As I sat at a table by myself a young kid walked up to me and started asking me questions about my T-shirt. I was wearing an SDCC Soccer shirt, which has the competitors creed from Fellowship of Christian Athletes on the back. It says; "my sweat is an offering to my Master, my soreness is a sacrifice to my Savior". He was so stoked to read the back of my shirt and asked if he could take a picture of what it said. He told me how he loves when shirts have such meaningful quotes on them. He went and got his phone and took a picture of the back of my shirt. As he said thank you he got a glimpse of my tattoo and was again interested in the meaning. I found it to be somewhat funny because he attempted to read what it said obviously some of it is in Latin. He was struggling to pronounce it correctly, I of course helped him and also explained what it meant. Romans 8:28 was also an important verse to him so he began talking to me about my walk with God and wanted to know if I was a fellow believer. I gave him a short explanation as to how I accepted the Lord and once I finished he started to tell me his testimony.
This boy was 19 years old and had spent his life in the foster care system until he was 18 and could legally emancipate himself. His mother was killed and his family was unable to take care of him. It was at that point that he was placed in foster care, and spent the majority of his life. He then began to tell me that as time went on the Lord opened his heart up and showed him what it means to follow God wholeheartedly. It was amazing how passionate he was. He talked a lot about storms and explained to me how the storms in his life never seem to calm down but that he continues to be shown new things. Although he has lived a difficult life he has fully accepted the struggles. This young man already understands that each trial he goes through has a purpose and some of the times it may not be his personal trial but rather someone he is close to. He told me that he has been taught how to stick by peoples side and withstand their trials with them.
The minute he walked up I was a little taken back by the fact that he was starring at the back of my shirt and then asked for a picture. The girl next to me looked at me and just smiled, probably thinking this kid is a little weird. I am not going to lie, I was thinking the same thing. But in the end I am glad that he stopped and talked to me. I am glad that he shared a little about his life and the struggles he has had to go through. It showed me once again that I am not alone. Each and every person goes through their own trials and we all handle them differently. Some people can get through things quickly with a small amount of their life affected, while other people struggle for weeks, months, or even years. There is no exact time frame for when a person should heal from something traumatic. I have some friends that have been through some pretty difficult situations and although time has passed by I know the hurt still exists. I also know that internally there are still things that each of them are holding on to, afraid to share because they feel as if they are not allowed to feel that way.
Trials hit our lives like a giant wave in the middle of a big storm. No matter how much you prepare you can't completely control each situation that happens. I think if we could each remember that then we would have a little more compassion for people struggling. I know that I am the same way. I forget that people hurt for different lengths of time both mentally and physically. I tend to forget that although life has continued the pain is still there. Nothing takes that pain away, not even time. Time may teach you how to move on and continue living but it doesn't take it completely away. Each of us is forced to start over and attempt to pick up where we left off. Sometimes it's a physical healing process where we are unable to participate in the activities we are used to doing. Other times it's a loss of someone special in our lives and we feel as if we can't go on without them. These things happen for different reasons and we may never truly understand those reasons. Difficult events usually force us to stop, slow down, and look around at what is taking place. They allow us time to breathe and to pay attention to what is important. Some of the things that happen force us to be thankful for the life we have been given and to prove that no matter what we are blessed in so many ways.
One thing is for sure I am thankful for a lot of things that have happened since my dad has passed away. My eyes have been opened to so many new things and I was forced to slow down focusing on what was truly important to me. I saw things from people that I never would have taken the time to see. I began to understand emotions of people close to me who had been through something similar. I have seen peoples lives being changed in a positive way and have had a positive effect on a lot of different people. I am using my loss to benefit others and will continue to do my part in helping save lives of those who are suffering from different types of diseases. So...yes there are so many negatives but I think all of you are somewhat aware of what I have lost and the daily struggles I have been forced to deal with. If you don't know I have lost a lot, and my life has been changed forever but that doesn't mean that my life has to end. I still have so much to do and so many years ahead of me to make a difference in at least one life.
Long ago I wrote that my ultimate goal in life was to give someone hope when they felt like they had none, to let them know that no matter what the trial was they would make it through and I would be there every step of the way, anyway I could. Things took a turn and I ended up being the one that needed and still needs hope to move forward. Our lives don't have to be perfect to provide people with the love and support they may need to keep walking. We tend to forget the impact of a simple hello or a smile, which can completely turn someones day around for the better. I don't even know the kid's name that talked to me last night but I know that he understands a little of what I am feeling. I also know that at least one person is praying for me. Remember what is important to you. Take a second to tell someone what they mean to you or to simply let them know you care. Give someone a hug or say hello to someone you don't know. You have the power to change so many lives, we all have the power to change a life and this should be our goal.