Monday, February 25, 2013

Trusting in Recovery

I asked my husband to write his thoughts about trust.

Here we go :) I love him!

Trust is so hard, especially for someone who is not trustworthy. For half of my life, I lived a lie. I kept my addiction, my feelings, my fears, my worries away from everyone. I met with each of my bishops during this time, but even then I never really gave them everything. It was hard to trust them fully, because to trust them fully would mean to expose my vulnerability, that gaping, filthy wound that never seemed to heal.

As I first took step 3, it scared me. "[I] was convinced by past experiences that making a definite commitment was nearly impossible...[I] had seen too many commitments broken. [I] had broken too many [myself]." I was absolutely terrified of putting my trust in Him by giving Him my will.


I asked myself that question a lot. And here are the answers I came up with:

1) I'm not going to change. I'm just going to keep disappointing God and my wife.
2) It's too hard.

As much as I hated everything about my addiction, recovery meant more than just abstinence. It meant conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a lifelong process. It meant I would need to start putting more effort into my scripture study, my prayers, family home evening, my calling, home teaching, etc.

In short, I would have to become the opposite of what I was. And that takes a lot of effort. It's hard. But when I read this step, this stood out to me: "When we took step 3, we faced the truth that recovery was far more the result of the Lord's efforts than our own. Step 3 was a decision to allow God to recover and redeem us."

I had to read it a few times to understand what it was saying. I thought to myself, so you're saying that I don't need to do this? All I need to do is trust you? Now obviously it's a little more complex than that, but that is exactly what it boils down to. All I needed to do was give God my will and trust that He would change me. So I did it.

And I failed.

I did it again. And failed again.

I don't know how many times I have failed over the years. Hundreds. Probably thousands. But all the Lord requires of me is that I keep picking myself up and trying. He knows exactly how hard it is. And the greatest miracle of it all is that His hand is still outstretched. There's no judgment there. No condemnation. Just love, pure and unconditional.

I've finally got a good string of "sobriety", as we call it. And it feels amazing. I got to have a temple recommend interview with my bishop yesterday, and when he asked me how I've done it, I could only look back to this step. I trusted better. I started doing things in my life to show God that I trusted that His way is the better way. I started studying my scriptures more. I started doing other Gospel study more. I started trying to have more faith, hope and charity. When temptations would come, I would pray and ask Him to take them away. That's all. And it worked. It worked! No willpower necessary. Just prayer and faith. And I love Him for that.

Trusting in recovery is hard. It's hard to trust that God can really do it for you. It's sometimes even harder to want to accept it. After all, you got yourself into this mess, why should He have to be the one to dig you out of it? But that's all about pride, and that's another discussion.

Basically, what I want to say is that, just like my wife has said several times, you have the choice and you have to choose to trust God. And trusting Him isn't just saying the words. It takes a lot of effort. But oh my goodness it's worth it. It's worth having the peace and the hope. It's worth knowing that we're finally growing together rather than apart. It's worth feeling that I just may have a shot at this eternal marriage thing with this wonderful woman. There's a joy with that last bit that is absolutely indescribable. And that is all because I made that decision to trust. Not just once, but time after time until it stuck. 

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