God's will? How do we know what God's will for us is and what if it is not what I want or what I think is right?
In recovery, I really struggled with this question. I have a strong faith and do believe that God wants the best for me but why, when I've always had this faith had he let me get in such a horrible position and let me hurt so many people? I struggle a lot with how bad it got and yes, I do believe that stuff happens for a reason but why has so much stuff happened to me when others get away with it? Well, firstly I am an addict which puts me at a huge disadvantage as living with active addiction is not living, especially not living God's way! The addiction takes over and that is what makes you as a person. You may be a master at deceiving people as I was but it's not a deliberate dishonesty, it is a compulsion that turns into even more than that. It became for me, something that I needed in order to live, like food and air and water. I was so far in that regardless of my strong faith and belief, I had to go my way, my illness guided me there. Of course I'm going to ignore God, he would want me not to drink, not to be an alcoholic. And this is what happened. For too long I ignored God's will because it seemed too difficult and as no one knew the truth, I could go on doing what I was doing. Starting my recovery was really where my faith had to be strong. At the begging I prayed lots but my prayers were for God's will with a few clauses and requirement. I would ask for his will then try to convince him that I have to make my marriage work. I would do the old bargining thing like I'd stay sober if I could have everything I'd lost back. it sounds ludicrous and it is but that's what I thought I needed, I couldn't see how my situation would ever improve. So, time went on and I came to the sad realisation that my marriage was over, I should have known earlier but the pain was strong and the denial was rife. I accepted that but there were so many logistical things that needed sorting out. I was uncertain to the point of blindness about my short term, let alone my long term, future. I did the divorce thing, stayed sober one agonising day at a time until the days started to be ok, after many months I even had some pleasent moments. I'd not felt true joy or even laughed for years but bits and bobs were coming back. I reached a point where I accepted my situation and realised how sad I had been, now I was beginning to feel happy again. I didn't want to go back there, I wanted to go forward and in my heart, I knew God had forgiven me and would show me step by step where I was going. I let go and prayed as I still do for God to show me his will for me and to help me to carry it out. That letting go, that faith, paid off and a year down the line I am at college, I feel secure and safe where I live despite living directly above a bar! I don't need to drink when God's guiding me because life is good and it will continue to be good. I realise now that I had to get married and everything in order for me to wake up and tackle the addiction, it was the only way, I see that now. It's sad but it was a means to an end. I like doing God's will now and I live my life in a good and honest way, all I can do is pray that God will show me the next right thing, then I'll do it, that's the alcoholfreeme.com
“We know that if we pray for God’s will we will receive what is best for us, regardless of what we think.”
Basic Text, p. 46
By the time we came to NA, our inner voices had become unreliable and self-destructive. Addiction had warped our desires, our interests, our sense of what was best for ourselves. That’s why it’s been so important in recovery to develop our belief in a Power greater than ourselves, something that could provide saner, more reliable guidance than our own. We’ve begun learning how to rely on this Power’s care and to trust the inner direction it provides us.
As with all learning processes, it takes practice to “pray only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.” The selfish, ego-driven attitudes we developed in our addiction are not cast off overnight. Those attitudes may affect the way we pray. We may even find ourselves praying something like, “Relieve me of this character defect so I can look good.”
The more straightforward we are about our own ideas and desires, the easier it will be to distinguish between our own will and our Higher Power’s will. “Just for your information, God,” we might pray, “here’s what I want in this situation. Nonetheless, I ask that your will, not mine, be done.” Once we do this, we are prepared to recognize and accept our Higher Power’s guidance.
Just for today: Higher Power, I’ve learned to trust your guidance, yet I still have my own ideas about how I want to live my life. Let me share those ideas with you, and then let me clearly understand your will for me. In the end, let your will, not mine, be done.