Keira's Shae Memoir: How The Light Gets In

Ring your bells that still can ring,

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack—a crack in everything;

That’s how the light gets in.
— -Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”
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On July 24, BCC Press will publish How the Light Gets In by Keira Shae. This memoir is the story of a girl growing up in a poor, non-Mormon family in Provo, Utah, USA and encountering abuse, drugs, prostitution, family separation, and profound poverty in the shadow of the Temple and the LDS Church’s flagship university. She eventually converted to the Church after experiencing kindness from an LDS foster family as a teen. 

Megan Goates reviewed this book saying that "At its deepest root, Keira’s book candidly and deeply ponders the purposes of suffering and the prickly path of mortality, with its hard-earned lessons in empathy, endurance, mercy, and forgiveness."-https://segullah.org/book-review/book-review-how-the-light-gets-in/

Keira most recently shared a piece of her story with us. Please go and look it up in our stories section.

A New Name

Those of you that have been tuning in since this site first launched in 2016 (thank you!) may be curious as to why the site changed its name from “HOZHO Project” to “WillingTruth”. Well, a couple months ago a member of a Native American tribe reached out  with concerns, and upon further research and communication, I came to the conclusion that Hozho was not the perfect, healing word that I had originally thought it to be. So, in an effort to right my wrong, the quest for a new name began! And I was surprised how effortlessly the words “Willing Truth” came upon me. I feel these words are much more easily understood and relevant to the purpose of this site.

For willing individuals to share the truth of their painful experiences; by opening up, we hope to replace shame and negativity with healing, hope, and empowerment.

I simply love the thought of Willing Truth. Not only are the people on this site willing to share, but they are also willing a new, more beautiful truth to come to pass. Similar to a flower, if we keep our truth hidden, our roots can sometimes begin to fester, turn us sour, and even decay. But by bringing our experience into the light, we begin to bloom! And the best part of blooming is realizing that your beauty was there all along; it may have been hidden and needed some nurturing, but you were always born to shine.

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Guest Blogger: Casandra Bergquist- a loss of self

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    As I look back to determine when my trial started, I realize that it wasn’t one particular thing that happened, but a chain of events. For a few years now I have struggled to find myself and be confident in who I am. It became prevalent soon after I got married. I had graduated from college 6 months prior and was taking care of my grandma, who needed constant care. My husband and I lived with her. I really enjoyed it—cooking, cleaning, and talking with my grandma, but I rarely left her for more than a few hours. It was also a hard time for me because my closest friends had either graduated, left on missions, gotten married, and/or left town. I started to make friends with my husband’s friends and their wives, but it just wasn’t the same.

     My biggest struggle with myself was with my husband’s family. He comes from a big family and I really struggled with where I fit it. In my family, it was just my sister and I, but we did a lot with our extended family. I knew what my role was in my family, but in his I did not know my place and was afraid to try because I didn’t want to step on anybody’s toes. It was frustrating to me because I wanted to be myself and have a better relationship with my in-laws, but it was hard to do so when we didn’t see them very often and shortly after being married we moved out of the country. While living in Australia I decided that when we were at my in-laws for Christmas I would try really hard to be myself and start building good relationships with them. We arrived back in the states a few days before Christmas and we confirmed that we were expecting a baby. We were so happy, but decided not to tell anyone just yet. Four days later I had a miscarriage. It was Christmas day and it was hard. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I just wanted to cry and be alone. Again I failed to be myself that Christmas.

    Later down the road I was expecting again. We were living in the states, but had moved out of state for my husbands’ work. I was excited, but I still struggled with being myself. I had made some friends and was working on building up good relationships with them. After I had my baby, I was walking with one of them and she found out that I use to teach Zumba. She persuaded me to teach at the church and scheduled everything so I could do so. As I started teaching, I began to find myself and I found answers to my prayer.

    My life changed after college and I got married, and it continues to every day. I don’t blame my trial on getting married, moving, or anything else. All the change happened so fast and that it triggered a loss of self. My husband is my best friend and has helped me throughout this journey. I have learned that God is really there. My prayers didn’t get answered right away. It took a lot of effort on my part and it was hard, but I am so grateful for the growth I have been able to experience. I have begun to find myself again. It’s been a process, but through this process I have met some amazing, strong, beautiful women who have shown me their courage to keep going and who have become my support system. I can do hard things and lean on others and my Savior for help. Teaching Zumba to those around me has been the best thing for me at this time in my life. It has given me purpose and confidence to be myself.

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