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“Words and Light”

December 20, 2022
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Maybe you clicked on a picture you liked. Maybe you read something on a social media page that piqued your interest. Maybe you came across words that described the loneliness you are feeling right now, and you followed a link looking for a connection for something more. Maybe the world feels pretty dark today and you are looking for something that can bring you light. No matter which path you took to get here, here you are. And I am so happy about that.

The first time I ever followed my instinct to write, I was just a young high school girl watching a friend struggle with the pain of a breakup. I didn’t have much to offer back then—I didn’t have my own money to buy them a gift or a car to go cruising down main for a vent session—but I did have words. I had a lot of them. And by the grace of God, I had been given an instinct and a desire to put them together in ways that made others feel better. So all through high school I wrote story after story and poem after poem for every broken-hearted person I could find who needed a little light on a dark road. And here I am with you, still doing the same.

The only difference is now it is not just a comforting moment for a friend, but a mission to encourage anyone who needs comfort. Now it is not just something I do, it is who I am. Not just a heart writing with a purpose, but a repurposed heart writing for you.

Life is hard. Pain hurts. Loss lingers. Loneliness can creep up on you even in a crowded room. Light can be hard to find on dark days. These are all truths that we share. No matter what culture, ethnicity, background, or story you come from, every single one of those statements is true for us all. The heartaches of this life are an experience we all share with someone out there, even though it feels like we are in this all alone. Please hear me when I say . . . you are not alone.

I think it feels so lonely because these are the feelings that we just don’t talk about.

I am here to talk about it. And to point to every ounce of light I can find along the way.

Pain makes us want to stay in our shells and keep our heads down, hoping these feelings will pass. Hoping that tomorrow is a better day. Praying that it all works out for good. I am here to tell you that all of those things are not only possible but also probable. Things will change. There will come a better day. Everything you are going through right now will work out for good. But I also know that when you are standing in the middle of it all, it is very hard to feel encouraged. It is very hard to see the light even when someone points it out.

I am going to try anyway.

I can’t live in your story, but I can sure talk about mine. I can talk about my failures and mistakes and regrets out loud. I can write about my search for light and how I find it among the struggles. I can write about the lessons I learn and the humor I find and the hearts that help mine. I can share all of the words and light with you, so you know you are not alone. As dark as it may feel right now, you are never alone. As long as we breathe, we are in this life thing together. Now that is something we should talk about.

No matter what brought you here today, welcome. I am so glad you stopped by. I hope you come back again soon to see what other words and light I come up with along this crazy journey we call living. I hope you find something here that makes your day better. And as I write about the search for light in my story, I hope you can find the light in yours.

Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.
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