This I Believe

Jazzmin - Maple Valley, Washington
Entered on April 4, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

“Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4). I believe in love.

My dad’s parents were alcoholics and still are. My dad grew up with them always drunk, showing little affection, or concern to him or for what he did with his life. Before I was born, my dad slowly developed the inherited disease. As the years went on, his once small addiction, rapidly grew to the size of an elephant. My mom was able to stay in denial for most of that time, until I was five. At that time she finally saw our lives were in danger and she had no choice but to quickly begin taking the painful and heartbreaking steps toward intervention, before it was too late. She threatened to divorce my dad and take me away from him, if he was not willing to flip his life back around. My dad was almost to the point in the disease where he didn’t care; the only thing important to him was booze. I’m not sure where they came from, but memories from his childhood and teen years of drunken parents that could not have cared less about him or his brother flooded his brain. His parents did not love him enough to destroy their fierce addiction to save their relationship with their children. My dad loved me enough to conquer his horrible disease, so that I did not grow up thinking of him in the same way he thought of his own parents. My dad changed. He went to rehab for over a year, cut off association with friends that encouraged his drinking lifestyle, and came crying back to my mom and me. Now my dad has been completely sober for almost eleven years. I give credit to love. Eleven years ago my family was nearly shattered to pieces, but my dad loved my mom and me enough to give up his awful habit and come back to us.

If love was strong enough to hold my family together through all of that, it has to be powerful enough to fix other problems as well. Matthew 19:19 says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” People in other countries are just as much our neighbor as someone that lives across the street from us. If all people loved others there would not be any war and killing. Imagine the peace throughout the world without just those two things. I believe love can solve all of life’s problems. We could all start loving one another today. I challenge everyone to try for just one day, love people.