July 2020: A Note from Hope — For decades, journalist Sheri Hunter has been writing about education, the auto industry, and small for newspapers, TV news channels, and magazines. But after the sudden death of her husband, Mannard, she felt lost.
To calm herself, she initially reached for pills, then booze. But soon she realized there was a better solution. Enter the Dare Divas. With these three friends she went skydiving, drove Nascars, hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro — and more.
“Through these death-defying activities and the unwavering support of her friends, I slowly found the strength to move forward in life,” Sheri explains.
That’s when the woman with a BA in Political Science from University of Michigan-Dearborn, and an MBA from Lawrence Technological University, put her professional writing skills to work and penned, Daring to Live.
More than a memoir, this empowering female travelogue pairs emotionally resonant, confessional storytelling with spiritual takeaways, challenging readers to engage fully in their own lives, surround themselves with friends who will support them, and face life’s challenges with courage and faith.
Sheri then wrote an article based on the book for National Geographic Traveler magazine — and it went viral. A book tour following at packed Barnes & Noble bookshops in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. Her challenge to the audience: Channel your inner adventurer.
“If you’ve ever experienced a sudden loss or upheaval in life, my story will reassure you that even if life as you knew it is over, the future God has for you is always full of new adventures,” Sheri insists.
Scroll down to learn more about Sheri and her book.
Why I am “Daring to Live”
Ever experience loss? Death of a loved one, loss of freedom, independence, an investment you put your life’s savings into, then, suddenly…gone?
If we live long enough we all will experience a profound loss that will take our breath away. It will be a gut punch that brings us to your knees.
In 2012, my husband of 21 years, Mannard, died suddenly. He wasn’t doing some harrowing sport, or at his demanding job, he was right at home. He died as he was awakening from sleep at 4am on a rainy Sunday—a sudden heart attack.
As a woman of faith—I mean, I volunteered at my church regularly—you’d think I’d turn towards scripture, seek solace in the comfort of the Lord. Instead, I turned to pills and then alcohol. I was a mess and a deep seeded shame that all those years of service, I was instead a phony, a coward and weaker than I had ever imagined.
My three Christian friends (we call ourselves the Dare Divas) intervened and demonstrated not judgment, but grace. Together we ventured off and leaped into insanity. With fear (dread really), we dared each other to do different feats that excited our inner swashbuckler.
One dare we ziplined through the trees, another we whitewater rafted (though none of us could swim); another one we skydived, drove Nascars, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro…and on and on.
Each time, the act of living boldly was easing my spirit, moving me towards a self-confidence that I had lacked. During each dare— after I screamed with abject terror—a deep inner glee emerged, and soon I began to see that I could do other things in my personal life. The lesson was to ACT even when scared beyond belief.
In the end, when it comes to healing there’s no need to do anything as extreme as I did. Simply pushing outside your comfort zone in some small (or big) way will force you to seek God’s face…and he will meet you there.
What I hope for us all is to live a legacy of faith on fire!