During Launch Week, (December 9-15) for Doug Bender’s, Live Second, I have been asked to participate in writing four blog entries telling the story of my spiritual journey as it correlates with four separate entries from his book. Come along and experience … and learn why I live second.
Page 40 – Confession
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16
Hello, my name is …. I use to make fun of those words. How many times had I heard those words spoken on television? Losers, all of them. If they would just get it together ….
I certainly wasn’t a 12-stepper. How could I be? I was a deacon at my church. I was the glue that held my family together. I was the one who helped others. I certainly didn’t need the help. All the people around me were the ones with the problems. And besides, I loved Jesus. How could I have any problems if I was a Christian? Wasn’t life supposed to be better once I had a relationship with Christ?
But I was anything but in control of my life; I, in fact, was a real mess. And here I was, secretly attending a meeting that I heard might help.
I was in an emotional fog the first Thursday evening when I stepped into a 12-step meeting. It was in a private side room of a local church. The smell of strong coffee hung in the air as I listened to nondescript chit-chat before the meeting was called to order. Everyone refilled their drink and found their place in the circle of folding chairs.
As the leader began reading from a worn notebook, a hush fell over the room. After the reading of the Serenity Prayer, everyone took a turn introducing themselves, stating their compulsion, and sharing a bit about their week. I was surprised at the different walks of life that was represented in the room. There were professionals and laborers … mommies and grandpas.
When it was my turn, I just gave my name and said I was there to listen and learn. There’s no way I’m going to talk, I thought to myself. I’m not one of these whackos.
I don’t remember much about the discussion that followed. All I knew was that I wanted to get out of there; I wanted to return to the world that was familiar to me. Maybe, I thought, that world wasn’t really all that bad.
But as the days followed, I couldn’t get the 12-step meeting and the people I met there out of my mind. These people—these self-described failures—had a peace about them that I couldn’t explain. Especially a lady called D. Young, pretty, and confident. Why was she there? She appeared to be everything I wanted to be. And there was no mistaking the sense of peace around her. I reasoned that if I went back and just talked with her, she could share her secrets to finding this peace. As Thursday grew closer, I knew I needed to return to that meeting.
Like the week before, once everyone had their coffee, we all found our way to the circle of chairs. I made sure to sit by D, thinking that I could help glean her secret by proximity. Once the meeting started and the Serenity Prayer was read, people once again introduced themselves and their compulsion, and sharing their low points as well as their victories since the last meeting.
When it came to D, she began sharing how during the past week she had experienced—once again, she said—how she needed to trust God enough to share her brokenness with him. She shared how she tried to hold it together on her own—yet again—but it had proven to be impossible, just as it had been impossible in the past. She knew she had to share with the group—confess her shortcomings—if she was ever going to get her peace back. She needed to be honest—rigorously honest—with God and her trusted Family of Choice if she was ever going to have what she wanted.
I knew at that moment that I had walked into a safe place where I could learn to be honest as I had never been before. I knew I was where I needed to be to learn more about giving control over to God. I didn’t know how it would happen, but I realized in that moment that I would need to be second …
Hello, my name is Robin and I’m … co-dependent.
Follow me as I discovered why I did what I did … and who was really my master. Follow me as I learned to live second.
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