Many people believe that everything happens for a reason, and they believe in God and faith. I believe that all it takes is one minute, one second in time, to changes one’s life forever. When two people’s paths cross, they connect…whether it be physical or emotional. I believe that when my path crossed with Sharon Leonard’s, something special happened. For the past year and a half I have been struggling with depression. Constantly surrounded in a darkness that I can’t seem to shake. I spent two weeks of my life in a hospital ward for teens who have tried to commit suicide. Once I returned home I wasn’t the same. My mood stayed the same, despite the fact that I wasn’t physically hurting myself. I spent my days blinking back tears, and my nights crying alone in my room. With no one to turn to, I started losing my faith in the Lord. My last prayer to the lord was… “Father, you have left me alone with no guidance. Please send someone to help me, someone to guide me out of this, and help the pain to stop. Thank you Lord, Amen” Psalm 25:16 Look at me and help me! I am alone and in big trouble. For a long time I had no reply, and I lost all faith that I would ever get out of the hole I was in. Then I met Sharon. At the age of 45, she shared her life story…and she was like me. With both of us barley staying afloat, there was a silent bond made. For hours we stayed up talking, learning more about each other. It was then she made me a proposition I will never forget. She looked at me and said ” Sami, I am going to make you a deal, It will be like that show ‘deal or no deal’, you can either push the button and accept it, or shut the box and take another chance…I stay alive and keep on living, if you stay alive and keep on living?” When those words came out of her mouth, my body ran cold. Thoughts swarmed my head, but as I looked up I met her glance. Her eyes told it all…surviving a hard childhood, and now making a life in a half way home….Sharon could still sit there with a twinkle in her eye. I thought to myself “If she can make it, so can I” My lips then parted, and out came the words, “deal”. It was done. I had pushed that big red button. After it was done, we got into talking about the future. I want a place where I will be accepted despite my flaws. Sharon…she always wanted to open her own half way house for teens, and she now wants to name it “Sami’s house: Deal or no deal” Teenagers these days have no clue where to go when they need help. They get thrown into hospitals, and then leave there in a matter of days…often still carrying with them all of their problems. All I can keep in mind is how glad I have met Sharon and… Pslams 31:24 Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon. – Sami

Constantly surrounded in a darkness