I woke up.
Head pounding.
Room spinning.
Still buzzing from the cheap well drinks that I pounded several hours before.

Nothing in the room was familiar. Where am I?
Worse yet, I questioned, Who is that sleeping next to me? 

It was 1998.
I didn’t have a cell phone.
Uber didn’t exist.

Nauseous, I sat up.
Where’s my car?
How did I get here?
Where are my friends? 

It was a dark time for me.
Well, let’s be honest, sunshine–much of my life to this point was dark.

I was 22 and moved to Florida just six months before this story happened.
I had already begun my weight loss journey in August of ’97 and was down nearly -70lbs. But something that nobody tells you when you set out on a weight loss journey is that weigh gain is mental.
It’s emotional.
It’s messy.
It’s controlling.
It’s fearful.
It’s full of desire to loved and accepted.

I won’t go in to all of the details of that night, but I will tell you that this was another rock bottom moment and yet another major turning point in my life.

In typical God-like fashion, He spoke to me.
It was more like a subtle, quiet , head-titled, teary-eyed look from a caring and compassionate Father–are you done looking for love in all of the wrong places, Frannie?

Instead of looking to Little Debbie or Duncan Hines, I realized that replaced my vice of overeating with alcohol, which then lowered my inhibitions, which lead to waking up in strangers’ apartments, which then lead to tearfull-morning-after-walks-of-shame as described in this story.

That was it.
After I sobered up and located my car, I made my way back to my apartment. And it was then that I made a decision to quit drinking.
Cold turkey. (Where did this expression come from anyway as related to ending an addiction?!?)
That’s it.
I had enough.

You see, sunshine, I realized that I simply replaced vices looking for the same outcome: love and acceptance. 

But as you know, that can only be found through a relationship with Our Father.

So you’ve heard me say it 1000x–
Florida is my happy place.
Florida is my healthy place.
But I need you to know, sunshine–Florida truly is my holy ground.

It’s where I was awakened.
It’s where I first surrendered to God’s will rather than my own.
It’s where I received direction.
It’s where I established a relationship with God (despite growing up in church.)

I’m praying for awakening.
I’m praying for surrender.
I’m praying for direction.
I’m praying for a deeper more meaningful relationship with The Only True Source of Love and Acceptance.

Whether you are able to attend or not though, sunshine, I want you to know that in your darkest places, God is there.
And He will always come looking for you. (Gen 3:9)

And if you’re in one of those places now, I’d love to pray for you.
Please hit reply and let me know how.