Meet Suzanne Woods Fisher
Finding Yourself through Losing Yourself
“Do unto others as if you were the other.” Amish proverb
When you were young and someone asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, what did you say? I dreamed of becoming a writer, but for you maybe it was a magician or musician, a farmer or a flautist. Or maybe you weren’t sure. Maybe you still aren’t sure.
Bethany Schrock is at that very crossroads in her life. Her hopes and dreams for the future have shattered like a broken teacup. In The Calling, we find Bethany depressed, frustrated and trying to figure out what she was put on this Earth to do.
Enter five old Amish sisters who run a soup kitchen for the down-and-outers of Stoney Ridge. They scoop Bethany into their big-hearted efforts, convinced she’d make a fine addition to the sisterhood. Reluctant at first, Bethany warms to the work as she feels the stirrings of happiness come to life. Little by little, through serving others, Bethany found her calling.
Those old Amish sisters knew a secret: you can find yourself by losing yourself. As Bethany cared for others, she spent less time dwelling on her troubles.
It was easy for Bethany to ladle up the chili soup for these down-and-outers, feeling something warm like kindness or goodness fill her chest. At least, she did feel a pleasant glow until the teens from the Group Home, filled with bravado, pushing and jabbing each other, came in knots of two and three. Bethany followed Geena’s lead and spoke to each one as she brought out the bowls of chili soup on a tray. “Good afternoon” and “How are you?” and “Would you like chili?” Most didn’t answer and kept their eyes down, but the angry red haired girl met her eyes, almost in a hostile challenge — Do you see me?
I’m trying, Bethany thought. But you make it so difficult.
In that moment, she realized she hadn’t thought about her problems all day long. It was happening each time she helped at the sisters’ soup kitchen — she forgot all that troubled her, for a little while, anyway. She turned to serve the next girl, a round girl with acne and thick glasses, who smiled at her. This felt . . . good. Really good.
If you’re struggling to find your calling, consider volunteering, in some way, for those less fortunate. To borrow an Amish proverb, “The real secret of happiness is not what you give or what you receive, it’s what you share.”
Whether you’ve already found your calling or you’re still searching for purpose and fulfillment, I’m thankful you’ve brought Bethany and me along for the ride.
About Suzanne Woods Fisher:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction. The Waiting was a finalist for a 2011 Christy Award, The Search won a 2012 Carol Award, The Choice was a finalist for a 2011 Carol Award. Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World and Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life were both finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year (2010, 2011). Find out more at her website (http://suzannewoodsfisher.
com/) or connect with her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor), Twitter (https://twitter.com/ suzannewfisher), and Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/ suzannewfisher/).
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