When the Wheels Fall Off the Train
When Sarah Thebarge was 27 years old, her life was going exactly as she’d planned. She had a master’s degree in Medical Science from Yale, and she was earning a Journalism degree at Columbia, on her way to her dream job as a medical reporter. She was also about to get engaged to the man of her dreams.
And then she was diagnosed with breast cancer and, as she describes it, “the wheels fell off the train.”
Her cancer recurred twice. She had five surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. As she was fighting for her life, her world was falling apart. She had to drop out of journalism school because she was too sick to commute to NYC for classes. Her good friend died of cancer. Her friends moved away, and her church forgot about her. And then the man she was going to marry broke up with her. In a Starbucks parking lot. While she was on chemo.
It was then that Sarah realized she had choices to make.
She could be angry that her life didn’t go as she’d hoped, and, because of all the disappointments, she could refuse to move on with her life. Or, she could accept the losses and decide to set out on a new adventure, even though it was very different from what she had expected.
Sarah chose the latter option. When she finished her treatments, she sold everything she had and bought a one-way ticket from the East Coast to Portland, Oregon, and she started over. It was there that she met a Somali woman and her daughters on a train. She developed a relationship with them, started a blog about them called The Invisible Girls, and then turned the story into a book, using the profits to start a college fund for the Somali girls.
In this inspiring talk, Sarah tells listeners that at some point in their life, the wheels will fall off the train of their life, and they will have a choice to make. They can stay stuck, refusing to move on because life has disappointed them. Or, they can practice acceptance and hop off the train, finding the adventure that’s waiting for them as they begin to blaze a new trail.
Bring this message to your college, conference, church, or women’s group.