Challenges come in many different shapes, and appear in many ways. Even though challenges may look startling and scary at the time, they almost always turn out to be blessings later in life. Overcoming obstacles is what makes life exciting. Some seem larger than others. But in the grand scheme of things, all obstacles have different meanings, and importance. The challenges I have overcome, I believe, have made me a better person.
In one instance, I was on a mission trip in Mississippi for Hurricane Katrina relief with my church youth group. Everything that week was going perfectly. The roof we were reconstructing was ahead of schedule, the landscaping was beautiful, and the lovely woman we were helping, who not only had a house falling apart, but also cancer, could not have been more grateful. Everything was great. We were all so happy and felt so accomplished. After we had finished the job, we did nothing else but celebrate. We decided to take a trip to a nearby unnamed beach. I was so happy because I had not been to the beach in such a long time. Little did I know that day at the beach would teach me one of my most important life lessons. While swimming in the ocean, I had a severe asthma attack. With time, it got progressively worse. The EMTs in the ambulance did not think I was going to make it, so they called in a Medevac. As I was placed from the ambulance into the helicopter, I began to ask myself questions like, “Did I tell everybody that I loved them?” or, “Did I clear the air with people I truly care about?” As my physical being was slipping away, my emotional being began to grow stronger. Thankfully, after several hours in the hospital and numerous nebulizer treatments, I did get better. The love of my church youth group and the love of my friends and family back home kept me strong. I was so happy that I had another chance to live, so that I could right all of my wrongs. As the week came to a close, I had been enlightened; life is very uncertain. I should not take anything for granted. It felt as though I was granted another opportunity, and ever since then I have tried to make everybody feel positive about them, make people feel like everything is okay. Everything is a gift: my house, my health, my friends and my family. This made me think about the lady with cancer we were helping. She did not have much of a house, a home, a family, or any connections for support through this difficult time. She was lonely yet she was still eternally thankful for what they had, and that was beautiful.
Looking back in retrospect, I can see that life is filled with crazy twists and turns. If ever placed in a situation such as mine, one should know that life is truly a gift. It is not promised to people. So when given the opportunity, always make people see the positive side of things. For example, the lady whose roof was coming apart, she had cancer, and her house was in ruins due to Hurricane Katrina. But nothing stopped her from having hope in everyone around her, and also the unknown higher power she believed in. Without these key elements, she would not have been so incredibly optimistic. Whenever anybody is placed in a situation, big or small, they must take the positive aspect, and make it the sole determination to get through every day.
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