When I was a teenager, and "out there" I would play little bartering games with God. If you "do this"…I promise I'll never "do that" again. Then in recovery we are told that "everything happens for a reason" and when things go wrong we find the lesson we are supposed to learn. Unfortunately, that can become another game. "Please God, don't make this lesson so painful…I promise I'll do better."

I've been playing that game in my head. As I move on from my financial fourth step to my financial amends, I am worried. I am afraid. How painful will God make this lesson?

However, God doesn't make lessons painful. We do. And, this is how I understand the grace of God. By all accounts, the poor decisions I have made (i.e., ignoring the medical bill collectors when they call me) should come with repercussions. But I pray for, and believe in, God's Grace.

That is one of the lessons we learn from Step 9; God's Grace.

It wraps us in warmth; it delivers us from the bondage of self. It is no mistake that we find the Promises in Step 9.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.


Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them. (Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 83-84)



  1. take it slowly. all will be well.

  2. One step at a time, one breath at a time and one day at a time.