I believe in struggles

Amanda - Greenville, North Carolina
Entered on June 16, 2008

I believe that God gives us certain strengths and abilities to handle certain obstacles that life may throw at us. He doesn’t make us all rich or genius for a reason. Some people will struggle everyday until the day they die but I feel that God gives those struggles to people who can handle them in their own way-for everyone is unique and different. My first babysitting job, through a family friend, was for a 6-year-old boy who has Down’s syndrome. At the age of 12, young and naïve, I felt sympathetic that the father didn’t have a “normal” child. I knew having a child with a disability was extremely expensive due to medical issues and special schooling and it was difficult to have somewhat of a social life. After running errands one afternoon his father looked at me while the child was entranced with a movie and said “God doesn’t give you something you can’t handle.” He told me that when his child was first born he didn’t know what to do but one thing was certain, he was a father and it was his duty to be the best father he could be. Every time I look in the little boys’ sweet smiling face I am instantly reminded that through all the struggles, life itself is amazing. Life teaches so many lessons in ways we may never understand.

In addition I believe in the saying “that which does not kill you only makes you stronger.” I think back to high school where I was first reminded of the saying. In one year I lost four of my close friends, one of my closest family members, and due to a horrific car accident one of my best friends who is now in a semi-functioning vegetative state. During that time I was extremely ill for about 4 months and afterwards was forced to get a real job. Looking back at that one significant and defining year I feel that witnessing others around me and close to me die was awakening to my senses and kind of forced me to grow up on many levels. My freshmen year in college I lost two more close friends—one due to a drug overdose and the other a car accident, and I was forced to become financially independent. Since then I have struggled to make ends meet and for myself it always seems to be that when it rains-it pours but then again I am alive and kicking so bring on the rain. You hear all these motivating and inspiring stories and I would like to be an inspiration but my story is just one of personal experience and triumph for myself. I know what I have been through. I know that at the end of the day I will kneel beside my bed and thank God for those struggles with money, love, family issues, death, school, work, and paying bills because it is only making me a stronger individual now and for the future. And though it sometimes feels like life is killing me I know in the end it only makes me stronger and thankful for what I have in life, what I have accomplished, and most importantly, thankful for what I have been through to make me who I am today.