Step 3 – It’s Just A Decision!

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.  (*)

Step 3 is scary for many, even those who have some sort of belief in a higher power. For me the issue was one of control. It felt like I was asking a total unknown to take over my life and run it.  I was afraid I’d never get to do anything I wanted to do. I was sure, that I’d end up celibate running a rehab house.

Because I really didn’t want to drink again and because my sponsor assured me Step 3 only required I make a decision, I did state that I had decided to turn my will and my life over to whatever. It was the only course I could see after having accepted my insanity in Step 2.

Decide to be willing

Actually, my sponsor asked me a series of questions more or less like this:

“Do you,” he asked, and yes, I had a male sponsor which is another story,  “have any doubts you’re powerless over alcohol and drugs?”

“No,” I answered know I really had taken Step 1.

“Do you have any evidence you’re any good at managing your own life?”

“No,” I answered well aware that the evidence showed I didn’t.”

“Do you believe in God?”

“Well,” I stammered, “something got me here, but… ”

He stopped me as I started to waffle. “So you do believe in something, even if you don’t know what it is or what it means to you at the moment.”

I nodded, which was apparently enough.

“And you have a sense that that ‘something’ is what got you to AA, right?”

“Yes, in fact I’m sure of it,” glad we had moved away from any definition of a high power.

“Do you think, perhaps, that something might help you not drink, at least one day at a time? And maybe help you with some other issues?”

Tears of relief started and it was the first time I had some hope that this 12 Step program might work for me as I’d seen it work for others. I nodded and sniffled.

In a gentler tone, he asked, “are you willing to give it a try?”

I was and I still am.

Which is what Step 3 is really about – being and staying willing. Willing to trust that there’s more going on in this universe than we can see and that there is something, an energy, a spirit, a source, a higher power, that we can open to and that will help guide us in truly self-supportive ways.

In fact, it’s really about making a decision to become willing. I found I wasn’t able to do much turning over until Step 7; all I could do at Step 3 was make a decision to become willing. Not so hard to do afterall.

Oh, and all those worst fears? They didn’t even come close to coming true.

What’s been your experience with Step 3?

Love and blessings,

Anne W. Powerfully Recovered


Ginger October 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Once I saw miracles working in my life, I was able to make a continuingly deeper commitment of turning my will and life to the care of God. When I get too caught up in the chaos of life, I am reigned into sanity by my group, my sponsees, my sponor by them reminding me of this commitment. Thank you, God

annew October 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Love the phrase, “I am reigned into sanity…” Excellent way to describe it.

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