This I Believe

Chelsea - Delaware, Ohio
Entered on October 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

The night of July 5, 2004 was the worst night of my life. It was the last night before the start of my new life, a whole different world was coming and I hated it already. Little did I know I would learn to love my new life and someday even thank God for that terrible night.

The day started in Cody Wyoming; a twelve hour day identical to the day before it, except this time we stopped in Colby Kansas for the night. Driving through Kansas on a 96 degree day had left my family and I tired and irritable. I lied on my side, staring out the open window and listening to the I-70 traffic rush by. The hotel sheets were dry and rough. I longed for my own bed and my own sheets. I wanted to be home. I knew that even after my family and I finished our cross country journey I would still not be home. It may be years before I was ever home again.

Even in the night it was still hot and I was crying. Crying because I was mad, crying because I was scared, and crying because I was leaving my whole life behind. My family and I had left the beautiful west coast waters of the Puget Sound in Washington for a little land locked county named after a state. I was leaving a life that I knew had been so incredibly blessed. So much so that I used to spend nights crying in prayer, asking God why in the world he had blessed me so much. Why me? Why was my life so perfect? Even while I was living it, I knew it was too good to be true. Why did I deserve such an incredible life? Thinking of this I cried even harder, saturating the rough sheet with an undistinguishable mixture of snot and tears, because I knew it would be many years before I would ever be so happy as to cry out of happiness again.

Lying next to my brother I realized that I was not alone. My family was with me and they were crying too. Crying for me? Crying because they knew how much I hurt? Regardless, we were all miserable. We cried for each others grief. It was then that I knew that this was it. This was rock bottom. If we could get through this, we could get through anything because things could only get better.

I believe that hardships are what make us grow. I have not become who I am because of all the good times I have had. A trip to Disneyland could never define me as my cross country journey did. I believe that change is good and change is growth. Trying times are the best way to grow.