This I Believe

Jennifer - Ada/MI/49301, Michigan
Entered on December 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in faith. When I was sixteen years old my dad died in Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was then that I realized I had faith in my father. At the time before he had left for the war, I was a train wreck waiting to happen.

That summer I lived an empty life, not believing in anything. I did not want to trust that there was anyone that possessed an inkling of faith in me. I wanted to be all that I could, but I was not living the life a sixteen year old girl should be.

That summer while he was stationed in Iraq, I became a very angry person. I was frustrated that my Dad could not be there, and I was so hurt I just did not know what to do, other than abuse my self. Being with out him for a year and a half was a pain that I did not want to deal with. Cutting myself, smoking, and excessive drinking were things that I counted on, to ease my broken heart. It was not until my sixteenth birthday that summer that I found faith.

Right after I had finished blowing the candles out on my birthday cake the phone rang. Never in my life was I so happy that my celebration had been interrupted. It happened to be my father, who was calling to wish me a happy birthday. I missed him so much at the time and it made all of my depressed feelings go away. My father told me he was proud of me that night, and that he loved me with all his heart. It was not until then that I realized I had something worth living for in life. He told me I was a beautiful girl, and he believed in me, that I started to have faith in those very words.

I then began to have faith from that night on, and turned my life around that summer. I quit the smoking, the self destruction, the negative friends, the drinking and the downward spiraled life that I was living. It was that night of my birthday that just the words, “I believe in you,” I then truly wanted to have faith in life. Knowing that my father had faith in me, I then put faith in him. My father made me realize that my life is worth living the way I want it to be, but I could never do that with out something to keep me going everyday. Faith gave me reason to do what I want, including giving up my old habits.

Twenty-seven days after I spoke to my Dad on the phone, he was killed by an IED bomb. Even when he died, I still had faith in him. Trusting in him each and everyday has made my life so blessed and pure. If it weren’t for him having faith in me, I would not have ever of turned my life around.