What’s Your Thing?…

breaking free

We were all at church this past Sunday, my Honey, our babies and the youngest baby’s girl and the messages have all been focused on the 12 Steps this month.  This week we had gotten to Steps 4 and 5.  Years ago, I attended a recovery group at our church in Michigan and since then I’ve realized it is an essential part of growing for EVERYONE, not just those people, because we are ALL those people.  When I first started going to the meetings back then I remember feeling like I didn’t really belong because I was not as screwed up as most of the other people at the meetings.  I’m not an alcoholic, or a child molester. I’m not a recovering drug addict or a cleptomaniac. My life seemed pretty Holly, Molly, Polly to me back then. I kept attending because I trusted friends that encouraged me to go.  When we moved, I was surprised to find that the churches we attended in Texas weren’t really familiar with the program outside of AA.  It was something I wanted to continue when I came here seven years ago.   It was a lot of HARD work that I led to great peace, but over the years I’ve become complacent and gotten pretty good at remaining anonymous.  So, I’m full of mixed emotions now that I have no excuses because my church is all in about this ministry, and now I am completely aware that I am just as screwed up as everyone else.

After church we went to this yummy, cheap Mexican restaurant with our three youngest, plus Aaron’s significant other. Just as an aside, the whole meal for 6 of us cost $35.00 and was delish!  We started talking about church and asking each other what we thought our “thing” was – and reminding each other that if you think you don’t have a “thing,” then denial is probably your “thing.”  (I’m sure Aaron’s girlfriend was thrilled about this discussion!) A couple of people asked to have “thing” redefined.  “It’s what holds you back, what gets in the way of you being who God means for you to be,” someone said.  If you can’t think of what yours is, you are supposed to ask those closest to you, because they definitely will have an answer for you. We’re helpful like that, aren’t we?!  I reverted to several years ago and tried to think of a “REALLY BAD” thing (UGH!).  Of course, when I couldn’t think of one, my daughter said, “Mom, you KNOW what your thing is,” and then gave me “that” look.

Several seconds passed while I racked my brain. (Is that how you spell r-a-c-k?…)
OH, yeah…  I shut my kids down, in the name of “respect me because I’m your mom” and treat them with no respect when I feel threatened or insecure… Now I remember…

and I remember the other thing that was said at church was that step 4 was the most difficult –  because you have to honestly face your junk and you have to do it continually.  I’m confessing right here and now that because I have previously admitted that I do that to my children, I had kind of put it away.  I wish it was because I’m over it and I won’t ever do it again, but I’m pretty sure it was because I just don’t want to look at it anymore and I want to think I’m all better… Yeah, no… I need to work on being so defensive.

The next step is making amends.  I’ve admitted this to my children.  I’ve even apologized to some degree…  I mean when I do this it is because one of my children is being a disrespectful brat and I’ve had enough…  Doesn’t that make it a little bit okay for me to raise my voice and shut him/her down?…


Hmmmm, I’ve got some work to do, more submitting to Him, more confessing to them and sincere apologizing.

Now I know why these two steps are so difficult and SO necessary. I also realize that it’s important for me to follow through with these steps continually throughout my life if I want my children to be all that He means for them to be. I want to be an example to my children and to my grandbabies. I want them to respect me because I’m transparent, and after God’s heart.
I wish we could just line up the “junk” and work on it for a couple of weeks and then be completely clean! Wouldn’t that be the BOMB?! Wrap it all up in a nice box with a pretty bow and move on to Eden…

My pre-step, Step 0, as it were, is to find a 12 Step small group to be a part of. Right now that feels as huge as steps 4 and 5 combined. I know that this is an answer to prayer on a couple of levels, so I’m going to try to shed my complacent skin (another one of my “things”) and follow His lead. He knows what I need more than I do and I really want to be in His will. I’m pretty okay with answered prayers for the most part, too…

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