Throughout my seventeen years of life as a daughter, big sister, student and singer, I believe that God has been present in every moment of my growth from baby to teen and in the lives of close family members. His presence in my life is evident in my academic and personal struggles during junior year of high school. Last year upon my enrollment in the International Baccalaureate program, my relationships with my parents, sisters, and friends suffered from the enormous workload and extracurricular activities involved with the program. Looking back, I know that God was truly with me as I endeavored to piece back and regain friendships and maintain a balance between social and school activities. To my great surprise, junior year grades were the best they had ever been and by school’s conclusion, my relationships with others were beginning to strengthen. My Dad and I began to play tennis again on a regular basis, people-watch at the mall, and my favorite, sing karaoke in the garage. My Mom and I began to talk more and window shop on special occasions. My two sisters, Emily and Natalie, and I swam in the pool and attended each other’s soccer games (a very popular spectacle and event in my family). God performed numerous miracles last year and I am continually grateful for His unflagging presence in my life. Even during one of the busiest times of my life to date when spirituality was not necessarily the priority, God still chose to be by my side and guide me to safety. Thank you.
Secondly, God’s presence has made a tremendous impact on my immediate family. My mother’s sister, my aunt, and uncle had their first child on August 18, 2000 and they named her Lisette. For five continual years they tried to have a second child, but to no avail. Lisette, being the only child, was extremely selfish and did not understand the meaning of “no”; my aunt and uncle hoped that having a sibling would teach her to share and be more considerate. My aunt and uncle suffered emotionally from much grief, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy after having nine miscarriages over a very short period of time. My selfless Mother then offered the greatest gift a sister could give to another sister- to be the surrogate mother of my aunt and uncle’s child, at the age of forty-two and after having three children of her own. This, I believe, is proof at God’s work in my life. After one month of what seemed like a healthy pregnancy, my mom lost the baby in June 2005. Despite this setback that took a toll on my entire family, my Mom agreed to try again and began to take shots to prepare her body for a baby in January 2006. On October 18, 2006, my cousin, Kristina Rose Eubanks (named after my mom) was born. She is God’s gift from heaven, like all newborn babies, and a true sign on earth that miracles do, in fact, happen. God is always present. At my cousin’s baby shower, the writing on the chocolate-mouse cake read: “Ten little fingers, ten little toes, God sent us Kristina Rose.”