This I Believe

Jordan - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on April 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in the ability to grow as a person. I believe in the power of change through faith to achieve happiness. This I believe.

At nineteen, I haven’t experienced too many instances in my life that have resulted in prominent, personal changes. As a child, however, there is one experience engraved in my memory that has molded my beliefs. From ages eight to ten, I would spend my afternoons in a therapist’s waiting area as my sister received counseling for chemical depression. I would experience her yelling at my parents and threats of suicide. I would catch my mom crying at night and my dad attempting to comfort her. As a family, we would consistently pray for change and my sister to be truly happy. After two years of her fearful and painful attacks on herself and our family, something did change. Our prayers were finally answered as, at seventeen, my sister found confidence in herself and hope for the future. With this remarkable alteration came improvements in her grades and personal character. At age ten, these changes amazed me and led to a stronger belief in God and the possibility of miracles through prayer.

I began believing in the power of change. I had faith that even the most impossible setbacks can be overcome and produce unexpected, positive effects. My sister is now 25, happily married with two kids and a good job. Our family can now joke about when she was a rebellious, depressed teenager. However, we will always appreciate the miracle of her transformation into a happy, fulfilled person.

Through my high school years and even now, I come to my sister for guidance through all the hard times in my life. She has helped me through obstacles ranging from our parents’ divorce, to boyfriend issues, to my struggles with partying and friendships. Thinking back on her years of depression, it’s refreshing to know that from her difficult experience came constructive behavior that not only defined her character but mine as well. Her battle with depression molded her into a person with exceptional disposition and a greater knowledge and perspective on issues many individuals face but can’t resolve. Like a blessing in disguise, my sister’s illness made her the wonderful wife, mother, daughter and sister she is today – pulling me through my challenges along the way.

This experience, in addition to other past and future experiences, contribute to my belief not only in the power of personal change and growth, but the grace of God through faith and prayer. I cannot express the obstacles I have tried to overcome by myself, realizing it can’t be done without faith and trust in Him. Though I’m hardly perfect, and often forget and ignore my beliefs at times, I know that throughout life, there will be many challenges. With this realization, I know happiness will result from change and personal growth. This I believe.