Step Three

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

Leader's Share and Step Questions

STEP THREE: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE OF STEP THREE: Faith… (acronyms for Faith: Forwarding, All Issues to Heaven./ For, Always, I, Trust, Him)

In Step One, we admitted our personal powerlessness and unmanageability. Then in Step Two we made the admission that God’s a Power greater than ourselves who can restore us to sanity. Now in Step Three we make a decision to let God run our lives.

The first three steps are sometimes summarized in this way. “I can’t.” “He can.” “I’ll let him.”

It is not common to link our perceptions about God to our childhood experiences with people who played powerful roles in our life. I can say that my mother victimized me by changing often and quickly and spouting out verbal abusive words and phrases. It was learned early that I couldn't put confidence in my mother which brought about pain and disappointment. That meant, I couldn’t trust her. In working through Step Three we can make a healthy decision to turn our will and our life over to the only one who is worthy of being trusted.

I know that I can’t make it alone. But now I can stop being a victim. I can turn my life over to someone who is really able to care for my needs. I have a life-or-death decision to make. I have been created with the free-will--the ability to choose. Even when I compulsive overeat, I still have choice confronting us. I still can feel the nagging lure of falling back in my addiction, when I am in recovery. The freedom to choose brings with it the burden of consequences of my choices. The choices affect our life and the lives of my children. Free-will is our blessing and our responsibility.

Sometimes, I may feel out of control with overeating, I can choose to set my heart in the direction of life. I can choose to love God and begin to follow the program.

It took me a long while to get Step Three right. I didn’t know that I had an addiction sugar. (FOOD MENTIONED). I was hungry, angry, lonely, and tired (HALT). Living at a rental house is where I ate packets of raw sugar one by one. I didn’t even know that I was eating them. I did have have God behind me, But I wasn’t listening and asking for help. I needed to surrender it all to God. It is not that simple. I could have changed my focus with the help of the steps, but I was kept in the past.

When I kept in this addictive behavior, I was seeking comfort or booking for a way at first, but it wasn’t long before it became clear that I was on the wrong track. But then, I was unable to turn around on my own.

In turning our life over to him, we give him our entire self, including our past losses and shame. We hand over to him every moment of disgrace, every tear we have ever cried, every word we wish we could take back, all the broken promises, the loneliness, all the dreams that died, the dashed hopes, the broken relationships, our successes and failures--all of our yesterdays’ and the scars they have left in our life.

YOUR PART: Please read Step Three in the AA Big Book: (p.60-64), How It Works, Also Read Step Three in the OA 12 Steps and 12 Traditions (p. 19-27).


The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be success we are almost always in collision with something or somebody. Each one of us is like an actor that wants to run the whole show. Then we think life isn’t treating us right. We are under the delusion that we have to control our life. A producer of confusion not harmony. We are self centered and ego-centric. Our self-centeredness is rooted in delusion, fear, self-seeking and pity. We are the extreme example of self-will run riot! We must get rid of selfishness or it will kill us! The only way to be rid of selfishness is God’s aid! We must have God’s help or we will die! God is our Director, our Principal our Father, and we are His children! This concept is the keystone of the new triumphant arch through which we pass to freedom. We stay focused on God and have a life less and less interested in ourselves and more interested in how we can contribute to life. We become conscious of His power, His presence flows into us along with peace and lose fear of today and tomorrow we were reborn.


Note we have said this step is simple; we have not said it is easy. It is not easy, because for everyone of this decisions means we must now adopt a new and unfamiliar way of thinking and acting on life. When forced with choices, we earnestly seek guidance from our Higher Power and what that guidance comes we act on it. Our new way of life begins with willingness to adopt a whole new attitude about weight control, body image, and eating. Our primary purpose is to abstain from eating compulsively, and we know that in order to do so we will need help.

Acceptance of these facts about ourselves gives us hope, for we know that by simply eliminating these eating behaviors and foods from our lives we will experience fewer struggles with our disease.

“If OA doesn’t give us any rules to follow” they ask, “how are we to find the guidance we must have to avoid compulsive eating?” The decision we have made in step three answers this important question. We have found that when we give up self-will regarding food and completely turn our lives over to our Higher Power, we receive all kinds of guidance. Now that we are working the steps, we have been given the power of choice about eating.

All of this experience, knowledge and help is augmented by a source of wisdom inside us that becomes more powerful as we recover from compulsive eating and develop our relationship with our HP through prayer and meditation. The inner resource is our intuition. When we place our will and our lives in God’s care in step three, we give God our intuition as well. Intuition is supposed to be God’s direct line into our minds and hearts, but our problems and our self-will have interfered with this connection. As we work the steps, the interference begins to be removed, and focus on God’s will, both for our eating and for the living of our lives.

In order to continue being abstinent, we will have to have a Power greater than ourselves operating daily in our lives. This is always available to us as long as we continue working the twelve steps and living out our decision to trust God’s guidance in everything we do. We ask God for willingness and the ability to live within them each day, as we become aware of what our eating guideline should be. We ask and we receive, first the willingness, and then the ability. We can count on this without fail.

How do I reach this decision to turn my will and life over to a HP? What exactly do I have to do? It helps to understand that once we make this decision, our approach to all choices will be like our approach to our food and eating choices. We will no longer simply do what we feel like doing or what we think we can get away with. Instead, we will earnestly seek to learn God’s will for us, then we will act accordingly. We give up fear and undecision, know that if we are sincere our HP will give us the knowledge of our best course in life, along with the willingness and ability to follow that course, even when it seems difficult and uncomfortable.

Honesty, common sense, and a sincere willingness to follow our new spiritual path are sufficient to show us the way.

THIRD STEP PRAYER: “God I offer myself to Thee--to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy Will. Take away my difficulties that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy power; Thy love, and Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always.”

1. What keeps me surrendering to God?

2. What is it about my understanding of God that blocks me from deciding to turn my life and my will over to his care?

3. How does fear affect my choices?

4. What fears have the most power in my life?

5. If occasionally the obsession returns, how do I get through these times without overeating?

6. What have you learned from Step Three?

I finally decided to submit my life and my will to God’s direction, my burdens will become manageable. When I let him do the driving, I will “find rest” for my soul. He knows the way and has the strength to turn us around to get us on the road toward recovery.

It is crucial that I entrust myself to God who loves me, and not to the “god” of this world who seeks only to deceive and destroy us. Turning my will involves accepting God as he is instead of insisting on creating him in my own image. When I seek God with an open heart, mind, I will find him.

Gail W.

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