When I was new to recovery, I would call my sponsor and complain about circumstances and how hard it was to stay abstinent. My sponsor would suggest that I get a bigger God. It took me a while to really understand what she meant; I believed in God, but realized I wasn’t able to trust him. Through working the Steps, going to meetings, and talking to OA members, I learned to allow my HP to love me, just as I learned to love myself, and I did find a bigger God.
I set aside my old way of thinking of God for a new way of thinking: I now call my God “love.” This helped me get around the limitations and expectations of the God I was raised with. When I renamed him, my concept of God grew. True love has no limits, no judgements, no shame. When I pray, saying “love” instead of “God,” I feel a deep connection. It works for me. I love the fact that we all get to have our own concepts of a Higher Power, and I have never had a problem working with people of different faiths.
Currently, my husband and I are living in Delhi, India. There are few OA meet- ings here, so telephone meetings are my lifeline. I am blessed to have a new sponsee in this country. She shared with me her frustration with food and weight gain, so I shared about my OA recovery and abstinence. She asked me to sponsor her.
When I first told her about the Second and Third Steps, she said she could not do them, because she had lost faith in her God long ago. I said, “Let’s just start with Step One.” We worked through the Doctor’s Opinion (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., pp. xxv–xxxii) and Step One in the literature, and then I had her listen to recorded meetings about Steps Two and Three. She realized she had been treating her HP as a Santa Claus — not the same as having faith. We had some very interesting conversations about God, so I learned a lot about her religion and its teachers. We didn’t have any conflicts in discussing our faith in our loving Higher Powers. We have plans to go to her temple together so she can do a ceremony there to turn her will and life over to the care of her God as she understands him.
I love the fact that we all get to have our own concepts of a Higher Power.
If you are struggling to nd a concept of a Higher Power, don’t give up. Listen to your heart. Listen to others. Spend time in nature. Be willing to go to any lengths to find your own Higher Power. We are told to be honest, open, and willing. When I did this, I found a Higher Power big enough to keep me abstinent, one day at a time.
~ Bonnie O., Gig Harbor, Washington USA