I was doing step work with my sponsor last night and we were working on step three. For those of you who are not familiar, step three is “(We) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him”. I have always had a love/hate relationship with AA and the God issue in particular. Much like Christianity, there is the potential for AA groups to have a fundamentalist bent. I naturally recoiled at the thought of turning my will and life over to God, particularly in the beginning, for several reasons. Number one, the God I knew from my childhood was judging, vengeful, and capricious, and I had long since decided He was not someone / something I would entrust with the guidance of my life. Number two, I have always felt like I had to do everything on my own and it is incredibly difficult for me to ask for help to this day. So faced with these prejudices, step three was and is difficult for me to navigate. When I initially went through the steps ten years ago, I was so desperate that I honestly cannot remember my thought process at the time. I just knew I was willing to do anything to stay sober. This time, however, with a new sponsor, I was once again faced with this dilemma. With a clearer head and years of sobriety under my belt, I found myself being quite resistant once again to the idea of asking God for help. My new sponsor had me write on one side of the page the characteristics of the God I was raised with, and on the other the traits of the God I wanted to believe in. As we sat in his truck and I faced the page in front of me, I wept. I wept because it was still so hard for me to accept that maybe the concept of the God I grew up with was wrong, and that I could at least entertain the possibility that there was actually infinite love for me to tap into instead. Even after all these years away from the church, the ideas and beliefs I internalized as a child still have at least a tenuous grip on my soul. I wept for the child that had to endure this indoctrination, and I wept for the years of depression, addiction, and even sobriety spent feeling so alone and spiritually disconnected. I am still not sure exactly what I think about the whole God idea… But I am so grateful I have moved to a place in my life where I have a community of friends and family to support me as I redefine my spirituality apart from fundamentalism.