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After completing step 6 I had learned about each of my character weaknesses and I felt that the Lord wanted me to be fully aware of what these shortcomings were. I was grateful for my gradual healing that was still happening to my spirit, but I still felt very broken. I was willing to allow God to change me for the better. As I faced and listed each of my shortcomings and learned exactly what I needed to change I went to the Lord in sincere, fervent prayer and pleaded with him to remove them from my heart and mind. I took my hard, frustrated heart and tried to break it up with as much humility as I could find. I was willing to do anything if He could change my heart and keep healing me until I could become whole and empowered, filled with light. I understand now that he was preparing me to learn how to humble myself so that he could help me remove these character flaws.
Is relapse necessary for recovery? This is a question that I asked myself many times as I was working through my addiction and I am not sure as the answer to the question. Alma 32 talks about how there are two methods for becoming humble, the first is being compelled to be humble and the second is being humbled because of the word. In my case, I had to go through the vicious cycle of relapse and repentance in order to be compelled to be humble. I can honestly say, however, that every blessing I have received since my bout with addiction, can be traced directly to my recovery. My testimony of the atonement that I obtained during the recovery process was with me every step of my mission. It was with me every step of my college days. It has been with me every step of my marriage and fatherhood. To those that are going through the process... prepare for the change of a lifetime!
My prayers to Heavenly Father have been changing. I find myself asking more and more to forgive my unworthiness before Him and to help me to know His will for me. I feel His Spirit more as I pray and I find that I actually mean the words I say. When I've been asked to serve others, I've tried to do so without negative feelings or expectations of certain results. I've found each time that the Lord has given me opportunities for helping others for many reasons. He has shown me through answers to prayers and through others that I can, with His help, overcome these shortcomings and replace them with more worthy and upright traits and works. It is an ongoing step, but one that I am grateful for. He truly does pour out His blessings upon us, that there is not room enough to receive them!