Originally written in December 2012
Step 11 Reflections:
I’ve sought after God in many ways over my life, but nothing like this past year and a bit where I faithfully pray, read His word, crave to learn more, and share Jesus with others.
Until recovery, and more specifically steps 9-11, I didn’t know what it meant to meditate. Prior to recovery, my sense of peace used to come through getting up before everyone to have some “peace and quiet”. I would get organized for the day and control or fuss over the little things to ensure I stayed distracted from the lack of joy I felt in my life. Since entering recovery in July 2011 I could pray and ask God to make my husband sober; for my hurt to be gone; to protect my kids; to speed up His wrath on those other women. But as I’ve grown in recovery I’ve learned to reflect inward and to ask what my Heavenly Father wants for me and from me.
Step 10 taught me to be deliberate in my personal reflections; to recognize when I had done something wrong or against God’s will and not compare or justify my actions against the actions of others.
Now with the gift of Step 11, I’ve learned to shut up and listen. You learn more by listening and God has a lot to tell me if I could stop praying and just be quiet for a few moments.
By listening I’ve acted in accordance to His word and His will. Some contact experiences I’ve had with God have happened through EMDR. He has spoken to me many times and showed me where I still have pride or question my self worth. One example was after my husband and I had had a fight. In the past, I would have been stubborn and glad to go to bed angry at him. This was different. I prayed first, then meditated. God was very direct in pointing out that in that moment, my husband was broken, and needed love. I went to find him, told him I loved him and gave him a hug. And most every day I cry during meditation because I’m overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit’s presence.
I continue to ask for knowledge of His will every day. Seems like I’ve asked him that for months and months, but again, wasn’t really listening. I’ve learned that it’s all about what Jesus said: Love thy neighbour. Knowledge of His will comes from reading the bible and understanding it. That way, if my thoughts or emotions don’t align with His word, then it must be my will—not His. His will is to have me pray for others and not myself. To repent to Him and make amends right away. He revealed the Wife of Noble Character (Proverbs 31) to me through meditation which showed me more of His desires for me.
Through understanding God more, He has blessed me with clarity to see the person as separate from the issue. He’s given me the courage and the gentleness to put in boundaries that promote healthy relationships. There’s power in knowing I don’t have to have the answers or have it all figured out anymore—God has all that. As I meditate in His presence, I find peace. As I understand the future He has for me, I feel joy. I don’t have to base my life on circumstances, but on God.
I’ve learned a lot through Step 11. I’ve learned that I no longer want this trauma to define me. I want to live by God’s will. When I shut up and listen to God, He gives me the peace, the answers, and the space to review my life and my recovery over and over again in order for me to grow. I’ve learned that my emotions are in check when I’m consistent with prayer and meditation. And ultimately as I practice meditation God’s will for me will become my own true will for myself.