Archived Story

Staying positive in the face of adversity

Published 6:00am Saturday, March 3, 2012

I am always amazed at the stories of people who are brave and strong and faithful in the face of adversity.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve witnessed two amazing young people who have shown such courage in the midst of difficult and scary situations that I can’t help but stand in amazement of the people they are and the attitudes they have.

The first of these people is a girl I know who was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a cancer of lymph tissue found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow and other sites.

This girl is only 20 years old and just passed the one year anniversary of her marriage to her husband.

She’s smart and driven and has a good head on her shoulders.

When I found out about her diagnosis, I couldn’t imagine what she was going through to be so young and facing such an overwhelming thing as cancer.

I’m sure it would have been easy for her to break down, to be angry, to lash out and want to know why she was having to go through something so difficult at 20 years old.

And if she had reacted this way, there probably wouldn’t have been one person who would’ve blamed her.

But this girl has absolutely tremendous faith in the Lord and has been a true inspiration to me and to many others.

She keeps reiterating the fact that her God is bigger and greater than cancer; that she is taking comfort in the fact she can rest, safe and secure, in the arms of her Savior knowing he already knows the outcome; that she is blessed to be granted new mercies every morning to help her through each day.

What an amazing testament from a child of God and what a wonderful attitude to have.

Even though she is the one you would think would need to be lifted up (and I’m sure she still has her days), she is actually the one lifting up so many people with her faith and positive attitude.

The second person is Blake Whitten, who I interviewed this week for the story that is in today’s paper.

This 15-year-old boy has so much courage and determination.

His mother told me when the doctors laid all the options on the table the day after his motorcycle wreck, Blake made the extremely brave and courageous decision to go ahead and amputate his right leg below the knee.

His mother said the doctors told them this was a very mature decision and many adults who are faced with the same decision will stubbornly hold onto their leg, refusing to have it amputated, and will have to endure many surgeries and a significantly lower quality of life because of it.

Blake understood the importance of moving on and he is now back on the baseball field, prosthetic and all, and is getting stronger and stronger every day.

And this teenage boy told me that if what he has gone through can show someone the importance of paying attention on the road and keep them from making the same mistakes that might lead to them being severely hurt or killed, then what he’s gone through would be worth it.

What an attitude to have, especially coming from someone so young.

I oftentimes wonder how I would react if a difficult or tragic situation were to affect me directly.

How would I handle it?

I have learned a lot from these two people and I would like to think that if I’m ever faced with a difficult situation, that if I handle it half as well as these two have, I’ll have accomplished something great.

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