28 March 2012

Step Two

Step 2 is HOPE. 

To muster any motivation to go forward having accepted that this addiction is part of my life and that it was making my life unmanageable as I tried to control Pete and his behavior, I had to dig deep for hope.

I remember several years ago after an incident in my family that caused great heartache my mom asked me "Well, do we believe what we say we believe?"  If we do- we have to move on, move forward, acknowledge that God IS there. 

So if I really believed what I said I believed I had every reason to hope that there was happiness and peace in my future.  At the time, those things seemed conditional upon Pete and his choices, but Step 2 taught me that "the power of God can restore me." 

"He can bring peace to our souls regardless of what others are doing."

For awhile I couldn't fathom HOW God was going to do that, without "fixing" Pete, but I knew that because of what I believe I was ready to hope that he COULD.  So what did that mean for me? President Uchtdorf says:

 "Hope is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm and patient perseverance."

How can I feel those things when my natural inclination is to be distrustful, discouraged and pessimistic?

The manual suggests:

"As we take actions that bring us to Christ, the Lord's grace enables us to develop hopeful thoughts and emotions." 

I think the key words are that we must "take actions."  Which actions are most productive will be different for everyone, but for me I became a sponge for spiritual insights.  I read the scriptures and other uplifting books.  I talked to people, I prayed, I served. 

At one of my first few group meetings someone shared the following scriptures.  I'm going to type them as she read them, because as she read them I felt HOPE.  It is from Mosiah 24:10-16

And it came to pass that so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God.

And [Jane and her sisters] did pour out their hearts to him, and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.

And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions saying, Lift up your heads and be of good comfort...

And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you can not feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage, and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I the Lord God do visit my people in their afflictions. 

And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon [Jane and her sisters] were made light; yea the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord"

I know sometimes it seems impossible to be cheerful and patient, and as President Monson says, sometimes all we can do is say "I'll try again tomorrow."  But it IS possible, as President Uchtdorf says:

"As we draw near to Heavenly Father, we become more holy.  And as we become more holy, we will overcome disbelief and our souls will be filled with His blessed light."

1 comment:

  1. Hope. This was such a difficult step for me especially after acknowledged that I was powerless. Hope can be difficult to find after such an enormous loss. I think I felt and continue to feel loss in all different aspects of my life and hope can be difficult to weave into all the losses we experience. But it does come, I think i found that this in My path and I found some ownership and hope in following my feet not his.