The Dark

November 11 2012

Hello Listserve,

My name is Sloan and I am senior at Gonzaga University in Washington State. I enjoy reading all of your insights and reflection every morning when I wake up. I can relate and learn from each and every one of you.

Here is my story … in the course of 8 weeks last spring everything that I used to call familiar changed. My foundation of my family shattered when we learned my dad was having an affair and wanted a divorce from my mom. My heart broke further when I lost my hero and best friend in life, my grandfather. Everything that used to comfort me was now hurting me. Sometime I questioned if I was strong enough to get through what was the darkest time of my life. But I read a book:

“A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss” by Gerald Sittser. This book talks about his struggle with suffering after losing three generations of his family in the course of one night due to a car accident. In his book, he offers up some insights to dealing with suffering: he says, when dealing with suffering you have choices… you can run from your problems and the darkness, but that darkness will continue to chase after you trying to engulf you. Sittser questions, what would happen if you turned around and ran straight into the darkness and faced your darkness, however hard it is, until you reach the light at the end of the darkness?

That is what I decided to do. I faced my problems and ran straight into the darkness. It was not easy and it is still not easy. I do not know if I am completely out of my darkness but I know one thing: I am stronger than I ever thought I was.

I encourage each of you to face your darkness and run to the light. It is not easy and it will be hard most days but I will tell you that you will become stronger, more self-reliant, and understand yourself better than you ever imagined.

Here is my last thought, it is my favorite quote from another amazing book: "When you're deprived of all still have the most important freedom of all, which no one can take away from you: that is the freedom to choose what kind of person you want to be." ― Ingrid Betancourt, “Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle.

Thanks for reading my email. Feel free to reach out.

Sloan Westerman
[email protected]
East Wenatchee, Washignton, US

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