In 2012, Sarah and I made a choice. It was a significant choice that would change our lives forever, although we didn't fully realize it at the time. In 2012, we chose to start the Torch. When we started the Torch there were more odds against us than for us. I had only recently filed bankruptcy and my self esteem was nowhere to be found. Sarah was still unemployed, although she was going to school and working hard to complete her education. Both of us had been homeless just a year and a half before.
So, we made the choice to launch the Torch even though so many things indicated we would not, could not, succeed. We chose to do it because it felt right to us. It was time to take a leap of faith, after all, when you have nothing to offer - faith is everything. We sent in our incorporation paperwork, and applied for the nonprofit status. In an amazing two months, both were completed and accepted and the Torch was officially born.
Throughout the past few years we have occasionally doubted our sanity for making the choice. We have cried buckets of tears, had seriously painful disagreements, and been told repeatedly that our plan just won't work. Our support from others has been up and down. We have been criticized for everything from our food to how we utilize our helpers.
I have nearly knocked myself out when I banged my head on the gas can holder on the back of the truck. Sarah has been burned repeatedly on the grill. We have been bumped and bruised and torn. But we made the choice to do this, and we own that. And even though it sometimes feels like the dumbest choice ever, we know in our hearts it wasn't.
Because in the midst of the chaos and hurts there have been the most amazing highs we have ever known. Huge donations have come in that encouraged and lifted us. People have thanked us and, even better, told us that we bring hope. We have discovered how to help form community, and how, even though we didn't bring much to the table, our lives could make a difference. And we can stand tall and tell others that their lives can make a difference as well.
We have met amazingly wonderful, helpful people during this adventure. We have learned how important it is to always get back up when we get knocked down. We have discovered resilience, strength and wisdom we didn't know we had. We have learned how to keep a propane tank going, and how to run a generator. We have also learned how to ask for help when we need it - that one is kindof difficult.
I know sometimes running the Torch and 180 feels a bit overwhelming, but those times pass, and life is good. If you ever find yourself at a crossroads and you have a choice to make about following a dream - no matter how impossible it might seem - give it a go. Although it might get difficult and discouraging, it can also be amazing and wonderful. The Torch is a choice I am so glad we made.