Twelve gripping tales of amends, God might be all forgiving but the Police tend to be a little more hard nosed about some things
In purse or pocket we deposit our pride for our ego has been a wobbling curse in a wallard out sprocket just out of sight.
The number one fear is speaking in public, more so than the death of the body, even so the loss of a home, job, wife or child. At first blush it seems that the consequence of speaking in public pales to the all too real aforementioned consequences, until you understand that ridicule is death to the ego, and the ego will sacrifice the body on the alter of pride in a vain attempt to stay alive, the preacher said vanity of vanities all is vanity.
Step Nine is about justice, it is our attempt to make right was once made wrong, to make straight what had been left crooked. It is humbling enough to admit our wrongs to another human being, now it is suggested to go to the offended party face to face wherever possible and not only take responsibility, in an attempt to repair the breech. It is a leap of faith and the ultimate action that attests to our willingness, faith, and our trust in a loving God. In some instances are fears of ridicule, loss of wealth, position and jail might deter, us until we remember that we had agreed in the beginning that we would go to any length to achieve victory over alcohol.
I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.
Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.
Step Nine translate willingness into action. If you did not have a spiritual experience or at least the beginning of a spiritual awakening on Step Five, hold on to your sombrero, for I can say with a degree of certainty that Step Nine will fill in the finish line.
There seems always to be at least one amend that seems too daunting who’s consequence too grave, the ridicule to the ego too great a blow. I let my sponsees know that the final decision to make the amend or not is theirs and theirs alone only after we have had a long and prayerful consultation. I do tell them in my experience what I believe the consequences of neglecting this crucial Step (usually the most important amend) might be.
The jumping frog of Calaveras county over comes buck shot in the rump and takes a leap of faith
In my experience as a sponsee and as a sponsor, when trusting like never before and taking that action great things will come to pass as often times the word miracle is employed, but somehow it just doesn’t seem quite grand enough to adequately describe God’s outcome.
Here are twelve of those stories.
Is now a circuit speaker (a person who goes around the country telling their story at A.A. conventions or A.A. activities) He was confronted with a dilemma. He had divulged in his Fourth Step that he was the third man in a felony robbery; Danny was the man who had gotten away. He had discussed this with his sponsor. Danny, a single man at the time was directed by his sponsor that he had gone so far down the scale that if he wanted to maintain sobriety he would have to turn himself in to the law. Danny was willing to go to any length. He sought out the detective and told him that he was the third man in that felony robbery and he was working an A.A. program The detective told him that the man who committed that crime would not have turned himself in, why don’t you just go home. Danny would exclaim in his talks I am in, I am in A.A. for life.
I finally made an amends to an old employer who i had taken money form while working for him. I so wanted to do it face to face but after advice and a crazy amount of prayer i did it on line through email. He’s half way around the world and i didn’t know when I’d get back. i owed i believe $1500 and i got that in tax. That was his. i offered it to him, he just wanted god to restore me, his words, a Massive faith booster. GOD DOPE IS THE BEST DOPE EVER!!!
i was desperate to make amends to my dad ,for not getting to hospital without taking a drink to see him…my dad was a real alcoholic ,he spent 20 years on a park bench but cancer killed him, i bitterly regretted not getting to the hospital without drinking…..my brother phoned me the day before fathers day to see if i was going to the grave that Sunday I felt terrible i had agreed to do a chair that Sunday [fathers day] but my brother said wow dad would be jumping for joy if he knew that you were doing that, so don’t worry do the chair….i done the chair by way of amends to my dad, when i left the meeting that day the guilt was lifted…..thanks A.A. and God..
Minutes after completing step 7 my phone rang. It was an old using buddy asking me to take him to a meeting. I had not seen him in years so I was jazzed. I was thinking wow this program is cool. Then it hit me I own this dude an amend. It scared the shit out of me because this dude was a badass. He was not on my willing to make amends list yet. I wanted to turn around and go home, Then it him me God was taking me now on this mission of life now. I picked the guy up, made amend, took him to the meeting. I have never seen him again. As soon as completed 7 God brought me an amend I was very scared to make. I made 5 more that day,
Listening to my sponsor sharing about an amends he made, I picked up the phone and called an old boss of mine that I had stolen money from 25 years earlier. This was one of those amends that I was not willing to make, because I knew he liked me and he was the best boss that I had worked for, so I did not want to loose face. This day, thanks to years of praying for the willingness & my sponsors share I was no longer afraid. I got him on the phone and asked to make an appointment with him. He said that he was curious what this was about, as he hadn’t seen me for years. I said that I need to make an amends. What for he asked. I said that I needed to do so face to face and not over the phone. Sure, he said and arranged for me to go see him the following day. I then Emailed my sponsor, telling him what I was intending to do. I went on my online banking to do some bill paying and an amount of money was in my a/c that I had not been expecting. I knew immediately where that was going, as I didn’t have any money to repay this boss. I was going to ask for repayment of the debt. I went back onto my Emails and my sponsor had replied telling me to find some money, even if I had to borrow it from family or friends, as a contribution and then make the arrangement to pay the rest. He also told me to add extra to the amount I thought I owed and than another 5%, as we tend to shorten it. I told him about the unexpected monies and that I was going to