Rebellion was my Testimony

I started to rebel as much as possible

My trouble began in the ninth grade when I’ll admit I was too selfish to see how my behavior was affecting my family.  I started to rebel as much as possible, drinking with my friends and sometimes staying away from home for entire weekends at a time.   To my friends, it seemed that everything was ok and no one really knew of my intense struggles and the heated arguments I was having with my family.  I thought my parents were out to ruin my life and that their rules were stupid.  I decided to just live for myself.

This eventually led to an explosion and I realized that I needed a break from my environment.  My parents discovered Shelterwood and we took a road trip from British Columbia, Canada to Independence, MO.  I was scared and the situation really sunk in when my parents drove away and left me behind.  An hour later, another student was admitted to Shelterwood and we became fast friends.  We bonded right away and I knew that although I was still anxious, that everything was going to be ok.  He and I helped each other through every step of the program and both graduated and still keep in touch today.

While I was at Shelterwood I had an opportunity to travel on a service trip with the program to Haiti.  For me, this short trip to Haiti was a major turning point in my life.  I witnessed true joy in people who had nothing but faith, and I realized for the first time that this was all I needed to find fulfillment.  The biggest lesson from my time at Shelterwood was simply how to get along with all kinds of people.  The friendships I made during my stay were authentic and long lasting, and the knowledge I gained about healthy relationships crossed over into my family life and my parents and I were able to reconcile.

Once I graduated from the program, I became restless in my job at a local hardware store and wanted something more for my life.  Still searching for truth, I decided to attend Bible school where I traded religion for relationship.  My most recent plans include getting a degree in Intercultural Studies and working for an organization that helps others in some way.

Dan F.