Strength Through Struggles

M - Napoleon, Ohio
Entered on December 12, 2007

If I only had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” I would be rich. Although I have received this advice many times throughout my life, I have never fully understood its meaning. Now, thanks to a very good friend of mine, I do. I believe in strength through struggle.

I have three best friends, all of whom I met about a year and a half ago through a district youth ministry team that I am on through church. All of us are very religious and have been our whole lives. We are all strong in faith, but, as with any person, there have been times when we have doubts and questions. When we all met, I was going through what I thought at the time was a very difficult situation to deal with. The three of us started to talk about different struggles and difficult times in our lives and we shared our stories. Both of theirs were similar to mine; we struggled with grades, fights with friends, and fights with our families. We thought our lives were so terrible. Then, one girl on the team, our third best friend told her story. Two years before we met her, she was diagnosed with kidney failure. She had been through dialysis treatments and more pain than any of us could have ever imagined, yet she had a stronger faith and a better outlook on life than any one of us. She had struggled, and because of all she had been through, she believed more than ever that God has a purpose and a plan for everyone even when we are going through pain.

She taught me a very important lesson that day that I still value and practice in my daily life. Even when I am going through difficult times, whether I’m sick or fighting with someone I know that everything will work itself out, and that I will be okay. God has a plan for me and everything that happens to me is only to make me stronger, make me better. This lesson has changed my whole outlook on life. I look at difficult times, when I’m struggling to deal with everything, as a lesson and as a workout for my faith. I look at life as if everyday encounters with strenuous situations are making me stronger instead of weaker as I once thought. Everyday is a gift and a blessing, and I will survive even when I think I cannot and it feels as if the entire world is crashing down around me. God will protect me just as He protected my best friend, He will provide for us, and he will keep us safe; He will make us strong.