By Sandra D

When I first got into recovery I was anti-God. I had grown up in a Catholic family and then my dad started taking me to a Christian church. I joined a bible study group as a teen and quickly understood that my questions were not going to be answered in any way that I found satisfying, so I stopped going.

From that moment on my definition of God was a white male who I knew to fear and hide from. So when I first got sober I was angry at God and my family for their beliefs. 

I came out as a teenager and this also rattled my beliefs in the only God I have ever learned about. I know the saying is–to the love the sinner, hate the sin–but it all felt like hate to me. So I rejected the word God in the steps and the Big Book. As an angry lesbian woman I also resented the fact that the Big Book describes God as Him when A.A. doesn’t prescribe to any specific religion. As a newcomer I went through the first 160 pages of the Big Book and crossed out He/Him and changed to She/Her.

Being in A.A. helped me to finally feel seen and understood, and yet so much of the text in the Big Book contained underlying misogynistic themes that I couldn’t relate to. This made me feel like I was fighting, yet again, to fit in–in a place that was meant for anyone with alcoholism and addiction. 

As a newcomer I believed in God as Goddess. I made God a Her, and bristled against any implications that God was/is male. If A.A. truly doesn’t believe in any one religion why is God a He and not a She? Why not a They? Why not Gods (plural)?

My journey towards my Higher Power has been tumultuous and joyful; A solid spiritual journey that helped me to realize that God is bigger than gender. God is Everything! A baby’s laugh, a dogs lolling tongue, the taste of ice cream, the love of family, a beautiful sunset, the dear friends we make in recovery and the spirit in every meeting.

Over the many years I’ve stayed sober God has become a feeling rather than a person. When I want to feel closer to God I go to the beach and let myself be humbled by the ebb and flow of the waves and the fierceness of the wind. In those moments I have a sense of belonging and peace because I can feel and see God working her/their magic.

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