I grew up in Unity, but I didn’t understand what it meant to live the principles and concepts of Unity until I had to. My mother was a hardworking single
mom, and my dad was sick but very present and always
supported me. Growing up, I always felt blessed.
Three years after I graduated from college, my father had a
stroke. I got a phone call saying, “Your dad is dying.” At that
moment, it felt like my whole life
was falling apart. I had deep anger
toward God for taking my father.
Just weeks later, I got another hard-to-hear phone call telling me my
mother’s cancer had metastasized
to her lungs, brain, and kidneys.
I was 25 years old.
At the time, I couldn’t have
imagined moving past my parents’ deaths and getting to
a place of gratitude. I truly felt as though God turned his
back on me. But now, six years later, I realized God never
gave up on me—even when I had given up on myself.
Growing up in Unity taught me the power of positive
thinking and the ability we have to create our lives on our
own terms. But after losing my parents, I had no clue what
I wanted to do with my life. I did some reevaluation and
began asking myself, What will make me happy? I started
turning to prayer and affirmations for answers. I also kept
this core Unity principle in mind: “We create our life
experiences through our way of thinking.” When I did this,
a sea of possibilities opened up.
I always dreamed of working at the United Nations,
so I decided to go for that. While researching that
option, however, all the websites I visited that listed the
United Nations employment requirements indicated that
applicants needed a graduate degree. I didn’t have one, nor
did I have the financial means or interest in getting one.
My dream now looked virtually impossible, but every day,
I asked God to guide me toward achieving that.
Several months later, I noticed on social media that an
acquaintance was working as a journalist at the United
Nations. I didn’t know how I felt about journalism, but
I had been writing a lot—it felt like therapy for me. So I
reached out to her, and she agreed to meet me for coffee.
She ended up getting me a freelance gig at the United
Nations with a small news agency based in Rome. I would
cover the United Nations for them, and they would provide
me with writing tips. I was overjoyed, if also a bit nervous.
As soon as I started, though, I felt connected to the job
because it gave me a platform to
share issues that were important
to me. Before my mother died,
she read The Dressmaker of
Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach
Lemmon, a true story of a
resourceful young woman in
Afghanistan who was left to
care for her five sisters after her
father and brother were forced to flee Taliban-controlled
Kabul. Forbidden to work, she nonetheless became a very
successful (if undercover) entrepreneur, and she mobilized
her community against the Taliban in the process.
The book inspired my mother and made her feel brave.
Even though she died a month after sharing that with me,
she passed on to me her desire to do more for humanity
and elevate the status of women and girls across the globe.
I now know journalism is my calling, and news and human
rights reporting has become my passion.
Life is sweet again. I finally feel as if I can create a new
normal, forging a deeper and more loving relationship with
myself, my faith, and my understanding of these powerful
principles. I’m honored to live this life and to have Unity
as such a valuable presence.
Unity taught me the power
of positive thinking and the
ability we have to create
our lives on our own terms.
The Way Made Clear
By Stephanie Parker
Stephanie Parker is an award-winning
journalist specializing in women’s rights
issues and global human rights atrocities.
She began her journalism career as a
freelance United Nations correspondent
with Inter Press Service, specializing in
Africa and the Middle East (including the
outbreak of the Syrian crisis). Parker then worked as a
special correspondent for Xinhua, the national news service
of China. She’s now a freelance journalist living in New York
City. Follow her on Twitter at gbstephparker.