“Pain, disappointment, and failure are sure to come if you continue to live, but what I know for sure is that we all have to ability to get through it!”

Learning to Trust through the Unanswered Pains of Life

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I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting in church with a broken heart and spirit as I listened to my pastor give a sermon on trusting God and His plans for our lives even when we do not understand the ups and downs of our journey. We have all experienced, or will experience at some point in life, where there is simply no answers to the pain or disappointment we have or will experience. But I will tell you as I was taught that day, even when we don’t understand the pain, upsets or failures, we still must trust that God is still with us and will never leave our side.

After losing my sweet child to cancer, I was broken, unhappy, and to be honest upset with the entire world. I had so many unanswered questions: Why would I be given a beautiful child, only to see him suffer through surgeries, chemotherapy, and other ailments? Fight through all of this with no complaints, only to lose him after a two-year battle! All I could ask myself was, God why? He did not deserve this; he was an amazing boy! I did not deserve this; I am a loving mom! The pain and resentment was indescribable. That was 2013, and even with all of those questions and brokenness, I found strength and courage to fight through every single day to, finally, arrive at peace in 2016.

This experience has provided me with so much clarity into the women, mother and global citizen that I was born to be.

I made a promise to my son: I would go on to complete my education. AND in August of 2013, I arrived at Penn. I remember it like it was yesterday – getting the news that I was accepted into Penn while in the hospital with my son and seeing the sheer excitement in his eyes for me! That gave me the courage to continue to go on and persevere during this entire experience.

I am in my last semester and it is not the degree that I will be most proud of, but the fighter and survivor that I have become. I’ve learned to be happy through good and bad times, and that makes me most proud. I live every day through my son’s spirit. (He would have been 18-years-old this year and graduating from high school.) I will march down Locust Walk in his memory. I will march for all those that have lost love ones and felt that they could not go on. I will march to honor all those that did not make it to see such a beautiful moment because God decided that He needed more angels.

Don’t ever stop betting on yourself! Don’t give up! Pain, disappointment, and failure are sure to come if you continue to live, but what I know for sure is that we all have to ability to get through it! Lastly, do not forget to take away the lessons that are meant to come out of the storms so that you become more compassionate and sensitive to the pains and disappointments of others. Be happy and be inspiring!

Best and XO,

Natalie

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