This I Believe

alyona - richmond, Kentucky
Entered on November 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in miracles

Growing up in a very conservative Ukrainian culture, I had experienced and witnessed many miracles. My childhood survival was a miracle, and I don’t mean it in a funny way. At two months old I had caught radiation from a nuclear plant explosion in Chernobyl. I was no where near that plant, but the radiation was in the air, and it was easily contagious. I had survived three years before the radiation was noticeable. I had it inside of my right cheek and it had swollen over the years. The explosion occurred around April 1986, and I was born in February, but the radiation was not removed from my cheek until February 1989. This I believe is a miracle in my life because I did not encounter any types of cancer, and survived with minimal scaring.

Another miracle that had occurred in my lifetime is the process of coming to America. In Ukraine the government did not want their people leaving the country. So the government tried various ways to discourage people of the idea. America would be televised as a harmful state and would show case all the negative aspects of its history. They would show how people were hosed down due to riots and how people were beaten by police. The government officials even told my father that our family was considered a disgrace to Ukraine, as well as, a spy and would be under maximum supervision. Since we were legally permitted to leave Ukraine, the government really could not do anything about our decision.

President Ronald Reagan signed the immigration reform law that permitted immigrants to migrate to United States. Because of that law we were permitted to leave Ukraine legally. In Ukraine you had to go through an extreme interrogation as to why you should be considered to migrate. My parents were both from very Christian families and were humiliated, refused services, and kicked out of school systems or purposely failed throughout their life for their beliefs. So because of that occurrence they were permitted to leave Ukraine, but only under a Jewish status. The Jewish people were permitted to flee first because of the treatment they had endured over the years. So under a Jewish status we were safely able to leave Ukraine and migrate to United States. This was a major miracle that occurred in my life because if my family and I did not come to America I could not imagine where my life would have led me.

Lastly the most important miracle that I have experienced in my life is surviving car accidents. I had been in three car accidents within my 21 years of age. This I believe was a miracle in itself. Being 16 years old and going through an accident where I could have been physically disabled, yet my survival caused me to greatly appreciate miracles. This accident could have caused me to lose my ability to smell, and I would have had to have reconstructive surgery if the impact of the accident was not abrupt. I believe God permits these miracles for a reason, and I believe that reason for me was to appreciate my life more. And from then on I have lived my life everyday as if it could be my last because you’re not promised tomorrow and you have no idea what today will bring you. Miracles are an important aspect in my life and I daily thank God for them.