Curveballs and Choices

Abigail - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Entered on January 11, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

This I believe: I believe that life will throw us some curveballs–some fun surprises, but others difficult trials. When the curveball is a challenging situation, I believe in rejoicing even in bad times. Lately, my life has thrown me some tough curveballs: my Grandma having cancer and, recently, finding out that I have Bell’s palsy.

My Grandma has had cancer for as long as I can remember. This fall she found out that she has a new kind of cancer in a totally new spot in her body and it’s much more serious. I was devastated when I found out. I wished with all my heart that I would wake up in the morning and the cancer would be gone, but it never happened. My Grandma is one of the most special people in my life, and she doesn’t deserve to have this happen to her. This was curveball number one, and I had a choice to make: would I be angry and sad, or would I accept this and learn from it?

Just a few days ago I got thrown curveball number two: I found out that I have a condition called Bell’s palsy. Bell’s palsy isn’t contagious, lethal, or life threatening; it is a virus that attacks a nerve in the face, causing partial paralysis, and it rarely happens to someone under fifteen. Bell’s palsy does go away, but not for a while, and it gets worse before it gets better. The doctor said that the paralysis will be at its worst around January 17, the day of my dance performance. Some girls would be sad if they found out that they had Bell’s palsy, and they would probably be even sadder if they found out that it was going to be at its worst the day of their big dance performance, but not this girl. I was sad in the beginning, but I had another choice to make: was I going to let this control my life for the next several months, or can I somehow make the best of this situation?

Sometimes life’s bad curveballs can be turned into good curveballs, but we have to choose to see them that way. Ever since she we found out my grandma had cancer again, I have come closer to my family, my Grandma, and God. I try to enjoy the times that my Grandma and I have together and make sure I let her know how special she is to me. I also realize my family is really important, especially when I’m going through tough situations. Even though I may currently have something wrong with my face, I am learning to make the best out of it. For example, on the way home from the doctor’s office, I was trying not to be too sad, so I started making faces in the car mirror. I found out that I can make all sorts of funny faces, and I’ve decided that I can incorporate some of these into the behavior of my dance character. Maybe all of this can best be summarized in a sermon I heard in church this weekend: everything happens for a reason, and we have to trust that God loves us and sees the bigger picture of our lives.

Life’s curveballs can be tough ones, but I am learning how to make the best of them. Even though some days I am still sad about my Grandma and frustrated with my face, I am trying to get around the curve so I can start to see part of the bigger picture. I know that each curveball is a part of God’s plan, and even though I may not understand why, His plan is the best for me. This I believe.

January 2009