“If I hadn’t heeded the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I too would still be blind to the crazy contradictions between my beliefs and my behaviors.” – from the Celebrate Recovery Bible, Janet’s Story
I had been taking a Celebrate Recovery Step Study class at my church and was four months in when I heard that line. As I had been strengthening my faith and was believing more and more in God and His love for me, I was also slipping further into a the guilty cycle of alcoholism and denial. Then, one day in class, we read Janet’s story out of the Celebrate Recovery bible. That last line was what did me in.
“The crazy contradictions between my beliefs and my behaviors.”
I had been living those crazy contradictions forever. I had been spending months in the class strengthening my faith. That alone alone was weakening my ability to live a double life. It was that line that described the insanity of my alcoholism. It was that line that saved my life. It was that line that took the tiny sliver of willingness in my heart and ripped it wide open. A week later I admitted my powerlessness over alcohol.
Since then I’ve recognized many more contradictions in my life. I can tell you I’m compassionate but I really have a hard time tolerating annoying family members. I want you to think that I’m full of humility but on the inside I want you to know I’m a bad ass writer, super proud of my accomplishments and will gladly accept any and all forms of flattery. I want you to think I’m secure in my sense of self and don’t care what you think about me when in reality, your opinion does affect me. I want to be physically fit but still binge on Peanut M&Ms.
Crazy contradictions still exist in my life and probably always will. But today I know how to spot them. And more importantly, I know what to do about them. I know that I can turn to God, to my awesome higher power and say, “Hey Big Daddy, I’m kind of faking it here, feeling a little like a fraud. I could really use your gentle guidance, or, if you see fit, a good, hard shove to get me closer to reconciling my behaviors with my beliefs.”
Yeah, I could say that. Or, I could just say, “God, please help me be more like the person I know you want me to be.” And that’s enough. Because as long as I have willingness, even just a teeny, tiny, sliver of willingness, God can get in there and do His thing.