Victor Chiao has experienced more freedom over the past year and a half than he ever had throughout the course of his life. But he wouldn’t be where he is today if he had not also experienced the greatest darkness and despair in his life as well.
Things have always come easily to Dave Trout. As a child, he displayed precocious academic skills, learning to multiply by four years of age. Throughout his school years, he exhibited athletic and leadership abilities as well, serving as captain of the high school football team, basketball team, and baseball team.
Early on, Dave was singled out as Mother’s favorite. She was proud of her son and didn’t mind showing him off, giving him excessive amounts of positive attention over Dave’s three older brothers. But Mother’s fawning led to a deep insecurity: “I have to achieve for people to love me,” Dave believed. This drove him to become achievement-oriented, to a fault. [Read more…]
Early on in their marriage Suzanne Alft and her husband Kevin made a resolve: to walk deeper in their faith and to meet other couples wanting to do the same. When they signed up for their first Faithwalking 101 retreat to challenge them in that direction, Suzanne knew the path to transformation might be difficult due to some events from her past.
For Suzanne, Faithwalking opened some locked secrets. At her 101 retreat she was able to identify and label her secret self, a self that was crippled by shame from childhood trauma. When Suzanne was only 14 years old, she became pregnant. Her parents didn’t show concern for her—they just determined to take care of the pregnancy, and to keep it a family secret. They took her to the family doctor for an abortion, where they learned she was too far along. She was then dragged to an adoption agency, and in the end, gave up her child. Throughout this ordeal, her parents did not console Suzanne. Keeping the pregnancy a family secret was the priority. [Read more…]
In his mind, Andy Sanchez can still see the car driving off into the distance. His father, mother, and three siblings were driving off to Mexico to get tacos, but Andy wasn’t going. His parents owned three mini-marts, and Andy, as the most dependable among his siblings, was the default “right hand man” whenever his parents needed someone to stand in for them. And that day, they were going out, which meant Andy would be staying behind.
For Andy, being responsible did not feel like a virtue—it felt like a curse, especially when his family went on outings without him. To make matters worse, his siblings made fun of him for being excluded. Over time, Andy started to feel like an outsider. He felt like a servant rather than a son, and he felt taken for granted. Andy recalls, “That day, when they drove off without me, I made a commitment, I made a series of vows—to never put myself in a position where I needed anything from my parents. I promised myself not to depend on my parents.” [Read more…]
Hayward Sparks is a businessman who describes himself as a “seasoned veteran of the business world,” a fighter, and a recovering perfectionist. This is our conversation about how he came to also describe himself as a “raving Faithwalking fan.”
Q: When you were young, you experienced an embarrassing encounter that had a lasting impact. Briefly share that incident, and how it shaped one of your vows. [Read more…]