If you were to ever meet me, you would be greeted with a happy, bubbly exterior. You may be surprised to learn that I have had a lot of tough experiences in life. I was blessed to grow up in a wonderful Adventist home where I was introduced to God early in life. At a very tender young age, I knew God would always be with me no matter what I went through in life. But I had no idea what life held in store.
My baby brother died of liver cancer when he was just 11 months old. In 2002, my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was quite large. We didn’t know if she would make it through the surgery, but she pulled through even though there were many setbacks—including an infection that almost cost her life. During my freshman year of college, we found out she had a second brain tumor. For now the doctors are keeping an eye on it, but she will most likely need to have surgery again.
My health, which is problematic itself, has landed me in the hospital multiple times. When I was in academy, I had strep throat for more than three months. Nothing the doctors did was helping me to get better. I had to take off three straight weeks of school so my family could nurse me back to health.
But through all of that, God was right beside me. Somehow He was working in my life, even though I could not understand what He was doing. I have learned to trust Him; yet, that is not to say that I feel I have "arrived." With each passing day, I continue learning to trust God more and more. Like everyone else, I struggle. But at the end of the day I know God is there for me. My favorite verse in the Bible is Isaiah 41:10: "Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God I will help you; yes I will help you, I will uphold you with my right-hand of righteousness."
There are so many times when I just need to know that someone cares about me—God always comes through for me. He has loved me even when I have been unlovable. He has taught me to not fear the future because He is already there. In trials that may lie ahead of me, I know He will be by my side.
Bad things happen to good people. That’s not something I can explain. But from all my experiences, I can clearly see how God has led my family and me. I am so thankful for everything God has given me.
No, my life isn’t perfect. But life is what you make it. Focusing on the negative things in life will make your life be negative. If you focus on all the positive things, life will become happy and joyful again.
Christine Reynolds is a senior majoring in family studies at Andrews University. She also serves as executive secretary for the Andrews University Student Association.