Hello there! I know there is a likely chance we have never met before, but I’m going to call you a friend. Let’s face it, we all need friends, I need friends, so, can I call you a friend? I pray that as you read on, you might consider me a friend too, I’d be honored to have that connection, even if my eyes never get to have the gift of seeing your precious face.
I don’t know how this came into your possession, but I’m excited you’re here with me. Friend I will tell you; I wish I had a happier story share. When I was discerning whether to share my story with the world, the word that kept telling me to put my pen down was “Why.” That word combined with a question mark left me sitting in the pew in the adoration chapel scratching my head muttering those same three letters to Jesus. W. H. Y. Why should I? Why bother? I look back on my life, especially the period of time this story focuses on, and not going to lie, it is depressing with a capital D. What good could possibly come out of it? Who would get anything out of it? In all honestly who would willingly want to read something so… bleh? To answer this terrifying question, I looked at the books I read when I was coming into the Catholic faith. I brought myself back to talks and conferences I attended and mentally studied the speaker sharing their story. Do you know what they all had in common? The wisdom they shared was influenced by the love of Jesus that they encountered during their struggles. We all struggle, that is a fact. From hearing how these men and women of faith not only survived their trials but use it to get closer God and to pull others along with them, I was inspired. Their stories helped me, and now I want to help others. If this is an opportunity to do it, then I must try. Even if there is only one line in the entire page length of this book that resonates with you, then it’s worth it. I pray that through these pages, Jesus will come out and speak to you.
I will give you some warning friend before you come on this journey with me. My story is hard. You know those faith movies where someone encountered Jesus and their life got infinitely better and they lived happily ever after? The credits didn’t role after my Christ moment. In fact, after my conversion high I was hurled into a world of evil and darkness. My story has the heavy topics of depression, suicidal ideation, sexual assault, and self-harm. I’m telling you this not to scare you off, but as a warning in case you are someone who has personally experienced any of the things listed above. You’re my friend, and I’m here to love you, not to trigger you, so if you’re not ready to walk this road with me yet, I understand, but I will say that I wish I had someone to relate to when I was going through it. But the good news it, you will get through it! That’s mainly what this story is about. Showing other people that even in the most trialing of hours, you will not stay in the struggle you’re in. Thank you for being on this journey with me friend, I will be praying for you!
Dr. Kathryn Evans, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Lisa Litterio, Committee Member
Prof. Bruce Machart, Committee Member
Copyright and Permissions
Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Partyka, Caroline. (2021). Unchained. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 489. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/489
Copyright © 2021 Caroline Partyka