My Broken Snow Globe

In my freshman year of high school, I was given the task of writing an essay based on a simple quote. The quote read, “Rock bottom is solid ground, and a dead-end street is just a place to turn around.” I hadn’t put much thought into the truth behind the words until grief whittled its way into my perfect snow globe life, stirring up the rocks that had just recently sat untouched on the floor of my world. The grief that hit me like a school bus on a Saturday morning, unexpected and not welcomed, broke me.
Instead of turning to God or my family, I turned to a fake smile that became pasted on my face, and to a new Haley who had no cause that drove her to accomplish anything. I placed my eventual hope of healing on something that made no sense to me, and ignored everything that God was screaming at me. In the moment when I let my wall come crashing down, it was the message in that quote I had heard freshman year.
When I went on my first mission trip to Appalachia, Kentucky, I allowed myself to find comfort in those words that had never meant anything significant to me before. To the children of Appalachia, a house is the people who lift them up in times of struggle and who prove to be their solid ground. These kids show more faith, courage, and compassion than I have ever known was possible; these kids, with dirt-streaked faces, were my solid ground and my place to turn around. They exemplified how to have a fire for life, letting it burn away any sign of negative thoughts of the life that may have failed my expectations. They taught me to accept that my life is not the perfect snow globe that, when shaken, everything lands calmly back into place. The fact that there is a foundation in my snow globe is what matters, even if all the rocks don’t fall where I expect. Once I gave in to the reality that my snow globe is a bit tattered and broken, I found that all I need is to put my faith in the possibility of a safe spot to make that U-turn that will turn my life around and fill me with a hope I never knew existed.
Before going to Appalachia, my vision was tainted by rose-colored glasses; when the children of Appalachia forced me to look beyond them, I was able to find the cause to drive my vision. A vision is something you possess, but the cause behind the vision is what possesses you. I once read that, “The cause of Christ […] puts a fire in your belly and gives you the tenacity to face challenges head-on, and the willingness to do whatever it takes.” Because of those kids, I found that nothing can stop my pursuit of the cause that had been absent all this time.





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