Have I told you about the sponsor that I am fortunate to have at this time? Well, I will now since I am still deeply touched by our conversation last night.
I was blessed with a wonderful sponsor, George, for years, but then he died four years ago. I grieved him mightily and, after about four months, I realized I was limping along in my recovery without a sponsor. I was finding it easier to skip my home group, easier to breeze through my tenth step at night. I began to pray for the grace to both want a sponsor and to know who that might be. In the quiet of my prayer what I heard was “Bob.”
I quickly corrected God and reminded him that I had just met Bob on a retreat and, although I liked the way he worked the steps, he was in Des Moines and I was up in the Twin Cities and that I doubted the value of a “phone sponsorship” as I am a flaming extrovert and would want to see my sponsor face-to-face. I got quiet again in my prayer a day later and this time the name “BOB” was virtually shouted at me. I listened for a second name; none was uttered.
Finally I picked up the phone (which, yes, weighed at least forty-five pounds, as it usually does at such times) and dialed Bob’s number. His gracious voice answered the phone. I identified myself and hesitantly asked if he would consider being my sponsor, only after providing him with at least three reasons why he might want to say “No.” To my complete surprise he said “Yes” and so we began to climb the steps together three and one-one half years ago. And what a climb it has been!
Bob has been inviting, confirming, occasionally challenging, and always encouraging. I owe the spring in my step to Bob.
Last night we spoke for about fifteen minutes as we do once a week. I accounted for the highs and lows of my week, spoke of my seventh step and accounted for my tenth and eleventh step practices. Bob deeply listened, related it to what I have said in previous weeks, responded briefly but so accurately, added a touch of humor, which so lightens my spirit, and blessed me with the encouragement to go on. He left me looking forward to both continuing my recovery and to our next conversation.
I submit that you and I learn much about the quality of our recovery by the quality of our relationship to our sponsor. I have been blessed with a superb sponsor. I pray that you have been – or will be – as well.