Faith-building is a contact sport

The past several weeks, we’ve been producing videos of people from different age groups and backgrounds – Jeff Collier, Michael Watt, Susan Scrupski – to serve as a resource for parents and sponsors to use with your children. The thinking is that when your kiddo won’t listen to you, perhaps they’ll listen to someone else – the more voice, the better.

But the other thing these faith stories have done for us is provide another source to inspire us grown-ups – the parents, sponsors, and other adults whose duty it is to be role models and support networks for the faith formation for our children. We, too, can learn from the stories of others.

A couple of different sources brought the importance of story-telling further to light this that I wanted to share.

First, a report released this week by the Pew Internet and American Life Project and the California HealthCare Foundation discussed how people who are fighting chronic illnesses, once they are online, are much more likely to blog or participate in online discussions about health problems. “It’s really literally saved my life, just to be able to connect with other people,” said Sean Fogerty, 50, who has multiple sclerosis and was quoted in the story about the study.

My key takeaway is that often, people with such crippling problems are unable to physically get out to meet with others from whom they can receive comfort and with whom they can socialize and share stories. The internet has become an incredibly valuable tool to connect these people with a sense of community.

Second, an upcoming event notice from Priority Associates caught my attention, because of its basis in a universal story of love, loss, and renewal, as shared by Kristin Armstrong. Kristin is something of an old “sorority sister” for my husband Steve, because he and she were members of the same Leadership Austin class, in 1996-1997. So, we have a fond spot for her and her story.

As the event notice describes, very few of us get to live out our “fairy tale dreams” of our childhood of getting the perfect job, marrying Prince Charming and living in a foreign land.  But Kristin Armstrong did!  In 1997, while working for an Austin advertising and PR firm, Kristin met her “Prince Charming,” world famous cyclist Lance Armstrong.  One year later they were married and on their way to the French Riviera where they lived and he trained for the Tour de France.

Unfortunately, after 5 years of marriage and 3 children, the marriage ended in divorce. Kristin went through dark times, trying to sort out who she was and how to rebuild her life.  Now an author of 4 books, a freelance writer and a marathon runner, Kristin has been interviewed on Oprah, CBS, ABC, and other national TV shows and magazines on how to survive the break-up of a relationship.

Kristin is now forging a new life and will be talking about how she dealt with disappointment, failure and faced the harsh realities of life, and found her true identity.  She’ll be sharing how her faith in God became the foundation that helped her rebuild her life, forgive, and move on.

Man or woman, cute-as-a-kitten or tough-as-nails, no matter who you are, chances are at some point in most everyone’s life, we’ve all felt insecure, lost in our way, and experienced failure or the pain of a difficult relationship breakup, with loved ones, peer groups, organizations, or others with whom we built strong bonds.

The fact is, faith-building is a contact sport, because life itself is a contact sport. You don’t live it alone. Check out our events page to get more of the details about the event led by Kristin; it’ll be a good one.

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