The second step says, “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
The first time I tried to do this step, I was filled with anger. How could I be restored to sanity, if I had never experienced it in the first place? I wasn’t a young girl whose sexuality had shifted into overdrive at fifteen, or a women who discovered the need to have control in sexual situations after being date-raped at 28. There are many women (and men) who have led perfectly normal lives until something flipped that internal switch that sunk them into the whirlpool of addiction. But I wasn’t one of them.
I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t “sexualized.” I was molested from the earliest age I can remember- about two years old. I started acting out by the time I was five. I was in the icy grips of obsession and compulsion so early, that it is woven into the fiber of who I have always been. In addition to that, I was raised in utter chaos, being physically and emotionally abused on a daily basis. Nothing was “sane.” I was powerless from the get go.
So, when I was told that I could be “restored to sanity,” I was angry. Was this a joke? Did it mean that I couldn’t be helped, since there was no foundation of sanity in my life? And by the way, what kind if “power greater than myself” would allow me to go through all of that in the first place? Plus, even if God could bring sanity into my life, why would He choose to at such a late stage?
I have always believed in God, but I haven’t always trusted Him. I’ve been plagued by the constant whys and what nexts. I didn’t understand why God would love me, in specific. I’ll write more about that soon. For now, suffice it to say the it was a long journey to make peace with God. I’m still on it, really, and probably always will be. But this step, “We came to believe…” was fundamental in that journey.
So, how did I get through step 2, the first time around? I went back to the beginning. I mean way back to the very beginning. At some point, there was a blueprint for my life, just like there had been for Adam and Eve. God never intended for death or sorrow or pain to be a part of their lives. He created them for enjoyment and loving relationship. But He also created them with free will. And the exercise of that will in opposition to His perfect plan brought chaos and brokenness into their lives. Into the world.
A perfect blueprint of God’s design for me was there in the very beginning. God designed me beautifully distinct, with certain gifts and talents, certain opportunities, certain passions, certain dreams. And he gave me free will. Likewise, he gave the people around me free will. And they exercised it at me and on me, imprinting their sickness onto my little heart, where eventually I nurtured it and allowed it to grow to the point where it seemed like I had no choices anymore- like I had never really had a choice.
One day, while wrestling with this step, I was lying in my bed, imagining what it would be like to have my children taken away from me and put into the care of a family who would rape and beat them and tear them apart emotionally, until they were as lost as I was. I imagined knowing in advance that this would happen, but being forced to willingly hand them over, loving them desperately, wanting to intervene, but being bound not to.
Then, I imagined God placing me into the womb of the mother who would crush my spirit, knowing that she would marry the man who would be the first to steal my innocence. I imagined how he must have felt, knowing that He had to allow them to exercise free will, knowing how their choices would rip a gorge between His heart and mine. I was stunned.
I’m not saying that God never intervened in my life. To the contrary, I am quite confident that I could have died any number of times growing up, or completely lost my mind, or become a nasty, bitter shrew. But somehow, probably over and over, He stood in the gap to preserve my little heart and life. I believe that he felt every single blow, whether it was physical, verbal or sexual, at least as strongly as I did. I believe He cradled me in His grieving arms on the hundreds of nights when I sobbed myself to sleep. And I believe that His justice will someday be served.
But I digress. We’re talking about being restored to sanity. I choose to believe that God is slowly restoring me to that original blueprint- that perfect, beautiful, gifted, joyful woman he lovingly intended for me to be. He is restoring me to my original “conception”- the stunning concept of me that was born out of pure love in His heart. And He is still with me, doing for me what I could not do for myself. He is restoring me to sanity.