Creating a God Box: A 12 Step Recovery Activity

“At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.”-Maya Angelou

Creating a ‘God Box’ is a fun recovery-based activity to share with your children.

“Just what is a ‘God Box’?” you may ask. A ‘God Box’ is a physical container where you can lay your emotional concerns to rest. The mere act of writing these concerns on paper diffuses some of their power. Placing this paper in a ‘God Box’ is a way to release worrisome thoughts and feelings.

We all experience life’s challenges. Things do not always go according to plan. Life hands us, let us say, undesirable situations and circumstances. Whether you feel frustration, fear, or just plain hindrance, only you will know the correct moment to use this spiritual tool. Generally it’s when of your own accord, you can go no further.

When we place our cares in the box, imagine the release as our attempts to control the outcome subside.

While many leave the box in full view, others prefer to place their container out-of-sight. Perhaps a shelf in a closet or under the bed feels right to you. Personal preference will come into play.

We cannot ‘push the river’, even though many of us try. We trust God to orchestrate the results and have faith in our ability to navigate whatever comes in the future.

Children can benefit from having and using a ‘God Box’. Not only is making the God Box a fun activity to do together, the relief they experience from using one is palpable. Of course, a ‘God Box’ does not actually have to be a box. Some people use a jar or a basket. Some use a journal or vase. Any closed container will suffice. Part of the delight and positive results this produces comes from choosing the right container and actually decorating it ourselves. This personalizes and empowers the effect.

Teaching children when and how to use the ‘God Box’ helps them look back at events in their lives and evaluate how things turned out. Often we learn about faith in a Higher Power and begin to trust in the process of life. We see that somehow, someway, our lives moved on. We learned and we grew. We changed. We became stronger.

Some people choose to periodically look at the contents. Things no longer relevant and perhaps even forgotten can be examined. We are often pleasantly surprised at the way things turned out.

The ‘God Box’ is a firm reminder to put the first part of the serenity prayer into use: “Accept the things I cannot change.” We no longer need to work on acceptance on a purely mental or emotional level. The ‘God Box’ is a concrete way to work on acceptance and powerlessness. It is a useful tool which allows us to the surrender to God’s will.