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Honest to God

5 min read

Surrender is such a simple yet profound concept. When thought about, it seems so impossible and distant, yet when practiced, it is right at my fingertips. I find this dichotomy strange.

In my religion, the recognition that we need God’s help to accomplish anything in life is meant to be second nature. However, in my life, this has been an abstract idea applied sparingly to difficult or major issues.

Bringing God into the most mundane aspects of my life has been a lifelong work for me. I learn about it from lectures and ancient texts, and I teach it in my classroom. Yet the practice seems distant—except when I attend my OA meetings. In OA, I meet people who don’t have a religious education but who live with God constantly and surrender eagerly and regularly to him. One woman texts God all day. Another lies on the bathroom floor in the morning, allowing God to help orchestrate her day. Another talks to God before each meal, thanking God for abstinence. It’s amazing.

For me, surrender is about recognizing I am powerless yet not alone. Although God created me powerless over food, he gave me the capacity to find strength if I seek him out. Inviting God on my team gives me the edge, the strength to overcome the tricky obstacle of food, something we must engage with and be abstinent from at the same time.

Since joining OA four weeks ago, I have attempted to surrender in other aspects of my life. Surrender in business releases pressure and stress. Success is in God’s hands. In relationships, how people relate to you is not in your control. Your behavior needs to be appropriate, but whether somebody actually loves you and treats you the way you need is not up to you. Surrendering my relationships to God gives me the strength to show up without fear. Ultimately, God surrounds me with people I need to be in relationships with and, through these relationships, teaches me about myself and where I need to change and grow.

Surrender also leads to honesty because, after all, who am I trying to fool? I already admitted I am powerless. If I ask God for the strength and capacity to overcome my limitations, then it is in my best interest to be as honest as possible. The follow-up to this is gratitude. Acknowledging how God helped me only brings God closer to me, so that I can reach out again when I experience my powerlessness.

OA is many things to me: fun, social, interesting, and helpful. Perhaps most foundationally, it gives me a glimpse into what a true relationship with God is all about, and the wonder, power, joy, and confidence that such a relationship inspires.

— Dovid F., Evanston, Illinois USA

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