Dear Friends,

My name is Mari Cokely and I'm a compulsive overeater taking it one day at a time on my journey to recovery. Thanks for letting me share my Journey to Recovery with you .... and thanks for sharing back with me.

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives
over to the care of God as we understood Him."


The Twelve Steps of Recovery

I believe in God. From my earliest memories my feelings and thoughts and images of God have not changed. What is so wonderful about the Twelve Steps .... what is so reassuring about the Third Step .... what makes this program of recovery so awesome is that I am free not to have to contrive a God that meets anyone's requirements except my own. My God just IS. He didn't swoop down from heaven and he doesn't have a long flowing beard and blue eyes. He's not a fire and brimstone kind of God and He doesn't even require that I believe in a heaven and a hell to honor him. He is the God of MY understanding. The God who sustains me and comforts me and makes my life able to be lived. But he is MY Higher Power ... and may not be the same as yours.

During my time in this program I have met many people who have all different kinds of Higher Powers. Some were agnostics and atheists. Some found their personal Higher Power to be Nature and their "church" was ambling around a tree-studded yard with beautiful flowers. Others were Jewish and Hindus. Still others were Baptists or Unitarians. And among this diverse group of enlightened and brilliant compulsives, I found some of the most spiritual people I've ever known.

When I talk of God, I am not talking about religion. The two subjects I will never write about in my Journal to Recovery are religion and politics. Religion is not God. God is not religion. God is that enigma that makes life come together ... that gives meaning to it ... that creator of all things who is showing us one day at a time that we CAN recover. Who is telling us in the third step that we can turn our lives over to His care. Who gives us hope.

I'll leave you with this today .... it's getting late and our day will soon be over. My first sponsor told me once that her first sponsor told her that if she couldn't believe in God ... that she should just add another "o" and believe in "GOOD." I believe that must have worked .... because never have I known such a Godly person. Never have I known someone who so personified the word "Good." And through believing in "Good," one can come to know "God." And it will not be the God someone else has said we must believe in. It will be the God that the Third Step invites us to believe in ..... the God of our understanding.

Dear God,
Help us to know
that You are there ...
That your arms are wide ...
And that you will hold us as we
continue on our journey to

The Recovery Group

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