God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time enjoying one moment at a time accepting hardships as the pathway to peace taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it trusting that he will make all things right if I surrender to his will that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with him forever in the next amen
A slightly different version of the serenity prayer was adopted by 12 step group therapy but I’m not sure why, I did not take liberty with this prayer. It is written here in full. Every word rings true and would be a useful tool to have memorized and able to repeat several times a day.
It is projected that in Minnesota this year 2018 that there will be more accidental overdoses than fatalities in car accidents. Our country is in the grip of an epidemic, and I have a story to tell of my own, down the dark, twisted hopelessly lonely place that addiction takes you. I’ve lost everything including my daughters Zoe and Sierra, my husband, my home; I’ve been arrested, been in detox and rehab countless times; I’ve been addicted to cocaine, heroin, alcohol, cigarettes, benzos ,meth and used psychedelics liberally, as well as several research chemicals such as MDMA or ecstasy, Ketamine, DOC, DMT, and I could go on. To anyone who knew me – including myself – I was gone and there was no coming back, but because I put my faith in Jesus and what I read in his Word, passages like Romans 8:38, “For I am certain that neither life nor death, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” I had ears to hear and I believed. And because of that the Lord has delivered me, through the help of the 12 step program penned by Dr. Bob and Bill in 1939, whom I truly believe were divinely inspired when they developed the program known as AA and now the many spin offs like NA, CA, CR and others, but one thing all these groups have in common is the 12 steps. In the first edition of The Big Book there is no mention of a higher power, that came later; they wrote the names Lord, God, and Jesus. Later on in the fourth edition it was changed to higher power, maybe because of political reasons; but regardless, all groups I mentioned – and many I didn’t – all say that the solution is a spiritual one. Step 2 says, “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Once you realize you’re an addict (which I think, if we are, we all know very early on) the very next step is to become aware that you are not in control, you cannot “sober up” on self-will, and it’s not all your fault. There are so many recovering addicts saying the same thing: “A miracle has occurred;” “I don’t want to use anymore;” “The compulsion is gone no matter life circumstances.” Unless you think everyone is delusional or lying that opens the door to the possibility of miracles, and no one has ever come up with a better way to explain this phenomenon except for the existence of God. I might not be where I want, but I’m so far from where I was. And now God continues to work on me every day, to mold my character. As I make space for Him he creates a new person, someone that I was intended to be. On page 24 of the NA basic text it says that, “We talked and listened to others. We saw other people recovering, and they told us what worked for them. We began to see evidence of some power that could not be fully explained. Confronted with this evidence, we began to accept the existence of a power greater than ourselves.” I want to suggest that the power greater than ourselves is Jesus, and to deny that will only prolong suffering. Spiritual sickness needs the power of God to break strongholds over our life. A higher power such as mindfulness can be very useful, but that is not evidence of a higher power; we would really be worshiping a technique or our own thoughts. We could try to use the group or NA as our higher power, but what if the group fails somehow, you don’t agree, or people relapse together? You could choose a mate, friend, or family member, but what if they leave or die? The examples go on and on. The only “higher power,” something that Bill and Dr. Bob knew, is Jesus Christ. That is not the same as religion, or a God that’s angry with you; but Jesus, who is the embodiment of a loving, caring, power greater than ourselves.
I didn’t get here overnight, and my story is painful to recall but let me try to convince you that your deliverance is at hand.