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Number of Pages: 122
Vendor: WestBow Press
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 X 0.29 (inches)|
"I found her in the closet; that is how the nightmare began . . ." The nightmare is suicide, teen suicide by overdose. Valley of the Shadow provides a rare and intimate window on one family's life thrown into a tailspin by their daughter's suicide attempt. Written with candor, hope, and even some humor, the authors share their story of grief, crisis, recovery and renewal from both the family's and victim's perspectives. Walk with Elizabeth and Erin Stone and their family through this valley to find hope and healing.
Author: Elizabeth Stone
Located in: Beckley, WV
Submitted: May 10, 2017
Tell us a little about yourself. Rev. Elizabeth Stone is a pastor in rural West Virginia, having graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a master of divinity, and a B.S. in mathematics with honors from Bethany College, WV. After a fruitful teaching career and work in youth and camp ministries, she transitioned into pastoral work. She is a member of the West Virginia Suicide Prevention Council and the WV chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and is an advocate and speaker for suicide prevention in churches, seminaries, and with community leaders. Her work also includes retreat ministries, community programs, and hospice chaplaincy. She is married and has five children, and an increasing number of grandchildren. Erin Stone is a graduate of Harding University's bachelor of business administration program with a concentration in wedding and event planning. Currently she works in sales. Her ministry has been largely with youth: visiting schools, colleges, youth groups, and camps to tell her story and encourage young people.
What was your motivation behind this project? Our purpose is twofold, to offer hope and life to people suffering with suicidal depression or loss due to suicide, and to challenge the church to minister more effectively to those who are walking through this particular valley.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? Our hope and prayer is that people will be encouraged to choose life, to gain hope and strength from our story, and to find help when they are faced with the sorrow of suicide. By sharing our story so candidly, we want to unveil suicide for what it really is, to demystify it and remove the false sheen of glamour that some attach to this fatal act. Almost every person is affected in some way by suicide; it is time to break the silence about this terrible killer so we can bring healing to those who suffer with the grace of Christ.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? This project helped us remember and review our experience in the light of salvation. In doing our research, we learned that suicide is not uncommon, that it is on the rise, and by speaking out we have enabled others to share. It never fails that when we speak or set up a table at a community event that many people come up to us, and finding a safe place to talk about suicide, their stories spill out. We've had lots of opportunity to pray with people, and the conversation often expands to cutting, anorexia, loss of a child to cancer, or other tragedies people face. Having the courage to name our troubles out loud begins the healing process, and opens the door to grace.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? In general, inspiration comes from personal study of the Bible, experiencing the faithfulness of God in our lives, Christian music of all kinds, family, and our faith communities. Church camp has been a huge influence in both of our lives. Books that inspire us are too many to mention! Negatively, the cultural bias that glorifies suicide has spurred us on to new energy with this project. 13 Reasons Why - the book and now the TV series - do not safely address the issue of suicide, and fail to show the horror of this kind of death not just to the victim of a completed suicide, but to the survivors as well. We need to value life as God's gift and have a Godly response to the world's skewed messages.