By: Staci Stallings
We have reached the end of our steps today. I thank you for reading these posts. They have certainly been enlightening for me
Here are the first 11 Steps:
- Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
- Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
- Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
- Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
- Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
- Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
- Step 7 – Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
- Step 8 – Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
- Step 9 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
- Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
- Step 11 – Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out
And Step 12 is:
Step 12 – Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs
My daughters and I teach Sunday School. My oldest loves sign language and doing hand motions to songs. So I let her choose the songs we will do, and she gets to teach the kids the motions. The last several classes she chose the Casting Crowns song, “Until the Whole World Hears.”
In that song, the lyrics say:
I wanna be Your hands and feet
I wanna live a life that leads
Until the whole world hears.
And I pray that they will see
More of You and less of me
Until the whole world hears…
I think this final step is about that process–when you have begun the road of healing and you become a beacon for others. In AA this is to other alcoholics, and I think it starts with the classic, “Hello, my name is Bill, and I’m an alcoholic.”
Spiritually it begins when you stop thinking about yourself and your struggles and pain and begin to use what you have learned to help others. This may be out loud by choosing to join the choir or reading. But often it is much quieter… in the loving hug that says, “I’ve been there, and it’s going to get better.” It’s in the conversation with a struggling friend or in the notes of encouragement you send to someone who is having a tough time of it.
Much like the AA process, what you learn at the “end” is that there is no “end.” Life is life, and it is going to keep throwing challenges at you. They might be big — like decisions of what to do with your life or whether to accept that new job offer. They may be smaller like recognizing your child has had a hard day and sitting with them to talk.
But I was reminded the other day about what Andy Andrews says, “Everything you do, every single thing–big or small–makes a difference.”
It’s true. Listening to your child makes a difference, but so does not listening to your child. Making time to be with a friend makes a difference, so does not making time.
All of those choices point your life in a direction, and they are signposts for others as well.
So if you want to live a life that leads, learn to base that life on GOD, not on yourself. Recognize that you need Jesus in your life. Go through the steps, and then when you have found peace and joy that only God can give… then you can give that to others.
I will be back on Monday with new lessons I have learned while writing this series. Thanks for following along!
Some books are entertaining. Others challenge our faith and inspire growth. And still others touch our hearts on a deeper level. Then, there are the rare books that do all of the above. Those are the great books.
Lucky by Staci Stallings is a great book. Staci has woven this love story like a fine tapestry.
Kalin and Danae are colorful, real characters. Readers will instantly connect with them and have to keep reminding themselves they are only characters. Her scenes are real, her descriptions rich and the emotions of the characters are felt within the heart of the reader. Each character faces a personal inner darkness that threatens to ambush every success in life. The darknesses mingle as the two characters meet and begin a slow journey of the heart.
As the weaver of a tapestry must use dark threads to bring out the detail and beauty of the colors in the picture, Staci uses the darkness in the lives of Kalin and Danae. A finished tapestry shows a beauty that would not exist without the black threads. And the same is true in the lives of Kalin and Danae. We travel with them as God weaves through their black to give them more than they could ever ask or imagine, something Staci calls ‘X-better.’ Staci Stallings was able to use the darkness in their lives to bring out the detail of God’s grace and the beauty of true love.