The Second Step is the only one that is not clearly detailed in the big book. There is a whole chapter called "We Agnostics" which deals with coming to believe - unfortunately many people either don't read it or don't spend much time studying it because they are not agnostics.
All of the other steps say something like "This is the first step in recovery." (p. 30), "Being convinced, we were at Step Three." (p. 60), "This brings us to the Fifth Step" (p. 72), "we then look at Step Six." (p. 76), "We have then completed Step Seven." (p.76), "Let's look at Steps Eight and Nine." (p. 76), "This thought brings us to Step Ten." (p. 84), "Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation." (p. 85), and "The next chapter is entirely devoted to Step Twelve." (p.88).
I have heard many people say that they had a hard time with the second step because they didn't believe they needed to be restored to sanity because that would suggest they were insane. Others have had difficulty because they did not believe in God. For me, the difficulty was in the word "restore." I couldn't imagine how I could be restored to something I never felt I had.
My first sponsor had me take three sheets of paper and write my concept of a higher power on each sheet. The first sheet was for my childhood idea, which was the God in heaven with the long white beard, etc. The second sheet was for my present concept of God, which was someone I was trying to hide from, I was afraid of God. The third sheet was to write down my ideal of what my relationship with God should be, at that time it was a close relationship without fear or dread. We got together and I read these to her. She then told me to take the first two sheets of paper and tear them up. She said that those were my old ideas, and now I could get rid of my old ideas and go forward with the new.
This is not what I do with sponsees as we do the Second Step, but it was my first experience with the Second Step.
Over the years, my faith and trust in God have grown as I saw the evidence of what happens when you turn it over to Him. I could start with the belief that God could remove alcohol from my life. This was huge. And it happened. The trust built from there.
As I look back on almost a quarter century of sobriety and try to judge the sanity of those years, I can see that the first years were not very sane. But I wasn't drinking and that is very very good. As time passed, my life started looking sane and so did I. After a while, I started being employable. I started being reliable. I started being trust-worthy. People could know what to expect from me. They could ask me to do things and feel sure that they would get done. I know that left to my own devices it would not be this way.
Thank God I do not have to do this alone. The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is a tremendous blessing, but the individual people of AA can let you down. The fellowship as a whole will not, but those individual hurts are very deep. God will NEVER let me down and I never have to stay sober alone because He is always with me.
How do you show that you have taken Step Two? By moving on to Step Three...