This is awesome! We receive messages all the time from people who’ve come across our story, or someone has shared with them some particular post from the blog. Last year, this great guy reached out. For family reasons, he has asked me to protect their anonymity at this time. I will just call him Ryan. After getting to know each other a little, he told me the post, The Value of a Value, was especially meaningful to him, as he was struggling to know how to move forward in the difficulties of the untangling process. Recently, he shared with me what they have been working on as a family, because of that post, and I asked him if he would be willing to write something up to share, so that it may possibly help others as well. He agreed. Here it is, along with pictures he passed along.
I lost my faith, and I was lost. I was at the stage where I had learned so much that I was wiping clean everything ever learned or was taught. Nothing I had ever experienced compared to this pain. I became skeptical of everything. My critical thinking skills were on overdrive.
Then I came across Kenn and RuthAnn’s video from when they were asked to tell their story. I liked these guys. As I listened, they kind of reminded me of me. I clicked onto their Linking Arms blog. At first it seemed to be just more of the same, another sad story of good people going through a faith crisis.
Then it happened. I read their post called, The Value of a Value. This post really got my attention. I thought, “Finally, something positive I can heal and rebuild with.”
Even though I had wiped everything clean in my mind, I knew I wanted to know how to continue to build my marriage and raise my children, and what, if anything, I could use as a foundation. So, I printed out the Sullivan’s list of core values and had a family meeting. It was time to make my family’s core values.
Each of us in the family participated, and we went through and selected things we agreed with, changed some things, and put it into our own words. Now we had a pure foundation that was alive, and that we could use as a starting place, keeping open the option of adapting it as our family learns and grows.
My wife found this amazing wooden picture frame with designs that was 5ft by 2½ ft. I then went to a metal shop and had it fitted with the thinnest sheet metal they had. We then found over 30 smaller frames at the dollar store, and framed each core value. Every core value word was written out in the family’s own handwriting, on 3 by 5 cardstock. There were no special fonts or stickers. 100% our values. We then added magnets to the smaller frames to hang inside the large metal frame.
Every framed word is removable and movable. At dinner, I will grab a few framed words to make talking points as a family. We discuss experiences each of us has had, and how we think about each core value we are discussing.
What a relief. We don’t need to rely upon anyone else or anything else to have peace and joy in our lives. Core values have power. Core values are real. The healing has begun. -Ryan