I’ve been reading other peoples’ stories on this site for a while, and I thought I would post my own story for once. Well, this isn’t the first time, seeing that I’ve posted my life story on several websites before, but it’s the first time I’ve posted anything here 🙂 So, without further ado, here’s my story.
I was born prematurely, weighing 1 pound and 15 oz. I was a tiny baby, I know. (Fun fact: Apparently I was the size of a kitten when I was born. So you can probably imagine how tiny I was). I was actually supposed to be born in June, but I was born in March, instead. Because of my premature birth, I had to stay at the hospital for approximately 4 and 1/2 months after I was born.
When I was born, my lungs hadn’t even developed, so as a result, I had to be connected to a respirator while my tiny lungs finished developing. I was diagnosed with retinopathy at prematurity, and I had to get laser eye surgery at 2 and 1/2 months. Along with that, I had to get needles in my foot to draw blood. The doctors actually said that I had a very low chance of surviving, and if I did survive, that I would be a vegetable in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Well, I have to admit they were totally wrong now.
When I finally came home from the hospital, I was still really tiny, and every cold or flu sent me back to the hospital, where I spent approximately 2 weeks. However, I was a very happy (and cute) baby. I liked the Teletubbies, Elmo, Barney, Dora, and Strawberry Shortcake (typical things that most babies liked in the early 2000’s), but I didn’t like needles, or anything coming near my feet. My mom had to trim my toenails and fingernails when I was sleeping!
Thankfully, my elementary school years were really great! I made a whole bunch of awesome friends, who I still keep in touch with to this very day. But my junior high years were pretty tough…
I was also bullied for a while from June of last year until January of this year. Well, maybe not bullied, but… I was often the “outsider looking in” (to say the least), and I didn’t really have any friends at school. I’ve finally started to make some friends, but it’s complicated. I’ve always been shy, so making friends has always been hard for me. I know this might sound crazy, but I was feeling pressured to ‘fit in’ a while back. I’ve noticed that most girls in my class are wearing these cute, ‘designer-looking’ outfits. So, I started buying some ‘blinged-out’ clothes, and wearing makeup, and everything, in an attempt to kinda… fit in, I guess. But I guess the main point is that… I used to be insecure. And I think that was when I met God for the first time, in June 2013.
Once, when the bullying was really bad, I came home from school, turned “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato on repeat, and wrote “Stay Strong” on my wrists in marker. I was trying to convince myself that everything was going to be alright, when in reality, I didn’t know. I didn’t know what would happen the next day at school. So I sat down and prayed.
I remember exactly what I prayed. I was on the verge of tears when saying it, trying to figure out why everything was so confusing. So I just silently prayed to God, knowing that He’d hopefully hear my cry. “Dear God, please help me through this situation. Help me to stay strong and rise from the ground… Like a skyscraper.” I had gone to church and youth group for most of my life, but I had never actually FOUND God until that one moment. That one moment where I felt like I was talking to Him.
I was still bullied after that, I remember. It was mainly through social media, though it also occurred at school too. The “cliques” or the “groups” didn’t want to include me because I was different. I think that’s what the situation was. They wouldn’t give me the time of day because I was different from them. I remember praying every night, just praying that God would work everything out, but nothing happened. I actually reached a “breaking point” to say the least, and in January 2014, after talking with my parents and the guidance counselor, I transferred schools. Needless to say, I am so much happier now, and I have a lot more confidence now than ever.
During that time, I used to listen to a lot of secular music. Like, stuff from former-Disney-Channel-artists, that kind of music. And I had some Christian songs on my iPod, but I wasn’t as passionate about that kind of music compared to the “former-Disney” stuff as I call it. I think I actually turned away from my Faith a few times in the past. But in January, when I switched schools, I decided to change my life too. I downloaded a few tobyMac songs (as well as 6 songs from the Grace Unplugged soundtrack) onto my phone, and I decided that I was going to become a different person. Ever since then, I have been listening to more inspirational artists than ever, and I’ve been more involved with the youth group(s) in my community.
Fast forward to April 2014… I’m doing really good. I’m currently finishing 9th grade, and I’ve been playing the piano for about 6 or 7 years (although I’m never really sure how long it’s been). I’m probably getting my learner’s license soon (which means I’m going to learn how to drive hopefully this summer! YAY!), and I’m also going to my first Christian Youth Conference next week! I have had the opportunity to share my story on various other websites; a few years ago, I was contacted by PBS Kids (actually, I contacted them), and after emailing back and forth with them, my story was posted on their website!
There are some things that will always remain in my life from being born early. Because of the laser eye surgery, I don’t have any peripheral vision (meaning that I can’t see out of the sides), so I’m often a target for getting hit with balls in gym class (which sometimes caused really big injuries that I won’t forget about). (I’m getting contacts soon, so I won’t risk breaking my glasses in gym class again! LOL! :)) But aside from all the challenges, I’ve had a pretty good life so far!
One thing that has helped me through all the challenges I’ve faced, is music. I know, most 15-year-olds would probably say the same thing, but music has helped me in a way that I can’t even explain right now. The song that has always had a really special meaning to me is “Who I Am” by Nick Jonas. I think that this song describes my life, because in the music video, there are people who have gone through challenges in their lives. The other song that describes my life currently, is “Fighter”, written and recorded by the creator of this website, Jamie-Grace. The first time I heard this song (on YouTube), I legit almost cried. Most of the lyrics described my life perfectly, it’s so hard to explain!
Quoting Jamie-Grace’s amazing song, “She’s a fighter, got that fire when you thought she’d fade away. Throws a fist up, as she gets up feelin’ stronger everyday. When she gets down on her knees, she finds the courage to believe…” I’m a fighter in so many ways.