Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday where I always begin my week expressing gratitude with someone or something that has truly touched my life, which for today is for my new sponsor in recovery, Fran.
I must admit, finding a sponsor in recovery has been quite a stressful thing for me over the years. My first sponsor got tragically murdered, my second abruptly moved out to California, my third relapsed and never came back, my fourth passed away due to a serious health complication, I never quite felt fully safe to open up with my fifth, and I parted ways with my sixth because our spiritual paths were very different.
While I definitely know how important it is to have a sponsor in recovery, in light of my long history of sponsors not necessarily working out, I hesitated just asking anyone to take on that role for me. So, for a while, I found myself loosely praying from time to time to find someone who would carry the spiritual ideals and the spiritual energy I sought for myself. Someone who exuded the joy and peace that I know a healthy recovering life can bring by working the 12 Steps on a daily basis. All of which absolutely describes Fran, yet even though I met her when I first moved to Toledo in 2014, for whatever the reason, I never saw her in that role, that is until just recently.
How I met Fran was because she had heard one of my leads during the summer of 2014 and later asked if I’d be the main speaker at the upcoming local area Alcoholics Anonymous annual banquet that happens every Fall. Unfortunately, after that speaking engagement, I didn’t keep in touch with her, even though our paths crossed from time to time at a recovery meeting here and there. But each time they did, I always felt better and usually found myself laughing, smiling, and feeling uplifted, yet still never thought about asking her to be my sponsor! Why I didn’t could very well be that God knew I wasn’t ready to commit to her guidance just yet.
Regardless, about two months ago or so, after some nudging from my partner Chris, I began praying more diligently for God to help me find a sponsor that would really help me work through some glaring character defects that were increasingly plaguing my life. During one of those prayers one day, I saw Fran appear in my mind and felt the Spirit nudge me to ask her to be my sponsor. It was almost as if a lightbulb had abruptly turned on within me where I suddenly thought to myself, why didn’t I see her in that role sooner?! A phone call later, I had a coffee appointment set up to meet her and a week later after that appointment, I knew I could learn a lot more in recovery through her guidance. She agreed to take me on and ever since, I’ve been working through this incredible recovery book with her called “Drop the Rock”, which is kind of funny in its own way, because my 2nd sponsor, the one who moved to California plenty of years ago, had actually suggested we do that book together!
So here I am now, about two months into being sponsored by Fran, and I finally feel I have a really great connection again with someone guiding me through the 12 steps. Kind, gentle, stern when needed, uplifting, and extremely intuitive, Fran is by far one of the best gifts God sent my way in recent years. She is someone who places God and her recovery from addiction first and lives and breathes the program of recovery every single day. I absolutely feel God led me to her and I look forward to each week now when Fran and I get together to read that book and do my 12-step work.
So, as you can see, I’m extremely thankful for Fran already and am thoroughly excited to see where God takes me in the 12 steps through her continuing to share her experience, strength, and hope with me!!!
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson