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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: January 10, 2016.

There is a time to let things happen, and a time to make things happen—Unknown

One of the really great recovery slogans in Alcoholics Anonymous is this: It really isn’t yours until you give it away. What this means is that—to solidify all that you have accomplished in sobriety—to own it as the essence of who you are, you must help someone in the same way you have been helped. This makes helping others become an essential part of your recovery.

In AA, or any program, helping others by becoming a sponsor is one of the key components. They say, “The time to call your sponsor is before you pick up a drink—not after.”

In recovery from religious abuse, helping others along the path to spiritual freedom is also an integral part of recovery, but it’s a little different than in a substance abuse program. To be the greatest help to someone who has been spiritually abused, you must learn to identify God’s interest in them rather than your own.

This requires you to really get to know the person, pray for them regularly, and listen for God’s leading in their lives. In AA, the most important thing a sponsor can do is to teach those they are sponsoring how to live life on life’s terms, without medicating with alcohol. It’s noble and worthy, but it’s also simple when compared to helping someone develop his or her relationship with God—once it has been damaged by religious abuse.

If you can learn how to serve another in this way, you will have done a service that will have eternal consequences. There’s nothing like it in importance. If you want to invest your life in a worthy way, help someone who has been the victim of religious abuse to reconnect with God in a meaningful way. It’s hard work but, if you have success with it, nothing in life will be more rewarding.

If you are willing to put yourself “out there” to help others, say this prayer with me:



Having been used, abused, and discarded,

By those who insisted they spoke in Your name,

But most certainly did not,

My self-worth has suffered significantly.

Having internalized this shaming charge,

Which my abusers have levied against me,

I have acted in ways contrary to my beliefs.

These truths have set forth in Your Word,

And they reside deep within the core of my being.

Having tried to run from You for so long,

I now see how flawed my judgment has been.

Returning has required me to renew my mind

And to begin looking at life as You do.

Thank You for enlightening me with wisdom,

For revealing to me that You have good things

Planned for me and not for the calamity I have feared.

At times, I still have trouble believing You, Lord,

Believing that the validation You have

Planted in my heart is real and long lasting.

The stinging indictment of my abusers

Has found fertile ground in my soul,

And continues to resonate, telling me that

I am a person without value—without worth.

When I begin to internalize this message,

Flood me with Your love, Your truth, and Your Word.

Let my heart believe You when You affirm,

You are my child—loved and valued.

And I most assuredly have a purpose for your life.

Whenever you have doubts, come to Me,

And I will remind you that you have value.

Thank You for loving me unconditionally, Father,



Refer to Step 10: I choose to believe God still has a purpose for my life—a purpose for good and not evil.


For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13)



To see more on recovery, check out  The 11 Steps to Recover from Religious Abuse.


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