I had an epiphany recently - I realized that I don't have all the answers. Although my life has transformed over the past couple of years in ways and directions that nobody could have foreseen or predicted I feel the journey has just begun. I traversed from a long term marriage, long term parenthood, and a holey (yes, I spelled that correctly - holey, meaning full of holes) Christian faith to a divorced, empty nested and drowning Christian. That was only the beginning. Next I went on to rise like a phoenix with a renewed and much better love of God, a renewed, and much better relationship with my husband (ex-husband according to the civil courts), a new home that is open and available to children and strangers alike, and a new passion to give back and share the hope and healing that only God can provide. My new life is one that is based on a desire to be holy (spelled right again, holy- belonging to God) and sharing the way with others. I still have a long way to go to get where I am going one step at a time.
My own miracle, my (ex) husband's miracle, and many other miracles have been found through the 12 step program at a local church sponsored ministry called Celebrate Recovery. Since those 12 steps, based on the eight principles adopted from the beatitudes helped us on our own personal journey of healing and hope, would they work if adapted for a marriage step study?
Here is my marriage version:
Step one - I am not God and I am powerless to control my marriage.
Step two - I believe that God exists, that my marriage matters to Him and earnestly believe He has the power to restore my marriage.
Step three - Consciously choose to commit my marriage, my life and will to His care and control.
Step four & five - Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.
Step six & seven - Voluntarily submit to any and all changes God wants to make in my marriage, my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.
Steps 8 & 9 - Evaluate my marriage, my relationship, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I've done to others when possible.
Steps 10 & 11 - Reserve time with God for self-examination, Bible reading and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.
Step 12 - Yield my marriage and myself to God to be used to bring this Good news to others, by example and words.
Step 13 - Repeat as necessary.