Step 7 HUMBLY ASKED HIM TO REMOVE OUR SHORTCOMINGS
From the Message, Luke 12:22 – “If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? Steep yourself in God reality, God Initiative, God provisions.”
I don’t remember too much enthusiasm beginning step 7.. I wrote out the Step 7 prayer, taped it to my wall and wrote it out on a little card placing it in the back of my bus pass and these words truly wove their way into my mind and life. They were:
My Creator: I am willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character that stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength as I go out from here to do your bidding.
The good and the bad resonates for me, for I have suffered a split between the good and the bad for a long time. I forgot to save a plasma sample at work. The bad. I broke my integrity. The bad. I froze up the analyzer and other mistakes. The bad. And in those bad moments I remembered the prayer and that God wants these too. I got to see the good too. The good uncle who takes care of his niece and nephew and enjoys their company. A very competent lab tech who follows through with problems to the end and ensures patient care is first.
I will share this workbook question with you: Which of your negative character traits are becoming positive? What changes do you notice? Fear. I can’t say it’s becoming positive. It is lessening. I see it changing as I can imagine more and more that I will make it through future steps. I am deathly afraid of speaking to my wife to whom I have been separated from for 3 years now. The resentment ( another characteristic trait) I have towards her is also lessened and I continue to pray for it’s removal so that I can make a proper future amends to her.
I used to be very angry with both my parents, Prior to this step I have at different times individually and together spoken about the grudges I have had towards them and asked their forgiveness. Recently I went to a prayer meeting they attend. With no prior preparation I felt called to publicly express what I thought God was doing in my life. He had taken away the repressed anger and lack of forgiveness towards my parents such that I could honestly say I love both my parents just as they are. I crossed the floor of the meeting and embraced my mother and father. I was surprised that I could say this. I also reflected that there was no approval seeking in the words I spoke.
I also found out that caretaking and over responsibility was being removed from me as I reflected about one of the guys in group. Recently he tried several times one night to reach me but my cell phone was off. In one of the messages he left me he said something about remembering a fragment of conversation which was helping him to not act out . I think it was important that he couldn’t get through to me. And I believe it is the Holy Spirit that inspired him with the thoughts he was thinking, to enable him to stay out of trouble. God took care of him without my help. I love that. When I first joined group I felt overly responsible for others.
I don’t feel I have to do everything, solve every problem or live in some perfect way. I think now of a new recovery saying Dan gave me in a counseling session. I am enough. I do enough. There is enough.
I see my fear and fear of authority being removed when I consider the different demeanor I have with my boss. This lady has always put me on edge. Everything seems to be a hassle for her. I have always thought I was somehow creating her bad mood. I seem to be a lot separate from her. I have had numerous encounters with her at work. Instead of avoiding an interaction I meet her head on. It seems to be really sinking in that her behaviour and her reactions are her business and have nothing to do with me.
I learned a lot from the Serenity Prayer Exercise:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change like the homosexual feelings I experience and have always experienced and want to act out upon.
The courage to change the things I can like acting out homosexually with another person or masturbating.
And the wisdom to know the difference between a temporary fleeting moment of pleasure and the love of God who has told me he loves me and who takes pleasure and delight in me, who wants fullness of life for me, life in all situations.
It is amazing to believe in God, a living God active in bringing forth all these changes that I can see in my life. God has always been this fearsome authority so even here He is removing my fear of Him, this fear of authority and replacing it with who He is, a caring Father.