give all of that, even though it was still short. I arrived calm. We went upstairs to his office, sat and chatted awhile and then I told him I was in AA and a part of what we do in this fellowship is make right wrongs we have done. I said I had stolen from him when I worked there and that I was sorry for that. I said that I have $$$ to pay back and would like to pay the rest back at a figure he arrived at. He looked at me awhile and then said, “When you worked for me, I had this much respect for you (he held his hand at chest level), when you told me just now you stole from me, I had this much respect for you (he held his hand at waist level), but after you have made this amends, I hold this much respect for you” (he held his hand at the top of his head). He continued to say that he’d heard of AA but had no idea what we did, and he said if this is the sort of thing you people do, you are in a fine fellowship. He went on to say, “I am tempted not to take this money from you, but I believe it would undo what you have come to do today, so I will take it, however after 25 years of suffering, as I believed you have suffered, I do not want the rest owed.” He too said that he knew I was going to go away and reflect on what I had just done, and he wanted me to know that I could not have done anything else to make this wrong a right. We then stood in the door of the restaurant looking out at the crowds, remembering all about the good ole times there, laughing. He said to me that if his wife asked me to work there (she had done previously, and I turned it down, not able to look them in the eye because of the guilt and shame I felt) to accept, as he wanted people with integrity working there. He said in all the years he was in business and knowing people steal from him, I was the first person ever to make amends. I walked away FREE that day, and I still am, I can go in there and hold my head high :O)
Early in recovery i became a father. I was told the opposite. Almost six years later I was approached again and this time I established paternity. I met my Michael. Shortly after within a year she bolted and he ended up in a boarding school. Years of searching for her a friend suggest I try social media to find him. Sure enough after making g contact and messaging back and forth for over a year. I got to see him for Christmas. Six months later I was in court getting custody. I felt like Steve Young winning the super bowl. The hardest thing for me was to tell the truth while leaving his moms name out of it. He went on to finish that high school and go off the college our relationship is great I’m so grateful. Seventeen years of practicing these principles. Before God saw fit that this happened. I did the work He blessed me beyond believe.
Scariest one- I owed a gentleman some money for some very legal and above board work he did for me on my vehicle. He was an alcoholic and drug user and at the time this was scary (people places and things right?). Discussed with sponsor, set out to make my amends (nearly pissed myself the entire drive over). I made right what I owed him (2 years overdue). Sat down and shot the breeze for a spell. He actually understood why I stayed away (he had tried apparently). I walked away with a greater understanding of the freedom we really have when we work this thing. I never would have experienced it otherwise
I made an amends to Northern Rock (bank/mortgage lender) and spoke to the first assistant that came to me. I admitted my alcoholism, my faults (selfishness, self seeking and dishonesty) and what i would do in future and asked if there was anything she would like to say to me. She was just pleased I’d recovered but also that her dad died an alcoholic and someone in their office was having problems with an alcoholic relative. I gave her my mobile number and said if they ever need help feel free to call me. I can definitely say that were such an emotional experience and the feeling of uselessness disappeared. The step 9 promises were awesome! Thank god and god bless to AA and my fellows. X
I was desperate to make amends to my dad ,for not getting to hospital without taking a drink to see him…my dad was a real alcoholic ,he spent 20 years on a park bench but cancer killed him, i bitterly regretted not getting to the hospital without drinking…..my brother phoned me the day before fathers day to see if i was going to the grave that Sunday I felt terrible i had agreed to do a chair that Sunday [fathers day] but my brother said wow dad would be jumping for joy if he knew that you were doing that, so don’t worry do the chair….I done the chair by way of amends to my dad, when i left the meeting that day the guilt was lifted…..thanks A.A. and God..
I had to pay an old girlfriend a debt but it was a freezing cold time of year and I wanted a sheepskin coat to keep me warm. I mulled it over for some time one Sunday afternoon and eventually the right thing to do won out, (that was new lol). I sent off the money and within a few days got a lovely card back saying that is was great timing as now she could buy her son the Christmas present he had wanted, thanked me and wished me well in my recovery. She knew what amends were about from my fist attempt to stay sober when we met. I was on foot with a friend in fellowship walking from one meeting to another on a Tuesday evening right around that time when we stumbled across a pile of old stuff in a poorly lit street from an office clearance. There was a switchboard, a hard drive, 2 old telephones and what looked like an old rug on the top which I picked up. Lo and behold it was a 40″ Lambskin flying jacket without a mark on it. The only thing wrong with it was the chain to hang it on a peg by was broken on one side. I still have that jacket. It has kept me warm for 10 years. Thank you God! “Being all powerful He provided what we needed if we keep close to Him and performed His work well.”
If ya couldda done any better ya wouldda mom!
I was on the phone with my mom last week and she was putting herself down bout her parenting skills – and I said pretty much the same thing to her.
She stopped for a moment and then said – Ya know you said those words to me over 30 years ago and they impacted me and freed me…. and here ya go again setting me free.
Over 30 years ago I used those words when I was making direct amends to her. I never knew how much they meant to her.
I let people tell me how bad I made them feel, which made them feel better, we found a new footing, God prevailed….. One guy who’s marriage I had ruined …wished me well and to enjoy my life….astonishing
See you on the radio