The Power of Faith

Tracey - Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Entered on October 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that having faith helps you get through difficult times. Keeping a positive outlook on negative situations can make all of the difference. Looking back at my middle school years, I do not remember enjoyment or an exciting new journey, but I do recall the challenging situation with my sister.

After my parents told me that my sister, who is four years older than me, would have to spend four weeks in a hospital due to an eating disorder, I was numb. Anorexia Nervosa was the phrase that was being thrown around in my house. To say that this placed a huge strain on my family is putting it mildly. Along with our efforts to save her life, came years of anger, hostility, and depression on my sister’s part. Before the disease had taken over my sister, we had been best friends, but it seemed like I barely knew who she was during this time. Most people did not even recognize her. She looked weak because of her bony structure. She was like a fragile glass doll. Her humorous and sincere personality had disappeared. The loving relationship I had shared with her practically dissolved and I watched my parents struggle for ways to cope. In many cases, families don’t survive these types of challenges, and I admit to feeling lonely and confused for much of the time of her disease.

Through doctor’s appointments, therapy, counseling, and finally hospitalization my family knew that everything we could do had been done. Realizing that we could not let ourselves fall into the trenches with her, we decided to “let go, and let God.” That is not as easy as it sounds, when a loved one is suffering. This compelled me to search for a way to strengthen my faith. That is when I discovered “Young Life”- a National Christian organization for young teens through adulthood. Through weekly meetings and bible studies which consisted of prayer and support, I realized how to stay grounded in such a crazy time of my life. Also, I met people my age that shared the same values as I did, which made it easier to stay involved.

Although things did not suddenly change with my sister due to my growing faith in God, I learned how to deal with the circumstances. I realized that worrying was not going to help the situation, and all I could do was give support. I placed all of my anxiety and fear in the hands of God.

Even though the recovery of my sister’s eating disorder was a long and strenuous process, my family and I have become stronger from it. My faith has grown immensely from undergoing such a difficult time and it is now a very big part of my life.