Step 1 in the 12-Step process of Celebrate Recovery (and maybe every 12-Step; I’m only familiar with CR) is “We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.”
It’s an ongoing theme in my life lately. On all sorts of levels, from tiny, seemingly insignificant details to flash flooding, I am reminded that I can make all sorts of plans that don’t matter. I am being shown daily that I am not in control. I can fight it or I can submit but the general outcome is the same…my life is not my own.
I started attending a recovery group again last week because, well, it’s time. My life is full of the same stresses that most people have – work, family, budgets, schedules, health – and yet I have been living like a whirlwind of chaos. I have not being caring for myself for several weeks. Newly adopted habits of health and self-care flew out the window faster than I could say co-dependent. I had forgotten the steps. No, I hadn’t forgotten. I had run away from them.
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Romans 7:18
I can make all the plans and do all the things and try to be the master of my life except that I can’t. I keep trying. I keep failing. I lift my arms and say boldly, “It’s all for you, Jesus!” and then I bring my arms down and pull all the things back to my heart. I want to give up control but I don’t do it.
So it is not with shame but instead love for myself, my family, my friends, and my Savior, that I say, “Hi. My name is Tamara. I struggle with control.”
I’m ready to give it up. I’m ready to rest in the arms of my God, who knows the steps ahead of me. I cannot control my family, their decisions, their reactions, their lives. I cannot control my friends or anything about their lives. I cannot control my coworkers, the people at the grocery store, the moms of my kids friends, or anyone else that comes across my path. I cannot manipulate people into behaving in a way that is favorable to me. I cannot feed or soothe my frustrations in outcomes with food or shopping or any other activity. I am powerless in overcoming these behaviors on my own and desperately need Jesus.