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The Power of Sisterhood and Taking Risks: An Interview with Author Sheri Hunter

After Sheri Hunter lost her husband, she banded together with her friends in a group they call the Dare Divas. Together, they traveled the world and faced extreme adventures, and Sheri found healing in the midst of it.

Her book, Daring to Live, is about friendship, healing, and courage, and how you can “take risks to jump-start your joy.” Her book has already impacted so many, and is the inspiration for a feature film by DeVon Franklin.

What is “Dare-apy” and how did it help you heal?

What I found with dare-apy is that it helped when I got home. If I can go out and do these crazy outlandish things, if I get past my fear in those areas, certainly I can come home and do the same thing. So things like managing a home that had to short sale, going to a doctor when you're afraid because you don't know what the prognosis might be — these are situations you fear at home. If I can do courageous things outside my home, certainly I can do it at home as well.

How did you see God move in the midst of your journey through grief?

He revealed himself to me in a new way. I hate to own up to this, but I really felt like I didn't have the relationship with Him as I should have. I was busy serving, I was busy involved in the church and busy being a “good Christian,” whatever that means. When I went through loss, I questioned the Lord, and God made it clear to me, He said, “I am sovereign. I am your father. I love you. But at the same time, you have to be able to understand that regardless of what you're going through, you still have to come. You have to put yourself in the mode of going with the plan. Some things you will never know. Some things you will, I will reveal to you. But there's some things I don't know because they’re not just about you. It's impacting all these other people around you.” And then I was like, “Okay, God, let me just align my thinking to you. I know you love me no matter what, and that somehow, I know that I'm going to find happiness again through this.”

What advice would you give to somebody grappling with grief?

Grief is singular. It's not for others. It's yours, and no one can identify or know exactly what you're going through.

I am a widow, but just because another woman is a widow doesn't mean our grief was the same. And so it's very important for those of us who are going through something not to allow other people to place how they're feeling on us because no one really knows how you're feeling.

And give yourself some time. People have asked me, “How long did it take you to get out of your grief?” For some of us, that might be a little sooner, for some of us a little longer. The goal is to allow yourself time, but also understand that you want to open your heart to moving forward.

How have you seen God starting to move through your story? 

I've gotten so many responses from people, and their stories are very different from mine. I'm getting all these levels of conversation and I tell people all the time, “Listen, I'm not a therapist. That's not my area of expertise or knowledge. But I think it's important to have dialogue and conversation and to always reach out to individuals who do have the expertise that I don't have.”

My book is really meant to [start] that level of conversation and dialogue. And I love that we're doing that, that we're able to talk about what grief feels to us and to also understand that sometimes we have to do something extraordinary, something that is outside of our comfort zone in order to move towards the life that God wants for us.

What would you say to someone who says they don’t have the resources or money to do what you did?

I came from a family with very little. My mother, grandmother, and great grandmother were strong, loving women - and I love them dearly - but they were janitors. They cleaned other peoples’ toilets for a living. But I still feel that no matter how you start, it does not mean that's how you have to end. We all have to find some way of finding joy. Money is not an indicator of joy because we know there's so many people who have money who don't have joy.

What I have found is that it's that quiet place where you can allow yourself to go beyond that area that has scared you a little, and then come on the other side. For someone, it could be a woman who has three children as three small children, but she wants to go back to college, being able to say, “You accomplished that.” What a beautiful thing! Even though you were afraid. How are you going to manage these kids, or find the strength and the fortitude to do that? That's moving towards your joy for someone else.

It can be something different, but I think that's the thing that we need to really look at instead of the totality of everything. What is it that you're working with that resides deep inside your soul that you must do before you leave here?

To purchase Daring to Live:

Guest Name / Person Interviewed or Featured in Article or Video: 
Sheri Hunter
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