Something I’ve emphasized in a few of my prior articles is how I truly believe God communicates to us through what many often write off as “coincidences” and I decided I need to share one of these moments that I still clearly remember from long ago.
The story of this “coincidence” begins back in my senior year of college at Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York in 1994, just after I had been put on double academic probation because of yet another drunken incident. Because of this infraction, I had been forced to see the drug and alcohol counselor on campus for a number of sessions, along with a local person who was in recovery for alcohol and drug addiction.
During each of these sessions, I was asked plenty of times if I thought I was an alcoholic by this local person who regularly attended Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. I clearly remember telling him over and over again each time he asked that I was just having a good time with my fraternity brothers and that my drinking was no different than any of them. I also scoffed at pretty much everything else he and the counselor suggested and rolled my eyes more than once over what they kept trying to insinuate with my drinking.
When our sessions were close to an end, I was asked by this local person if I wanted to attend a few AA meetings with him. I adamantly refused and said there was no way I was an alcoholic and just wanted to finish the sessions and move on with my life and indeed that’s what I did when they eventually ended.
It wasn’t long before I resumed my heavy drinking and soon forgot about this counselor and her recovery friend. About a year later, I had graduated from college and was now working in the field my degree was in (Information Systems). By that point my drinking had grown to epic proportions and I couldn’t go a day without getting drunk. On June 10th, 1995, I had had enough of it and in a moment of great pain, I admitted to God and myself that I was powerless over alcohol and drugs and that my life had become unmanageable.
I spent the next three to six months going to a therapist to help with my newly found sobriety and even started out doing the right thing by attending AA meetings on a regular basis. During that period of time, I also went with my mother on a trip to Houston, Texas to help clean out her mother’s house and then take a leisurely drive from there to Austin to see one of her best friends who had moved to that city only recently.
While on that road trip from Houston to Austin, in the middle of nowhere, I told my mother I needed to stop and get a drink because I felt parched. I clearly remember it being a hot day and started looking for a place to quench my thirst. When we finally came upon a little supermarket in a small town, I quickly hopped out of the car and bounded into the store to find something cold to cool me down. As soon as I entered the store, there standing directly in front of me with a shopping cart in hand was that recovery guy from Rochester that I had been forced to see back in my senior year over a year and a half prior.
He immediately recognized me and I smiled from ear to ear knowing that this couldn’t be just some random “coincidence”. With it being more than 1600 miles from where we first met and in a store in a small town that I suddenly and quite randomly stopped at, I felt like I was meant to see this man again to tell him I was an alcoholic and was now clean and sober.
After doing so, he told me he had always wondered if I was ever going to realize it for myself. It was then I thanked him for being the first person in my life to truly plant the seed that would eventually lead me to sobriety from a disease I had once been so unwilling to see how active it was within myself. He was more than grateful to hear that and for the “coincidence” of us running into each other. Before leaving, he told me he had moved to that small town not too long after meeting me and somehow, I knew in that very moment of him saying that, that God really was and probably always had been, working in my life.
So, if you happen to ever get any one of these types of “coincidences” in your own life, don’t just write them off as one. Maybe, just maybe, it’s really God continuing to work in one of His mysterious ways to orchestrate the world in a way where His unconditional love and light can prevail…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson