This I Believe

Shaghayech - Norman, Oklahoma
Entered on January 31, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

It’s the Little Things that Count

I am dying. Numb everywhere however I can feel my heart beating, fighting the battle of its lifetime. I see the doctors above me, waiting, watching, hoping that the treatment works. Hoping that I will live to see another day. My mother sobbing and praying that this will be the answer. In that moment, with my life on the line, I questioned my existence. If I die today, will I be content with the life I lived here on earth? I am a believer but did I believe hard enough or have faith in the right thing? I am only eighteen, is this really my demise? I am still in high school; I have not experienced enough to be content. Can this really be the end?

My relationship with God and the influence of religion in my life has been a roller coaster ride. Being born in Iran, my family has gone from radical Muslims to compassionate Christians. With a Christian mother and Muslim father, my parents made the choice that they would not impose one religion over the other on their kids, instead leaving that choice up to us to decide. I spent a majority of my childhood ignoring religion and letting my stereotype of Christians as being judgmental and hypocritical discouraged my involvement. Finally, when I was sixteen, I found a church that I connected with and began breaking down my prior misconceptions about Christians. Two years later, after beginning my relationship with God, my faith was tested when I was diagnosed. In this moment when I questioned my life, I too questioned my faith.

I fought, my body fought, but most importantly my soul fought. I survived my battle with cancer. I thought that was the end, treatment is over, and your life goes back to normal. Everything I doubted, my faith, my God, my life, would be reassured. But they didn’t. What do I believe now? What do I believe after facing near death, after going through such a life changing experience?

I believe in experiencing life’s insignificant moments and finding significance in them. Rather than spending my life waiting for my big tah dah, will spend it finding the little things to treasure. The moments in which everybody else would take for granted, but I find special. When my iPOD is on shuffle and it plays the perfect song, for the perfect day, on a walk around my breathtaking campus. The moment when I eat a delicious meal at a restaurant found by chance. A great cup of hot tea in the winter. I believe in cherishing insignificant moments rather than profound ones because then I begin experiencing all of life, rather than just the big parts. Because only then can I actually die knowing that I have made every effort to experience life’s beauty and feel content. I believe in never questioning my time here on earth. I believe in never questioning my existence.