This I Believe

Chelsea - Delaware, Ohio
Entered on October 14, 2007

The night of July 5, 2004 was the worst night of my life. It was the last night before the start of my new life, a whole different world was coming and I hated it already. Little did I know I would learn to love my new life and someday even thank God for that terrible night.

The day started in Cody Wyoming; a twelve hour day identical to the day before it, except this time we stopped in Colby Kansas for the night. Driving through Kansas on a 96 degree day had left my family and I tired and irritable. I lied on my side, staring out the open window and listening to the I-70 traffic rush by. The hotel sheets were dry and rough. I longed for my own bed and my own sheets. I wanted to be home. I knew that even after my family and I finished our cross country journey I would still not be home. It may be years before I was ever home again.

Even in the night it was still hot and I was crying. Crying because I was mad, crying because I was scared, and crying because I was leaving my whole life behind. My family and I had left the beautiful west coast waters of the Puget Sound in Washington for a little land locked county named after a state. I was leaving a life that I knew had been so incredibly blessed. So much so that I used to spend nights crying in prayer, asking God why in the world he had blessed me so much. Why me? Why was my life so perfect? Even while I was living it, I knew it was too good to be true. Why did I deserve such an incredible life? Thinking of this I cried even harder, saturating the rough sheet with an undistinguishable mixture of snot and tears, because I knew it would be many years before I would ever be so happy as to cry out of happiness again.

Lying next to my brother I realized that I was not alone. My family was with me and they were crying too. Crying for me? Crying because they knew how much I hurt? Regardless, we were all miserable. We cried for each others grief. It was then that I knew that this was it. This was rock bottom. If we could get through this, we could get through anything because things could only get better.

I believe that hardships are what make us grow. I have not become who I am because of all the good times I have had. A trip to Disneyland could never define me as my cross country journey did. I believe that change is good and change is growth. Trying times are the best way to grow.