Step Three. Made a Decision

The last couple of posts were about steps one and two.  Step one reminds me that I am powerless over many things but most especially over the addictions of others.  I must firmly accept that powerlessness before I can consider reaching for help outside of myself.

Step two stresses the need for me to grow in my belief that God can restore me to sanity.

Those first two steps are so important.  For me, they are the arguments that I need to build my case for step three: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

If the short versions of those steps are, ‘I can’t’ and ‘God can’ then the short version of step three is ‘I’ll let Him.’

If I think about ‘letting God’ do anything, it sounds ridiculous.  God can do anything He darn well pleases.  But, He does in fact, let us, let Him.  He is that loving.   Not only does he give me free will, he gives it to my addicted loved ones.  He is waiting on us.


My husband is an equine veterinarian.  And, when I think about the days when a horse is in the clinic, I know that if I have to go into the exam room while he is working, I usually always keep a careful distance as I approach from behind.  Then, I walk very slowly and quietly towards the horse and offer the back of my hand for him to sniff.

My goal for this animal, who is either sick, injured or uncertain of his new surroundings, is to allow him to get to know me a bit so that he can gain some confidence that I am not there to hurt him.  He will learn that by observing me and my movements.  I am not doing anything special that makes this happen, I am simply giving him an opportunity to learn that he is safe.  He will learn about the kind of person that I am as we build upon that first encounter.  And, I think that is what step three is all about.  It is about trust.  And trust, grows with every experience that we hand over.

The addictions of my family members have led me to the point of understanding that I can’t solve their addictions anymore than I can solve the host of problems that I have, without the help of God.  And, so I have had to work long and hard at building a friendship with ‘the god of my understanding’ who I happen to call God.

Like the horses that find themselves in my husband’s clinic, I pay attention.  I have become an avid observer of God in my life.  St. Ignatius tells us to look for God in all things.  I started to sit in silence with God and ask Him questions that I might ask a friend if they happened to be sitting in the room.  Why does this bother me?  What am I really afraid of?  What should I do?

Without fail, my thoughts will wander off to ideas that:  explain a situation that I didn’t understand before, straighten the path, allowing me to understand what my real fears are and give me hope by offering a new solution. Sometimes, I just have to wait.  Sometimes, I think that I am not given an answer right away because he is giving me the opportunity to stretch my ‘trust muscle’.

When I finally found the courage to make that decision that I was turning my will and my life over to the care of God, guess what happened?  Did all my problems dissolve?  No, but I received a sense of peace that everything would be alright for that day…actually for many days to come.

God loves us.  He delights in the fact that we come to him with ALL of our problems.  So, it is important to remember that we need to get up each day and remember that it isn’t a one time affair.  Each day, I need to get up and remember that I can’t and God can.  Then I make a new decision each day to let Him.

I’ve learned that these lessons carry over into every aspect of my life.  What about you?  Where has God helped you?

About The Author

Jean Heaton

I am a daughter, sister, aunt, mother and probably most notoriously, ‘the Vet’s wife’.

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