I was only nine when my mom's father died. It was a horrible time for all of us. At 13, my aunt took her own life. Two short months later, my dad's father died of cancer.
I felt alone in the world. Then at 15, my great grandfather had a stroke and died, leaving us to take care of my aging great-grandmother. She has Alzheimer's and can't do very much for herself. Every day is a constant struggle. She comes across the field to our house every day, asking where Pawpaw is. And every day, we have to explain that he's gone.
I have always known God was with me. But sometimes I felt alone. Many times, I almost took my own life, seeing no future for myself. But each time I was stopped by something or someone I love.
The first time, I couldn't get the image of my cousins crying at my aunt's funeral out of my head. And every time after that, my best friend has been there to help me through to the next day.
I know God has a plan for me, and I don't want to ruin it by cutting my life short. Even as hard as every day is, I know His plan is greater than anything I could ever imagine.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." —2 Corinthians 1:3-4
—Melissa - age 15, 10th grade