Recently I had a great conversation with a friend. It was one of those talks that started out not going in a particular direction, but turned into something I most likely won’t forget. Kind of like the day we had. We had gone to church that morning at a small country church and figured, since we were out of the city, we might as well go to a nearby lake after the service and get some rest in nature. On our drive back to Detroit, the conversation started. We were enjoying our slushies and Taco Bell, just chatting about anything. Somewhere along the way we ended up on the subject of my dad.
For those of you who don’t know, my father suddenly passed away when I was sixteen years old. On top of being in the middle of the most grueling academic load I had faced, I was now presented with the loss of my dad, a man that I viewed with so much respect and love. As you can imagine, this made the end of my junior year significantly more difficult than it already had been. Adjusting to this change and many more life changes that came in the next couple of years presented many challenges.
From my junior year of high school to my sophomore year of college, there were many times that I felt as if my life were falling apart. Moving away to college itself wasn’t hard, and I adjusted well and quickly. Unfortunately, my pleasant transition couldn’t last forever. There was a period of time before sophomore year started when I wasn’t sure if I would be able to return due to a lack of financial aid. Thankfully that was taken care of, and I was able to go back to school. However, during the course of that year, I began to experience great stress in almost every aspect of my life. I was getting some of the worst grades I’ve ever earned, growing distant in many of my relationships, and in October of 2012, I got the news that my mom had been diagnosed with colon cancer. It seemed as though the bad news would not stop rolling in.
Eventually it did. Good things began happening. I made new friends and reconnected with old ones. My grades improved, and after months of chemotherapy, my mom was declared cancer-free. Life began to take a turn for the better. Life is good now, but sometimes I am scared that my hourglass is running out of sand and that things will overwhelmingly become “bad” again.
And they might, but the incredible thing is that good things will continue to happen as well. Forrest Gump’s mama might have mused that life is like a box of chocolates, but I’d have to say it’s like a bag of Sour Patch Kids. Sweet and sour. In the last year I have had many sour moments: the passing of my grandfather, struggling with transition, car trouble, feelings of loneliness, etc. I’ve had just as many sweet moments: my best friend got married, I graduated from college, I fell in love, I found new ways to connect with God, and so many more.
In one of the most quoted scripture verses (ever), Jeremiah 29:11, we are told that the Lord has plans for us. Plans for us to prosper and not to be harmed. Plans for hope and a future. God doesn’t want us to go through sour moments, but we will. We must trust that God will provide a future with sweetness to balance these flavors out. Without sour moments, how could we know how sweet life can be?
NOAH (Networking, Organizing, and Advocating for the Homeless)
GMF US-2, Class of 2015