I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
Today I have a humbling yet exciting opportunity. One of the pivot points in my personal story is a conference room where a light bulb came on for me. Three days later, I admitted I had a problem with food. Today, it will be my turn to speak in that same conference center to a group of people desperately reaching for a light bulb, an answer to their food and weight problems. The tricky catch is that they are not OAs, they are not in or about recovery, and among them I will be known by face and name. Furthermore, the conference will be videotaped. Because of the Eleventh and Twelfth Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, I will have to dance around the name of my recovery fellowship until the individuals from this brief conference seek me out for the details. I will be referring to the Steps, to “a twelve-step program for compulsive eaters” and to “a text used by those in twelve-step recovery,” rather than to OA, AA, and the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I will have literature on hand for those who approach me afterward, at which time I will have the full freedom to describe in detail the organization that God has used to save and enrich my life. This is the best I know how to approach this unusual opportunity given the Traditions and guiding principles of OA.
“Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television and other public media of communication.” (OA’s Tradition Eleven)
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“What it takes to work Step Three is a real willingness to live by God’s will, one day at a time.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 26.
This might come as a burden to some who thought they could get away with a perfunctory submission to do God’s will occasionally; but for me, as for today’s VOR contributor, I find that the full-time living of God’s will provides purpose, motivation, and even authority to get up and go about my day. Empowered by my Boss’ instruction to share what I have received, I am strengthened, I am stretched, and I am brought that much nearer to my holy Employer on His heading of perfection.
From Proverbs 19:
“3 A man’s own folly ruins his life,
yet his heart rages against the Lord.”
On my mind has been, “If I could sum up the epiphanies of my recovery, what would they be?” This verse is one! The self-centered, “Why me?” questions of my life were misdirected in their asking. “God, make me skinny and bless this cake,” was the ironic warp in my thinking, my praying, and consequently my disappointing relationship with God. Removing my will from God’s way was key to unlocking the recovery I enjoy today.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Zechariah 10, 11, and 12:
“10:6b ‘I will restore them
because I have compassion on them.
They will be as though
I had not rejected them,
for I am the Lord their God
and I will answer them.’”
“10:12 ‘I will strengthen them in the Lord
and in his name they will walk,’
declares the Lord.”
Zechariah spoke and acted for God, when he, playing the part of the shepherd of the flocks doomed for destruction, broke his staffs called “Favor” and “Union.” Amid this portrayal of the spiritual reality of man having broken his favor and union with God, Zechariah’s wages as wicked pastor were a prophecy of Christ’s own betrayal.
“11:12b So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord to the potter.”
(Fulfilled in Matthew 27:3-10.)
Another prophecy concerning Christ appears in Chapter 12:
“12:10 ‘And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit[a] of grace and supplication. They will look on[b] me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.’”
(Fulfilled in Matthew 27:54.)
God, by my life, I have broken myself off from your favor and union. Thank You for forgiving me and restoring me by Your grace! Thank You for Jesus Christ, Your gift, Your Son, Your very Self. I humbly and fervently accept. Help me to keep Your gift close, to keep it from neglect or shame, but to esteem the Gift and Giver, and bring them glory and honor as long as You allow my soul to live. Amen!
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “A Vision for You”:
“Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you.”
*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.
† For the sake of accountability, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.