I remember reading Step three and thinking “I can do this!” Making a decision felt comfortable; that is, a decision is an action, something to do. I’m much better at doing than not doing something. So I “did” Step three; I “decided” every day, every hour, every minute, but I found no relief.
Then it was suggested that once I made the decision, I needed to let go — to surrender. “How does one let go?” I asked myself. I pictured myself holding my husband as he was dangling over the edge of a cliff. Surely letting go would not be caring or loving! To me the word “surrender” implied being forced to do something against my will. Would God force me to do something against my will? Would He expect me to abandon the one I loved? I couldn’t make sense of this, and I prayed and prayed about it.
Then in a meeting, a woman shared about her “God Jar” and about how her life had become peaceful. I had seen a change in her over the months, so I asked her after the meeting to explain her “God Jar.” The idea was to write down on a piece of paper exactly what I wanted to give to God, then drop it (let go of it) into the jar. Taking the thought out of my mind and putting it on paper, then putting the piece of paper into the jar (God’s hands) seemed like a helpful, visual, concrete action to me. Driving home, I began to dismiss the whole idea. When that familiar sinking sensation returned as I drove in my driveway, I decided to try the God Jar anyway. If it didn’t work, I just wouldn’t tell anyone. I found a large jar in a cabinet and wrote down the obsessive thoughts that were spinning in my mind about my husband’s sexaholism and our marriage. I decided to let God have the situation, and I let the note fall into the jar.
I didn’t expect much, but by the next morning I was pleasantly surprised by a sense of peace that I had not known before. I sat down and wrote lots of little notes to add to the jar. On New Year’s Eve, seven months after I began using the God Jar, I opened the jar and read each little note. I could see that almost all my requests had been granted, but not necessarily in the way I had pictured in my mind. Rather, they had been answered completely and beautifully, in surprising and unforeseen ways. Thank God my Higher power is bigger than my imagination!
It has been over three years since I surrendered my husband’s sexaholism and surrendered our marriage to God. I didn’t understand how my husband could choose to continue to act out and not seek recovery, but I had the courage and the strength to let the marriage go when it became time. Today, I am grateful to God for the gifts of that relationship, the changes that have occurred in my life, my rich relationship with my Higher Power and more people who really love me than I could ever have imagined.
Reprinted from S-Anon Twelve Steps, pages 33-34.