"I Was Letting People Down"

Author Saloma Furlong left the Amish at 20, and she recently helped Anna find her way.

Transcript: I was 20 years old when I finally decided to leave. My mother wrote to me a couple of months after I left, and she said, “Well, today you were put from the church.” Meaning, now you are shunned.

A year and a half after I left the Amish I got married. Though I sent them invitations, none of my family showed up and none of my community members came. I was letting people down, especially my mother. At that time, people could not ask me specifically about my family or about my background without me bursting into tears.

I got a call and it was this man saying that he had just found my name on the internet and he needed someone to help a runaway form the Amish community. You know, I was still in my nightgown, and I was thinking to myself, “Well, this could have been me.”

I think she keeps asking herself, “Did I do the right thing? And why am I here?”

Anna has been packing and repacking her suitcase for like a week and a half. Anna can not let go of some of her Amish beliefs, and you know, I guess I understand that. Sometimes when we care about somebody we just want to hug them and hold them close, and the situation requires that we open our arms and let that person go.

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  • DIG: Gretchen Stone Cook Charitable