Prayer, and it can be found on
page 63 of the "Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous."
I spent a lot of time around the tables of AA, and Alanon, and I met some amazing people there who were living lives of honesty and openness....lives of short accounts and true integrity. It was through Alanon that I learned the tools of detachment, service and surrender.
I believe with all of my heart that God used my time around those tables, to draw me to Himself, and I will be forever thankful to Him and to the precious people there who mentored me, and taught me what it means to live one day at a time in submission to Christ.