Discuss the greatestchallenge that you have faced or expect to face ...
As the sun melted intothe distant horizon, I saw the thickening of the ominous clouds overhead. Therain began to pelt the roof of my old house, but nestled in my canopy bed underall my covers, I felt safe. Flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder shook thehouse and tears began to roll down my cheeks. This was not just any thunderstorm,it was a moment in my life when I struggled to keep my faith and hope.
Ispotted my mother's face, eyes ringed with smudged mascara. I peered up at herand knew something was very wrong. "It's Dad and me," she began."We have decided to separate for a while until we can work thingsout."
"But you're not getting a divorce, are you?" Iquickly asked. She shook her head, but I knew things would never be thesame.
Soon after, my dad and I packed our bags and moved in with mygrandparents. He tried so hard to be strong, but I could see that he was feelinga lot of pain. He read me books to try to help me fall asleep at night. Iremember one was about a single dad and how things around the house weredifferent without a mom. He even tried, unsuccessfully, to put my hair up in anon-bumpy ponytail. My dad helped me to develop my faith, and without it, I donot think I could have made it through this difficult time in my life. He taughtme the Lord's Prayer and we recited it together every night. But as much as hetried, he was not my mother.
My life before the separation was socarefree, and I was content. The memories of the three of us vacationing inFlorida - smiling, laughing, and spending time as a family - are painful, andwill last a lifetime. How could my life change so fast? I felt like I was on aroller coaster, and as much as my parents tried to comfort me, I felt alone. Theonly hope I had was my faith in God.
I do not remember how long it wasuntil my parents announced they were getting a divorce. This did not come as acomplete shock because I suspected when they separated it would be forever. Ittook many months of arguing in court for my parents to settle that they wouldshare parenting. I believe God blessed me because I have had an opportunity toknow both parents.
I often wonder how my life would have been if myparents had worked things out, but I know I would not be the same strong person Iam today. Struggling through this rough time, I learned to put my faith in Godand never to lose hope. I thank my parents for allowing me to learn from theirmistakes, and hope that I will not make the same ones. Ultimately, I had to makea choice: to move on with my life, or dwell on my past. I thank God for all thewonderful gifts he has bestowed upon me.
My parents have both remarriedand are happy. I have two new parents, whom I hold as dear as my own. I am trulyglad to see both my parents happy. Although I still wonder what my life mighthave been like, I never wish to change where I amtoday.
* * *
Asthe sun rose, sunlight peered into my bedroom and I could hear birds singing. Isat up in bed, relieved that the thunderstorm was finally over. I felt changed.Slowly, I opened my window, noticing the beautiful tulips blooming and the softspring breeze blowing against the trees. Suddenly I thought, I survived thestorm! I am ready to face the next one! After all, today is another day.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.