From the February 2011 magazine.

February 2011: Under The Ginkgo Tree

"A thought came: Gosh, I couldn’t stand alive against the seasons the way this tree does."

I’d heard no one’s experience on Step Two. I was not reading the Big Book; my sponsor was not taking me through it, either, so I was confused. I didn’t want to believe in God. I was scared to use the word. I felt uncomfortable for those who did, although I had called out to him once or twice when I was in real danger and I was led to safety.

I would lie in bed wondering about what those church people knew that I didn’t, but I was afraid of them, so I wasn’t going to approach them and ask. As a child I went to church a number of times with two of my siblings. We stole the tithe our parents gave us, spending it on lollies. Eventually the elders told us to leave, because we laughed too much. We lied and told our parents we didn’t want to go back.

-- Jennifer P.

Christchurch, New Zealand

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