Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
I think this step is an extension of all the steps that have come before this. It is also a preparation for the steps that come next.
Up to this point we have had to identify that we have a problem so that we can fix the problem. We have believed and decided that a higher power can (and will) restore us to sanity. We have Surrendered to that higher power. We have begun to learn introspection, identifying who we are, what we think, and how we feel. Then we admitted the wrongs done to us and by us to God himself.
This step requires us to be ready for God to begin the process of making us better. We’ve opened many (if not all) of our boxes that hold the difficult things in our lives. Now, we need to heal. We can’t heal ourselves. We’ve helped with the breaking. God heals us.
But, he is a gentleman. He won’t do it until we’re ready and until we ask him to do so. This step is where we make ready to heal our broken parts.
Those broken parts are the need for human love that takes over all the other parts. It is also the part where we try to fix other people. It is the part where we latch on inexplicably and don’t want to let go because maybe it will be different this time. It’s the irrational part that sees jealously and control as love. It’s the part that believes his fist won’t connect with our faces again because he loves us, he cried in front of us, and he can’t live without us.
Now is the time to get ready. Ready for what? What does ready look like? What will happen next?
I think it looks different for everyone. Imagine, if you will, a runner in a marathon. We only see the runner at the starting line, with the tag on their shirt, wearing appropriate clothing, and stretching their legs or warming up. But, that’s not where the race begins.
The race begins months or years before the date that they stand at that starting line. That person must begin with a decision. The required decision is to get ready to run the marathon. Then there are months of practice, training, sweating, and growing. There is pain along the way. Maybe identifying some weaknesses. There’s a lot of effort on a daily basis.
This decision is where this step is. In step seven, we get humble and ask God to remove our defects. But, here, we get ready. It looks like introspection. It looks like admissions. It looks like surrender. It looks like prayer and trying to see love as it really is. It looks like learning who God says you are. It looks like quiet time in the morning or evening. It looks like trying to see yourself as you really are instead of how the world says you are. Instead of who the world says you should be. It looks like trying to accept love in its many different forms.
I’ve been doing recovery for a long time now. This past January was twelve years of recovery for me. That is more than 4600 days. It’s over 400 weeks. But every few weeks, every few months, God seems to reveal to me another defect of my character.
I’ve had to pray for months to forgive several people in my life so that I can move on. It became a chapter in my book. I’ve had to pray for years for God to help me with my anger and my temper because it harms my relationships and does not present a life worthy of God’s grace. I have had to pray to feel God’s love and mercy and grace in my heart and all the way to my very soul. I have had to pray for weeks for God to heal my broken parts. I pray for more faith and better stewardship.
All of these are in process of healing. I am certain that God will reveal to me more areas where I need to get better, do better, be better. Each time I will have to look to him to begin fixing those broken parts. I will have to go through a process to attain the goal.
But, see what they all have in common? What they all have in common is that the problem has to be identified and then the decision has to be made to fix it. Only then, will God even begin to work his miracles in your life. Just as the decision has to be made to run the marathon, the decision has to be made to get better.
Some anonymous seem to pray – I don’t want to do drugs, drink, live a life of crime, etc. and then they are suddenly fixed. They turn away from their wrongdoing and their entire lives are changed; different from that point on.
For most anonymous, it’s not that simple. We begin seven thousand times over. We seem to falter and roam before finding the path to redemption. We get things mixed up and don’t seem to understand quickly. I can identify with this anonymous best.
My path was a long winding road filled with many mistakes. Initially, I thought that if a man just didn’t hit me, it was okay. It was better as long as he didn’t hit me. But, I had no idea who God said I was. I only knew the lies that I’d been led to believe. So, I picked liars, cheaters, and beaters because of those lies.
I thought I was not beautiful inside or outside. I thought this was the best I could ever hope for. I believed that this time would be different. I thought if I gave my body then I would get what I wanted. At the base of all of these, I thought that I was unlovable, undeserving of love. I would get entangled in situations that said they were love but were definitely not love. Those situations would mimic the version of love that I saw in movies and read in books, but they didn’t feel like love. I would always be left yearning for something more.
When I spent a couple years partnered up with God, things changed. I began to read about what love looks like and then I began to feel what love looked like. Only then was I prepared to understand and live into what love looks like.
That’s what this step is all about. It’s about becoming. It’s getting prepared to become who you were meant to be. It’s about making a decision to be different and to be better. It’s about preparing to hear the love story God has written about you.
When I lived into that space, having spent years in preparation for those moments. I heard God speak into my soul that I am his daughter in a way that was meant for me personally. When you prepare, in this step, for the next step you will begin to hear the story that God has written for you too. That’s what all these twelve steps are about. Becoming the best version of who God has made you to be.
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