I am Christian, so in my 12 step journey, I view the Judeo-Christian God as my higher power. I have been struggling with step 3 for some time, because I don't really understand how God actually helps me as my higher power. After hearing a sermon this weekend, I think I learned an important part of the puzzle. The sermon was about the paralyzed man whose friends dug through a roof and lowered him in a bed in front of Christ to be healed. Christ forgave his sins and then healed him. The pastor pointed out that two things were required in addition to this miracle in order to heal the man. First, he needed selfless and bold friends willing to help him, and he needed the forgiveness from God. Thus, this man's healing was made possible through friendship and forgiveness. I already believed that the keys to my own healing included informative ideas and support from friends and people on these issues. But the reason why I struggled with Step 3 is because I didn't see how my higher power actually affected me internally in my thought process, aside from bringing the right people and information into my life at the right time. Now, I think I see the missing piece. In addition to bringing the right people and information into my life, my higher power - God - also brings forgiveness to the table as something that helps my healing. I think this is crucial because for so long, most of my shame and attempts at recovery were based on a feeling of being condemned. This paradigm shift has a powerful emotional fallout. Basically, I'm starting to get the vibe that Step 3 is about believing that my higher power will forgive me, and bring tools, information, and people in my life that will help me grow. I will reflect on this for a while more before moving on to work Step 4.