Although homework is designed to help Bethel students learn, sometimes a student teaches others along the way. An essay written by Shatrina Taylor, an online student from Mississippi, recently touched – and taught – her teacher.
In fact, Orientation facilitator Elizabeth Park was so moved by Shatrina’s critique of an article titled “Where there’s a will there’s a way,” she asked Bethel’s PR Department to reach out to her. The stay-at-home mother of three agreed to share her essay, and readers will be touched and taught as a result.
“Life is what you make it. A person can choose to get the most out of life by defeating all obstacles that come their way, or they may choose defeat and simply throw in the towel. However, there are obstacles that are a little higher, and those are the ones that may negatively conquer one’s mindset. In the article “Where There’s a will, There’s a way” by Anna Harrington, she touches on resilience, and how people overcome certain life tragedies differently. I have endured many obstacles in my life; however, I have been resilient in overcoming them and in learning how to deal with new obstacles that continue to come my way.
I have endured numerous obstacles in my 31 years of living. One of those came when I was a 17-year-old high school senior and teen mom. The first challenge was trying to figure out how I would successfully juggle school, work and a new baby.
Although I had a strong support system that allowed me to work and continue school, I had one more major obstacle that came my way shortly before my child’s first birthday: My son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. At first, I went through the denial stage, refusing to accept his condition. I refused to accept doctors telling us that my child would never walk, talk, sit up, crawl, feed himself, or be completely independent. I can recall times when my son would cry, and instead of responding right away to him, I would go into the bathroom, close the door and just cry.
Nevertheless, I eventually began to lean more on my family. In the article “Where there’s a will there’s a way,” family is listed as a crucial component of any support system. I learned to communicate with others who were going through similar situations. Author Anna Harrington also suggested the elements of emotions, spirituality and socializing, and each had its place in my life. I began to understand that I was not being punished — I was chosen to be the mother to a child who would eventually teach me about true determination.
My faith was strong, and I refused to allow my son’s condition to become an obstacle in his life, either. Now I don’t view it as an obstacle, but as a growing blessing. My son is now 13 years old and is an honor student. He can walk, talk, and is determined to be independent. His determination has taught me resilience and to never give up on the obstacles of life. My life would not be the same if I had given up on him, and he would not be the little boy that he is today. I had to be resilient because I had someone depending on me.
My point is that there are many outlets available to assist us in conquering obstacles, but we must allow ourselves to take advantage of them. Everyone experiences challenges, and everyone has a choice in how to deal with them. There is an expiration date to everyone’s struggles, and resilience can help people bounce back stronger than ever.”