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A Reflection on the Storytelling Gathering

Evangeline shaking hads with someone at L'Arche USA

The Storytelling Formation in October of last year was such a rich experience for me and came at a perfect time. In July, I had transitioned from working full time in the homes to working full time in the L’Arche Chicago office. A couple months into the role, I was beginning to find myself in a rut; I was grieving my time and relationships in the home. More specifically, I was grieving the fact that my days no longer seemed to be quite as rich with stories.

I realized then that my main mode of meaning-making previously had been through stories.

It was where my purpose came from. It was where my pick-me-ups came from. It was how I invited people into L’Arche and how I explained why it matters. I’d think back on the day and delight in the ways people filled my days and wrote their stories on my heart.

The formation gave me some language around why stories matter. It invited me to remember many stories, both L’Arche stories and other stories. It invited me into gratitude for L’Arche stories, and most importantly got me out of the rut of thinking that story time was over. Being in L’Arche in a different way doesn’t mean that I’m done living out tellable stories.

We all have those small moments of panic, right? In the heart of a transition, when we think the best is behind us? I’m grateful for a week full of good people and good stories to remind me of the richness and meaning around me today, waiting to be shared.

Evangeline Smith
Director of Care
L’Arche Chicago

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