March 6: Step Three


My name is Julie, & I’m an alcoholic. I’m honored by this opportunity to serve GROW by getting our meeting started!

Topic for the week: Step 3

We are all invited to share on Step 3. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives. Step 3 is listed in Chapter 5, How it Works, from the book, “Alcoholics Anonymous” (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 59). There’s more in Chapter 5, starting on p. 60. And there’s even more about it in the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

*** Step 3 ***

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

I pulled the following quote referring to Step 3 from 12 Steps & 12 Traditions, p. 35:

. . . a beginning, even the smallest, is all that is needed. Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock & have the door ever so slightly open, we find that we can always open it some more. Though self-will may slam it shut again, as it frequently does, it will always respond the moment we again pick up the key of willingness.

I’m struggling to put regular exercise back into my schedule. I read something today that suggested starting out with small, easily achievable goals & building from there. For example, the article suggested the first step in my new exercise regimen might be sleeping in my work out clothes so when I wake up, I’m ready to go. Genius, right? Then the next achievable mini goal might be setting my alarm half an hour earlier so that I’ll be dressed & have allowed the time for exercise before starting the rest of my day. Another step might be picking an audio book (or aa speaker recording) to listen to while I exercise, & so on.

I was thinking that applying this strategy to Step 3 could be really effective. “Picking up the key of willingness” is the preparatory step, like sleeping in my workout garb. Setting my alarm for half an hour earlier in the morning is like placing the key in the lock of the door of decision that leads to God. Taking the first step out of my front door to start my walk would equate to stepping through that decision & toward God. Once those things are happening, the rest unfolds before me ~ not without potholes or some crappy weather, but I’m on my way.

For me, Step 3 at first read like, “Made-a-decision-to-turn-our-will-&-our-lives-over-to-the-care-of-God-as-we-understood-God.”  Lofty, awesome, & totally intimidating!  For me, breaking Step 3 into small, bite-sized, more easily digested pieces works better & is far less overwhelming. I can turn my will & my life over to God every morning when I think of it like that. How did you/do you take Step 3? Please share about this, or about anything along your sober journey that you’d like to share.


Julie <3

[“Today, my short version of the Third Step is this: Keep taking care of me, Lord, because I appreciate it now.”

“Dear God: Keep Coming Back,” Berrien Springs, Michigan, April 1991, AA Grapevine]