I believe in second chances

Valerie - Leola, Pennsylvania
Entered on March 4, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in second chances. And third chances. And fourth. New beginnings are infinite for those who embrace their failures with forgiveness, a willingness to learn, and determination.

As a young mother, I was filled with fear. It began with my children’s first steps. Watching helplessly, I felt their pain as they stumbled about, their little feet flailing. Over and over, day after day, they would fall and clumsily hit their precious heads on every piece of furniture in our living room. Yet, their resilience and willpower never ceased to amaze me. They never stopped trying. Even as I was reaching to comfort and protect them, they were back on their feet, tottering away from my safe embrace.

As an adult, I became that child, unsure of myself and so afraid of the future. For years I was consumed with fear and grief. Grief for the many losses in my life. Fear for the uncertainty of my future. Health problems plagued me. Relationships failed me. My heart was broken. Dreams were shattered. My faith in God and man was shaken and nearly destroyed. I sank into despair. Others lived lives rich with love and peace while I suffered, still standing, but never moving forward.

In 2004, through catastrophic events in my life, I was given my second chance. With my new found freedom and independence came trust and hope. It was a new day! At 31 years of age, my clouds had finally rolled away. My long night was over! For the first time in my life I was actually living.

It is now three years since my new beginning. It has not been easy. I still find myself, at times, grieving for the lost years and for the many losses in my life. However, I know that this grieving will bring healing and acceptance. I do, at times, continue to stagger through life. But just as my children learned to walk, strong and confident many

Ellis 2 years ago, I also am learning. As I have embraced my past, my faults, and my failures, I have begun moving forward. My mistakes, once stumbling blocks, have now become stepping-stones, leading me to an unknown, yet exciting future.

My wish to work with others has become a reality. Each day I am blessed with being able to help others in need. My health has improved dramatically. A few months ago I began college. I have exceptional grades and never tire of learning new things. The knowledge is endless. I now dream, planning a successful and happy future. I am loved and I am learning to love. More days than naught, I stand strong, accepting of myself, yet always learning. I will always strive to be better and I will be eternally thankful for my second chance.