On the night of August 8, 2010, I was 15 and I watched my dad take his final breath. He died from a compilation of diseases and conditions which were much beyond my control. These diseases included, but were not limited to kidney failure, liver failure, and a weak heart. He was an extremely important figure in my life. He was a musician and a humanitarian. He stressed the importance being a learned and helpful person.

Hours before he passed, I told him that I would live my life to the fullest, but it took some work to figure out what that meant; to live life to the fullest. Honestly, that’s something that I’m learning how to do every day. I’m not too sure as to how I even viewed life prior to this tragedy, but I can definitely say that I take it more seriously now.

Recently, I’ve picked up the habit of going on long walks.  During these walks, the breeze would blow into my face, and I just enjoy everything around me. I have definitely tapped into what God has in store for me in these past months.  God is life, so I don’t doubt that I’m doing the right thing. I’ve been going to church more, and I’ve been praying. I also have been setting aside a whole lot of quiet time for me to think and appreciate where I am, and acknowledge where I could have been. Life can make you or break you.

The trials that everyone faces are hard, toll-taking, and uncomfortable. They place you in a vulnerable position, where anything can happen. What people forget at times however is that trials are meant to be difficult, but if you handle them the right way, they shouldn’t overtake you. They were meant to put you down for a moment, and teach you a lesson. That way, when the next trial comes, you can use what you learned before to help you out.  That’s basically how you get through life. However, as with most things, this is easier said than done.

It’s not too easy to say that you’re going to get through a trial, when you’re actually there in the valley. But that’s where faith comes in, and this is what separates the successful, as in those who make it, from the defeated; of course with some exceptions.

The will power and the belief that you can make it, makes the difference in the outcome of your situation. You might believe that if you make it, you have passed your test. That’s not necessarily true. It’s what you get from it that matters. Getting through a trial without faith is like getting a 100% on a test that you cheated on; it’s just not worthy of commendation.

Losing my dad is a new trial every new day that I live. It’s never the same as the last day. I might be fine one day, get to thinking about him the next day, and cry uncontrollably the following day. But, what makes it possible for me to keep on pressing is the faith that I have accumulated throughout my storm.

The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  So, I don’t take my nose out of the Bible, because faith is what keeps me going. It’s not some magical, imaginary thing; faith is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I understand that faith is a controversial subject, as many doubt that there is even a God. But, I am willing to take on the challenge, because it doesn’t take much to prove someone as real, powerful, and alive as my Savior.

As I continue with my new attitude towards life, I am allowing life to make me into a strong woman who can be a model for everyone in this world; young and old. I have not allowed my dad’s death to define me, but I use it, and every sleepless, emotional night that comes along with it to make me stronger and wiser. I have a new life, and I have been made new.