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April 25, 2012

The Cockroach Man

I used to think that I needed to take care of my "problem" and then turn to the Lord as a perfected individual for Him to take me where He wanted me.

What I came to realize is he really wants all of me. "As you come unto Jesus Christ, seeking help... you will not be disappointed." (Addiction Recovery Program A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing, page 35). I thought that I needed to be perfect and then come unto Him. This program helped me to realize that it is just the opposite.
It was a tough pill to swallow for me to realize that I am an addict, and that I have a TON of baggage, and anger, and fears, and just plain crap and cockroaches infested in my soul. I tried so hard to be the self-exterminator, and no matter how hard I tried I would feel the roaches multiplied faster and get bigger than I could scarcely stomp one out and 10 would spring from that carcass.

Soon, I would stomp one and 100 would sprout out. When I finally embraced that I was the one who was feeding the roaches and I couldn't even stop that, I found great relief in that knowledge. As I have been sober and in recovery for 6 months now, I realize that there are still so many cockroaches in my life. The food for my roaches now are self-will and selfishness.

I have tried to remind myself the step 6 promise, "[i]f you trust Him and have patience with the process, you will see your pride gradually replaced with humility. He will wait patiently for you to weary of your own unaided effort to change, and soon as you turn to Him you will witness once again (as I have with the previous steps 1-5) His love and power in your behalf." (Id.)

I have felt this promise fulfilled time and time again. I am a law student, and a small business owner in addition to a father, husband, and active member of the Lord's Kingdom. I still struggle with the twin cockroach feeders of self-will and selfishness, but EVERY time that I have turned to the Lord with these feeders, the cockroaches flee his light.

The more I have let my will be enveloped in His, the more I have found that "[m]y resistance to letting go of old patterns of behavior" has been "replaced by an open mind as the Spirit gently suggests a better way of living." (Id.)

I know now that he really wants all of me, not just those parts of me that I thought were pretty darn good. I know that the change of heart comes from Him. I know that this program is His, and I truly have felt Him remove cockroaches when I let Him, and when I stop coddling them. He is the master roach exterminator.