Last updated: October 10. 2013 9:32PM - 553 Views
Natalie Netzel



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Golf courses are filled with stories. I’m not a golfer although I have attempted my swing at the driving range a few times.


This past Monday, I covered the Fellowship of Christian Athletes golf tournament at the Mid-Carolina Country Club. The rains didn’t keep the 100 players away as they supported FCA in Newberry County.


However, it was while I was riding around on the golf cart around the fresh cut greens that someone said in a conversation, “Everybody’s got a story.”


That comment has come across to me many times throughout my life and it really is very true. Everybody does have a story to tell, a story to share.


At some point in your life, you will experience a tragedy. It’s different for everybody because we are all unique. Whether it’s cancer, losing a loved one, losing a job, moving away from your friends in the midst of high school, there’s something that has or will affect you greatly.


That’s what makes it yours. You can do with it what you want, whether it’s keeping it to yourself, drowning in your sorrows, locking it up and forgetting it until something triggers it or you can do something positive.


After grieving and going through the human motions, you can choose to get up and share your experience and you never know how it will help someone else.


Tragedies are learning experiences meant to help us realize what we are doing and where we are headed. They can help us see the light at the end of the tunnel or they can help us testify and bring hope to someone who is hurting.


When someone is going through a dramatic time in his or her life and can see the hope shining after the dark in someone else’s life, the dimness fades and the light shines brighter throughout the tunnel.


Sharing one’s experiences with one or many does require vulnerability and bravery but the results are great.


For example, take Bethany Hamilton. This young lady lost her arm to a shark while surfing in Hawaii in 2003. Eventually, she got back into surfing and is very active with surfing and being an inspiration to others.


There are many stories of hope out there if you are willing to share and willing to listen.


I know of a story of a woman who was adopted from India. She also has hearing loss in one ear. Instead of playing in the background and missing out on life, she chased her nursing career dream and keeps a very active social life.


I know of a former co-worker who lost a child shortly after giving birth. Those few precious moments she had with her son live with her but she refuses to lose herself to that. March of Dimes is an important organization to her and a way to echo her pain into hope.


I remember interviewing a woman who is friends with the oldest living Holocaust survivor, Alice Herz-Sommer. As far as I know she is still alive at 109 years and lives in Europe. Instead of being bitter about what happened to her, she talks about forgiveness and hope and knows how to laugh well.


The Holocaust was one of the, if not the, greatest tragedies. I also remember interviewing a couple while in college who are both survivors. Despite the difficult circumstance, they echoed their story to people during a Holocaust Remembrance Day event. They shared their pain to spread hope.


I also remember a time after graduating college when a girl in my social acquaintance circle died in a car collision. Her presence always brought a smile to your face when she was in the room and I’m not just saying that because it’s what you say when someone dies.


The church that held her memorial service was filled and this is a big church in Irmo. She lived her life and she shared with others about everything. She shared her life and now it was her time to go.


So, what’s your story and how are you going to share it before it’s too late? You never know how it’s going to impact someone.


Natalie Netzel is a staff writer for The Newberry Observer and can be reached at nnetzel@civitasmedia.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.


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